The best business plan, accounting system and products are key components for every business. But the true driver of success is the people – from the owner to every person in an organization. So when building a team, having a hiring process ensures that a company brings on people that continue the success of the business. A revolving door of employees isn’t good for anyone, or for the morale of the company. Here are some tips to get it right the first time based on experiences with clients and eight years of building the Lucrum Consulting team.
The first step is to understand the company culture. Companies have a tendency to evaluate on skills only. It’s the culture that drives the right fit for employees who work as a team. Culture alone is greater than the sum of its parts; it is motivation, discipline, quality control, and job satisfaction all rolled into one. This doesn’t mean that every person is the same. Diversity brings valuable perspectives and experiences to the business. Recently, Harvard Business Review wrote about The Defining Elements of a Winning Culture. (It’s an interesting read.)
Identify job description
A written job description for each role sets expectations for the employee as well as management. Then when there is an opening, the job description defines the target person in terms of skills and what it takes to perform the job. A good job description includes tasks, the amount of time to complete tasks (by percentage of time for each), and the priority of tasks regardless of time. For example, the person who opens the shop may not spend a large percentage of time with that task, but showing up on time for the task is critical for the business. Also, include success factors so that the manager and employee both know if the person is doing the task properly.
Lucrum Consulting has worked with The Metiss Group, a firm specializing in workplace behavior, extensively for both internal hires and client openings. We were introduced to John and Cyndi Gave, owners of The Metiss Group, by a client and have found their method for hiring professionals to be beyond comparison with anything else we’ve seen.
Companies may use a variety of sources to get a range of candidates. Networking is a good place to start. If the job opening is common knowledge in the organization, then company employees may be a good source of referrals. Some Lucrum clients go as far as providing referral fees for employees who refer a candidate that gets hired and stays for a pre-determined period of time. Other networking sources include clients and professional organizations. Consider the type of job to know the best place to post online. For example, post professional jobs on LinkedIn, hourly jobs on craigslist. Indeed.com or monster.com are options for any type of position. Finally, some positions may be best filled by a recruiter. It’s a good idea to always be on the lookout for good people. Knowing a few candidates that a company may want to hire in advance of an opening can jump-start a search.
Choosing the best candidate
Depending on the type of company and the hiring manager preferences, the first step may be a telephone interview or in person. Some people only want to meet the top candidates in person. Others want to check the ‘chemistry’ right at the beginning. Either way, companies may want to use a process for determining which candidate is the best fit for the organization. The Metiss Group helps Lucrum Consulting and our clients with writing evaluations, behavior assessments, and reference checks. Some candidates may think it’s a bit much but those candidates probably weren’t the right fit for us or our clients anyway.
For junior employees, a more appropriate test may be a skills test, such as for use of office software, if such experience is required in the job description.
At some point, the candidate will have a face-to-face interview. If the process goes beyond two interviews, share the steps with the candidate so that he or she knows what to expect. The options after each interview are to schedule another interview, make an offer, or end the process if the person isn’t the right fit.
Making an offer
If making an offer, put the offer in writing to set the appropriate expectations. At a minimum, offer letters include the title of the position, classification (exempt or non-exempt, full-time, part-time, or temporary), compensation details, pay frequency, benefits (if any), start date, location, and schedule. Many offer letters also include conditions, such as the expiration date of the offer or hiring based upon passing a drug screen and/or background check.
After the offer
When a company makes an offer and the offer is accepted, it’s time to put a transition plan in place. The plan will depend on whether the position is new, existing but vacant or existing with someone transitioning out of the role (either within or leaving the company). Creating a transition plan for these scenarios sets expectations that are helpful for the new hire and, if appropriate, the person moving out of the position.
We hope you find this information helpful. After a few mistakes early on, we realized we needed to improve the process. The same goes for several Lucrum Consulting clients as well. With the right steps and a good team, it’s easy to maintain a winning culture. Stay tuned; next month we’ll take on a helpful onboarding process.