A business is only as good as its team, so here’s how to make sure you hire the right people for the job
The right staff can transform your business for the better. Whether you’re investing in your first ever team member or expanding an already established team, it’s vital that you take the time to find the right match for your business, your vision and you.
But the hiring process itself can be intimating, even if you’re the one sitting behind the desk asking the questions.
There are many key signs that it might be time to grow your team, such as struggling to meet deadlines, feeling unable to take on new projects, and constantly relying on overtime for both yourself and your current team members. At smaller businesses employees normally take on multiple roles, so you’ll need to be savvy in order to determine when a particular role has reached such high demand that a new team member is necessary.
If you’re preparing to advertise for roles within your organisation, here are some top tips for mastering the art of hiring new team members.
Do you research
Your first step is to prepare as much as possible before advertising, and this should involve looking at similar job descriptions in order to work out exactly what skills and experience you’re looking for. Monitor job trends in your industry and specialist field to identify the most popular roles and keywords and look at different salaries to get a clear picture of the kind of wage you should be offering. It’s also a good idea to come up with a list of key job duties for the new role, and think about the kind of characteristics you’d like them to have.
Create an appealing description
To compete with bigger companies, you’ll need to follow best practice for clear and appealing job descriptions Think about what your ideal candidate is likely to search for, and include accurate descriptions of the job’s responsibilities, requirements and rewards. Keep the tone conversational and friendly.
You’ll also need to think about the job title itself. Avoid buzzwords like ‘wizard’ or ‘guru’ (i.e. “Software Guru”) as these come across as vague and are unlikely to help you when it comes to search results. Instead, pick an accurate and concise option.
Review every CV
Looking at CVs can be a long and tiring process, but make sure you don’t slack in your assessment. To help yourself, create a list of key things you want to see from the ideal candidate, and put a tick or a cross next to each one for every CV you read. Think about factors like past achievements, longevity in past roles, attention to detail and relevant skills.
Hone your interview skills
Once you’ve narrowed down your initial applications, it’s time for the interview process. This is the part of the proceedings that both interviewers and interviewees tend to get the most nervous for. It’s your job to prepare relevant and strategic questions that will allow you to gain an insight into each candidate’s skills, qualifications, personality traits and enthusiasm. Consider kicking things off with a simple and casual “tell me about yourself”.
Ask questions that will show you what this person can bring to the table. What drew them to the role? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What professional achievement are they most proud of? Avoid being too personal with your questions. Asking about their home life or relationship status is off limits.
Now all that is required is to choose your best candidate for the role and let them know. Remember to check their references before making an offer, and to reject the other applicants kindly and transparently.