Seven Secrets of Highly Successful Hiring

Why is it that some companies seem to easily attract and retain the best talent? It should be a simple process to hire top talent– you just need to match the person with the appropriate qualifications with the position you have available right? Our experience as headhunters has taught us that finding the right person is about having a well-developed hiring process. We’ve helped many clients hire the right people and these are the 7 secrets of highly successful hiring that we’ve learned along the way.

Hire for today’s need and tomorrow’s vision–Although you need this person now, remember that you are hiring for the future. Whilst a new employee needs to make economic sense today, the best hires are the people who will help you move your business into the future. New people shouldn’t just match the job demands you have today, but also provide the skills you need tomorrow. Be clear about your company’s strategic direction, then hire the talent to help you achieve it.

Know what you need- Before you write the job description you must have a deep understanding of what your staffing needs are. Stop and look at your current team. Who are your best people and why? Where are the opportunities for improvement? Where do you need additional knowledge or skills? If the previous person was promoted what can they tell you about the necessary skills for the position? If the previous person wasn’t a good fit– what mistakes do you not want to repeat?

Write a specific job description– Your job description should be specific, concise and clearly understood. It shouldn’t just outline the duties,responsibilities and skills. It should explain how you want the job done, how your company operates and the reality of your company culture. If you expect employees to work 80-hours a week then say so. Be honest, this way you’ll get candidates who know exactly what to expect from the job.

Align your hiring process to your culture– If teamwork is important then don’t have one  person interview and make the hiring decision. If leadership is key then don’t just use standard  competency questions to interview. Make sure your hiring process is an accurate reflection of your company culture.

Conduct a good interview– To gauge how well the person is going to fit into your company don’t use a “vanilla” approach. A good interview is one in which you get the candidate to demonstrate how his or her experience will add value to your company situation. Preparation is the key factor here. Develop two behavioural interview questions for each core competency or skill to learn what the candidate does effectively and what they have done before. The best predictor of job success is past performance. Involve key team members in the interview. A second opinion will help make a better hiring decision and if there is a personality clash, it’s better to find out sooner than later. Allow the team building process begin from the interview.

Use professional assessment tools- No matter how skilled you are as an interview or relevant the questions, the interview process will always be biased. Bring in a professional assessor who can match evaluations to the skills you are looking for using a professional assessment tool.

Allocate a settling period– Allow the first 60 days for the new employee to get to know the position and learn about your business whilst performing real duties. This allows employees to get to know the new hire. Use this time to share knowledge and teach the new hire key aspects involved in the operation of your business. Expecting a new hire to “hit the ground running” is unrealistic and can be overwhelming. Give them the chance to find out the pace and the way in which people work, learn your systems and processes. Don’t just throw them into the deep end otherwise you might just find them running for the nearest exit.

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