24 Feb How to ensure that you hire the right people for your business
Employing the right people for your business is extremely important. Your employees should not only have the necessary skills and experience for the role, but they should also fit in well with your company’s culture.
It comes as no surprise then that businesses spend lots of effort trying to hire the best candidates for the job. After all, hiring the wrong person could cause serious problems as well as wasted time, money and other resources. The more successful your hires, the better your employee retention rates will be.
Additionally, good hires will impact the overall efficiency and productivity rates in your business. Employees that are well suited for your business will easily fit in with the rest of your team, be motivated and driven to work towards common goals and your business vision.
So how do I know if I’m hiring the right people, you ask? We’ve outlined some top tips to help you out.
Do I really need to hire someone?
Before you even start with your recruitment process, you should take a step back and consider whether you actually need to employ anyone for this role..
The costs of employing someone go way beyond their annual salary - there are some hidden costs too. These can quickly add up to a considerable amount of money... Use our True Cost of an Employee Calculator to test your own figures. So, where possible, you should think about outsourcing to a freelancer or a professional firm.
Outsourcing has some great benefits for businesses. It can save you the hiring costs as well as give you a larger talent pool to choose from. If you outsource a certain business function to an external firm (accountancy or payroll, for example) you will also benefit from an efficient, professional and cost-effective service. Professional firms usually have their own softwares, IT support, etc., so you don’t have to pay for or worry about any of that.
Therefore, when you find yourself in need of extra help for your business, make sure to first of all consider whether the job can be outsourced to a freelancer or an external firm.
The ways to ensure that you hire the right people
If you still think that you need an in-house team member, then make sure that you hire someone who will add great value to your business and be worth the expenses. Let’s have a look at how you can do that:
Have clear job specifications
The very first step in your recruitment process is drawing up a job advert that outlines the required specifications, skills and personality traits for the candidates. It is essential that you take your time with this step and properly plan it. In addition, if there are several people involved in the recruitment process, this needs to be discussed with all of them as well.
The reason this is so important is because you cannot expect to get the most suitable people to apply for your job role if the job description is not representative of such a person. You need to have a clear picture of your ideal candidate as well as clearly outline that in the specifications. If you get this step right, the majority of your applicants should already be similar to what you are looking for.
Plan the process in advance
Before you start reviewing applications and inviting them to interviews, you need to make sure that you and the others involved know exactly how this will be done. The hiring process needs to be thoroughly planned and the same methods used for every single candidate. If you don’t have a set system decided in advance, your hiring process may not be consistent or fair and therefore might lead to choosing the wrong people.
The things you should decide on is how exactly you will be reviewing applications - what aspects will you be looking at and how will you decide which people should be invited for an interview. Your interview process should also be pre-planned: you should know who will be conducting the interviews, how it will be done (will it be Zoom meeting or a phone call) and what questions will be asked. Having a set of questions prepared in advance is especially important as you will be able to better compare your candidates and their abilities to answer the same questions..
Consider using several evaluation strategies
Face-to-face interviews are the most common strategy of evaluating potential employees. This makes sense with interviews being the most cost-effective of the evaluation methods. It’s especially understandable for small businesses that don’t have enough time or resources for their hiring process.
However, when possible, you should consider using a few different techniques. The most suitable methods will depend on the type of job role you are offering. For instance, you cannot test the numerical skills or logical thinking through an interview - a designated test would do a much better job. You can also evaluate the candidate’s work process and teamwork skills by giving them a practical task.
Understand your candidate’s aspirations
Unless it’s a temporary position, you should always aim to hire people who will stay in your business long-term. Changing employees too often can negatively impact your business as you will have to spend time, money and resources with another recruitment process.
When interviewing a potential candidate, try to find out what their future goals and aspirations are. Ask them where they see themselves in a few years' time and what a successful career looks like for them. You will then be able to better understand if the job role offers the future growth opportunities that the candidate is looking for or if they will be soon searching for a different job.
Don’t hyperfocus on their past
While it’s important to thoroughly analyse the past experiences, achievements and skills of your potential employees, this shouldn’t be your only focus. During the interviews, don’t ask the candidates to walk you through their resumes and talk about their previous achievements. You should already know these prior to the interview.
Instead, try to ask your candidates open-ended questions related to the job role you are offering and see how they work through the process. Try to find out who they are as a person now, what they have to offer you and why you should hire them.
Have the candidates spend time with your team
It may be difficult to understand whether a person is a right fit for your team just from the one-to-one interviews. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to actually introduce them to your current employees and let them spend some time talking about the company and the role.
