Recruiting Great Employees

Hiring the right person for the job is an important (and necessary) leader responsibility. Finding the right person, for the right job, with the right personality, and who are a match with the company culture, are critical.

However, hiring is a skill that leaders need to sharpen. Here are 6 considerations for finding the best candidate.

1. Think complimentary not homogeneity
A tendency is for managers to hire those who think and act like them. However, homogeneity is a concern from several perspectives including potential discrimination and a lack of innovative ideas. Different perspectives are essential to ensure growth, creativity, and identify potential flaws in current thinking.

2  Hire for ‘fit’ not just skill
An employee who isn’t a good match for the organizational culture can have a toxic impact. Take time when hiring to make sure the candidate has the skills needed and is a fit for the mission and values of your organization. Assess the person for the desired qualities and characteristics expected such as authenticity, being a team player, respecting diverse opinions, integrity, supporting others, etc.

3. Listen more than talk
If you want to hire someone with knowledge and expertise, then bring your awareness and focus to the person rather than focusing attention on yourself. Listen and provide opportunity for the person to talk about their goals and desires. Candidates who set high goals for themselves, or respond well to stretch goals, indicate not just capabilities, but also a willingness to go above and beyond basic job requirements.

4. Lay the groundwork
We always say to go back to the A, B, Cs – as basic as that sounds. So, go back to the basics and make sure that job descriptions accurately reflect the work to be performed, the expectations and the needed skills. Reflect on characteristics of the personality, qualities desired, and skills of the ideal employee best suited to fill that position. Then make sure that the ad accurately describes the characteristics and the job/work to be performed. Lastly, establish a screening method to quickly identify the candidates you want to interview. The last basic, don’t skip steps or be in such a hurry that you forget to contact references or do background checks. Trusting your intuition is one thing but overlooking vital information can come back to haunt you.

5. Get to know the candidate
Make a connection and use strategies to ask potential candidates questions that will inform you about their uniqueness as individuals. This will not only reveal their working style, but it also helps them feel valued as a person and not just a potential employee. Find out about their interests and hobbies, while still highlighting the key points of the job.

6. Involve your team
Who knows better than the employees who will be directly working with the candidate? Not only do they know what it takes, but they also want to be involved, AND want to select the best person for their team. Just as importantly, what better way to convey trust, respect, and value than to ask for their help? Plus, you’ll gain a broader perspective and a more complete picture of the candidate.

Once hired, the onboarding process is the most important introduction to your organization. The new hire not only needs to feel welcome, but it is also important that he/she experience an initial sense of connection and belonging. Onboarding should be a process – not a one-time orientation event – that includes mentoring to ensure their success. The social work environment, the perceived support, and a sense of belonging are key to a long-lasting relationship.

Our research and the research of others demonstrate that employees want to make a meaningful contribution, want to master skills and be challenged, want autonomy, and want meaning and purpose. Let them know from the beginning that this is what you want for them.

The saying is to hire hard and manage easy. A famous Steve Jobs’ quote is, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”

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