Hand-Picked: Tips for Hiring Hand-Picked: Tips for Hiring

Hand-Picked: Tips for Hiring

by Leslie Strong
Leslie Strong Leslie Strong Director of Project Management
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Wanted: A hardworking, passionate, and accountable professional. Must communicate clearly, represent the organization well, and fit the culture to a tee. Five or more years of experience preferred.
No big deal, right? In most scenarios, filling an open position is no simple task. You must publicize the opening, sort through applications, conduct interviews, and try to predict the future – who will perform the best and be an ideal fit in the role?
Here are some ideas to keep in mind as you embark on the hiring journey:


Grow the Pool

Start within: Let your employees know when a new opening is posted and ask for referrals. Invite your team to share the opening via word of mouth and social media. You may be able to jump the hurdle of trying to attract outside applicants if there is already a gem within your network.  
Get social: In addition to employees’ personal accounts, use the organization's social media accounts to announce the opening. LinkedIn is an invaluable tool for this purpose. Set up a showcase page to keep job postings separate from other announcements.
Be clear and concise: If you want to be sure your future employees will be happy in their positions, let them know exactly what they’re signing up for. Be very clear about what the job will entail (daily tasks, how the employees contributions will fit into the big picture, specific knowledge and skills required to perform at a high level, etc...).
Keep one eye open: We don't have to tell you about the frequency of turnover. Regardless of whether you have a position open right now, always keep an eye out for potential future candidates. It's better to have a starting point when a position opens in the future.


Find the Right Fit

Know your culture: In an industry where the volume of applicants isn't always high, culture fit can be an overlooked value, but it can make all the difference in both job satisfaction and achievement. What is your mission? How would you describe the working environment? Is this a risk-averse environment, or one where going out on a limb is encouraged? 
Trumpet your culture: When you incorporate all of these factors into your job postings and interviews; you'll be more likely to find someone who will fit in from day one. Make sure they understand what the work environment will be like and whether they believe it’s one they will flourish in.
Prod for indicators: Don’t leave it to the hires to determine if they will fit. Ask prospective employees questions that will help you determine for yourself whether they will blend well in the environment. Some examples include: 

            -What are the characteristics you look for in a supervisor?
            -Would you describe your ideal work environment?
            -Do you prefer to work alone or would you rather collaborate with peers?
Remember what you can and cannot teach: While skills and knowledge can be acquired, intangibles such as passion, attitude, and social skills are much more difficult. You can gain important insight about personality through the interview (trust your gut feelings) and – this day and age – even by looking at the candidate’s public social media presence.


Game Plan First

Weigh the results: You know what you are looking for in a candidate, but not every item on this wish list will carry equal weight. Determine a method for evaluating the importance of these skills and personality traits. For example, how important is experience compared to adaptability? Aptitude vs. attitude? Social skills vs. analytical genius? The weight you give each of these categories may change depending on the positions you are looking to fill.
Be open: Don’t limit yourself by thinking you need someone exactly like the person you are replacing or initially had in mind. There might be someone with a different personality or background that will fit just as well and can bring fresh ideas and a new perspective to the table. 
Listen to feedback: If the person you're thinking about hiring will be overseeing or even working closely with a number of other employees, take some time to hear the team out. Oftentimes, initial impressions will be confirmed several months into your new hire's career – it's always better if those impressions are positive.

Effective hiring starts with the old adage "know thyself." Until you have a clear understanding of what you want your organization, your leadership, or even an individual department to represent, you can't possibly be expected to pick out the "right" candidate. Your mission should be embodied in the people tasked with bringing it to life – make sure you're assembling the right team for the job.


Related Resource: FastTrack

Improve employee retention and hire better candidates with a smooth application and onboarding process. Check out Skyward’s human resources tools or contact us today to learn more. 


Leslie Strong Leslie Strong Director of Project Management
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