This could be done, for instance, by inviting the candidate for an informal coffee or a lunch break together with your team. During this, your employees will have a chance to see how well the candidate would fit in with the rest of the team and who they are as a person in an informal setting. Some businesses end up getting red flags during this stage, as the potential employees sometimes forget that they are being evaluated and showcase a different side of their personality..
Having your candidates spend time with your team is not only helpful for your hiring process but also beneficial for everyone involved. The potential employee has a chance to meet the team and experience the company’s culture for themselves. Additionally, your employees get a say in who they think is the right fit for the team and it's important to take their opinion into consideration.
Look for a strong culture fit
Your company’s culture is a hugely important part of your business - it’s concerned with the values, attitudes and goals within your team. Making sure that your potential employee will fit in with your culture should be one of your top priorities.
To do that, you need to understand what your culture is and what you want it to be. Ask yourself these questions: What kind of workplace do I want to build? What traits do I value most in my employees? What are the values and vision of my business?
Once you know exactly what you want, you can look for these traits and attitudes in your potential employees. Ask them the same questions and see if the answers align with those of yours..
Pay attention to their questions
Interviews shouldn’t just be one-sided - it’s a conversation between two people, where both want to ensure that the role is right for the candidate. Therefore, good candidates will always ask thoughtful questions during the interview process. This shows that they’ve come prepared and researched your business well. It also means that they want to make sure that they understand exactly what they are getting into.
When they ask any questions, make sure you really pay attention to them. This can show you what your potential employee’s biggest concerns are as well as what they are expecting from you as an employer.
Be clear about your expectations
Honesty is one of the most important factors in the hiring process and you need to make sure that your potential employees know exactly what you are expecting from them.. So don’t try to sugarcoat anything at all - instead, be brutally honest about everything.
For example, if you may need your potential employee to occasionally work overtime hours, let them know. If you expect them to be able to take on tasks that may not be in their job specifications, make this clear. If the person is still interested, you know they will be ready for whatever you throw at them.
Get references from their past employees
Vetting your potential employees can be a very time-consuming process and a lot of businesses tend to skip over this process. However, properly examining the previous work experiences of your candidates can significantly help you with your decision.
References from previous employers will help you understand how the candidates work, who they are as employees and coworkers. It can also make you aware of any qualities and characteristics that are otherwise difficult to grasp through a job interview. All of these things will allow you to see if the candidate is who you are looking for in your business.
Don’t rush it
You might be very eager to fill a specific role within your business as soon as possible, but you should never rush it. Trying to hire someone quickly increases the likelihood that you’ll employ someone that is ultimately not a good fit for your business. Hiring the right person should be your top priority, so try to give it as much time as you can, even if it does bring some inconveniences.
Trust your instincts
Following your logic and being completely unbiased is essential during the recruitment process, as you need to make a rational decision and focus on the right things.
However, you should not forget to trust your gut when making the choice either. If you really feel like someone is not the best fit, even if they seem like they are on paper, don’t hire them. It may sound like completely irrational advice, however, at the end of the day this person will be working for you and your business. Therefore, you should only hire them if you feel 100% positive that they are the right person.
Reject people in the right way
This step can often be overlooked, especially with the joys of finding your ideal employee. However, the recruitment process is not only about getting the right person working for you - it also includes rejecting the rest of the candidates in a fair way.
Your rejection letters should be written with care and include clear explanations of how you’ve made your decision. It’s a good idea to outline your process to the candidates - how their CVs were assessed, how the most suitable candidates were shortlisted and how the final decision was made. This can be especially sensitive when considering candidates for team or culture fit and not being discriminative.. Therefore, make sure you think through this, so your decision can be validated if challenged.
All in all, looking for a new employee can be a very long and draining process but if you manage to hire the best possible person - it’s all worth it. Employing the right people is essential for your business, the productivity levels of your team and your company’s culture. We hope that our tips will help you make the best decisions.
In addition to this, remember that not all business tasks need to have an in-house employee - some can easily be outsourced to freelancers or professional firms. You should always try to do that before hiring someone in order to save a significant amount of money in employment costs and get the best experts working for you.
Do you want to outsource your accounting, bookkeeping and payroll?
Whether you’re an agile startup or a large SME, we are ready to look after your accounting, bookkeeping and payroll function. Here at ASfB, we use smart technology to manage your finances in the most accurate, efficient and timely manner.
Our friendly team of expert accountants are always eager to help your business reach its true potential and provide you with professional business advice if needed.
If you would like to discuss this further, call us on 01202 755600 or drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.