What does a successful business have in common with a championship sports team? How do they both achieve such noteworthy results? Championship sports teams are almost always a combination of star and role players who not only fit the team’s style of play but also have a deep understanding of their position on that team. Successful businesses, whether made up of 5 employees or 50, are always a combination of employees varying in levels of experience. What each of these employees has in common, like the sports team, is that they fit the company’s mission, brand, and service offering. So, let’s rephrase that question from earlier. What does YOUR business have in common with a championship sports team?
Every business’ biggest existing challenge is finding great employees. It is an ongoing issue, directly affects the company’s success, and yet it often ends up being allocated the least amount of time. On top of that, most companies don’t possess the financial resources to have a company recruiter or even a dedicated human resource person. They are willing to spend hours, even days researching new gear and equipment…yet they aren’t willing to invest the same time to hire new staff. Sound familiar?
Here is the reality for most companies: When it comes to light that additional staff needs to be brought on, it becomes the responsibility of a current employee with a thorough list of existing duties. Keep in mind that this situation stemmed from needing additional staff, meaning there is a good chance that existing employee is already overwhelmed or overworked. This can quickly damage your company’s culture and brand, especially if hiring is rushed and based on a pressing need.
Here’s how you can (and should) avoid this situation…
- Identify the need ahead of time. Whether you do $750k or $7.5 million in annual revenue, take time at the beginning of each year to forecast when you will need additional staff and what you’ll need them for. This simple but proactive step will significantly reduce the probability of hiring out of desperation and increase your chance of finding top-notch employees when you need them.
- Create a strong brand. According to LinkedIn, the number one reason people leave their jobs is for better career advancement opportunities. Are you a new, fast-growing company or a well-established, well-known company that’s been around for years? Either way, own it. Your employees should know not only how their role fits into your brand but how they will continue to grow with that brand over time.
- Advertise the position internally and externally. Let the whole company know what you’re hiring for – referrals are often the number one source of valuable employees. In addition, post the opening to your website and outside job-boards.
- Move quickly. Inquiries by qualified candidates should be followed up within 24 hours or less. Remember that qualified candidates have multiple options, and you want to stand out as the best one.
- Solidify your interview process. A pre-determined interview process provides employers with tools to formulate thorough, straightforward questions and effectively evaluate candidates. Create a standardized list of questions that all interviewers are using. This allows for parallel comparisons across the board.
- Hire for cultural fit. Experienced or not, any person you hire should have the aptitude to be successful in the position, but even more importantly, they should demonstrate that they share similar core values to you and the company. Alignment on these items is crucial to hiring someone that can grow with you and your existing team.
- Present a formal offer letter. A formal offer letter can easily be a positive differentiator when a candidate is entertaining multiple offers and positions. It sets a clear standard for communication upfront and explicitly spells out what is on the table. This is extremely valuable to anyone considering furthering their career with your company.
A well-defined recruiting, interviewing and hiring process makes finding the right employee much more likely and so much easier. It increases the candidates’ likelihood to take your offer over another company’s because 1) you’ve shown them you care within the first few interactions and 2) You’re displaying efficient and organized efforts when working with them. Adapt these processes within your company and see the difference it makes…your employees (current and future) will thank you!