Any true business leader will agree his or her people are the key assets of the enterprise. While it is true that revenue, customers, physical inventory and other things accountants would recognize as property also qualify as valuable assets, the truth is none of those things are likely to come into being if they are neither created nor sold by at least one human being.
Finding the right people to staff a company is a challenge that has defeated more than its share of enthusiastic executives. Most rely on fairly vague advertising, spend days and sometimes weeks sifting through resumes and attend endless interviews where the same questions produce the same answers.
If the strategy is to acquire the best people, the tactics of the past are not likely to help any company achieve its objective. If you are running a business and you are looking for ways to find those mythical top performers, here are some things to consider.
HOW TO HIRE THE BEST EMPLOYEE
1. Pay For It
If business executives know they need the best people, then they also know the way to attract them is the old-fashioned way: To pay them better. It is shocking how many companies believe they can “better deal” their way to an all-star staff and expect those world-class go-getters to be happy with less. The truth is, it doesn’t matter what kind of work they are doing or what kind of projects are on the company’s horizon, if your employees are underpaid, they are one phone call away from being former employees.
A company fortunate enough to have access to star employees and prescient enough to know how important it is to have the best of the best should know how important it is for winners to be delighted with their salary and working conditions.
2. Guaranteed Contracts
Job security is at a massive premium among employees and candidates. Offering job security to your new hires as part of their compensation package is a great way to make sure your offer stands out among the many great enticements your competitors are likely to put on the table. While it may seem that guaranteeing employment is a massive risk, the fact is professional sports teams and entertainment companies have been offering pay and play contracts for decades, and stories of people going AWOL after locking in their salary are exceedingly rare.
3. Clear Job Requirements
There is nothing more expensive than a job responsibilities mismatch, especially if it is discovered after an offer has been made. The only way to avoid this is to make absolutely certain any advertising for the job includes a clear and unambiguous job title and a list of clear responsibilities. Not only does this reduce the cost of the hiring process, it also leads to much better qualified candidates.
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Getting a clear picture of your prospective employee’s job history and personal character is vital if you plan on a long-term relationship. Not only is this often a legal requirement depending on the job, but it is also just common sense if you are in an industry with valuable sales contacts, public-facing customer service or frequent contact with investors or shareholders. Screening before employment can be readily outsourced at quite reasonable costs, and even those costs can be amortized over a large staff if necessary. Look into pre-employment assessments.
5. Promotional Opportunities
In addition to higher pay, employees want to be apprised of the opportunities available to them at your company. Make certain you explain how your new hires qualify for future promotions, and explain how those decisions are made. This will often inspire your candidates to look with competitive interest on your offer and will also hopefully inspire them to improve the quality of their work as a result.
6. Reduce the Hassle
If at all possible, do not make your hiring process a tedious or delayed process. There is nothing that will turn prospective star employees off faster than being put through pointless extra interviews, tests and other nonsense. As a manager, your job is to evaluate talent without all that. Your future achievers will be grateful if you do that job well.
7. Streamline Interviews
Under no circumstances should you employ the so-called conventional wisdom when it comes to interviewing your future employees. Asking rote questions will get you rote answers. Instead, ask your candidates to tell you stories. That’s when the defenses will come down and you’ll find out who they actually are instead of who they want you to think they are.
Hiring is far more an art than a science. Identifying talent is one of those tasks that most people are likely to get wrong from time to time. That said, if you can improve hiring as a skill, then you stand a chance of actually putting that dream team together. That is a goal worth a few mistakes.