Brad Smart, in his book Top Grading, reports that 3 out of 4 times, (that’s 75% of the time), companies making hiring mistakes. They hire the wrong person for their company or for the position.
It is so important to hire and retain great employees and yet most of the business owners that we meet do not have a hiring process. When they need someone, they simply start a search through one of the on-line hiring services or on Craigslist and then begin interviewing candidates. It’s time-consuming. It’s frustrating. It’s incredibly costly. Above all, most managers and entrepreneurs dread having to do it so it’s rarely done well.
What if you had a process? What if you had a step-by-step system that really made it easy to find good, quality candidates?
First things first. If you’ve waited until the very last minute to hire a new employee, you’ve probably waited too long. If you’re at a point where time is running out then your hiring process will be made under a stressful deadline.
If you’re managing your growth and strategically using your budget to forecast, then you want to be hiring and training new employees before you’re in a stage called ‘Extended Capacity’ – the stage where everyone in the company is barely able to do what the need to do in the 40hrs /week that their paid to be there. But Capacity Planning is a topic for another blog post. Let’s continue with a The Hiring Process.
Your hiring process is going to consist of three key steps:
- Attracting candidates
- Interviewing a few of the best candidates
- Presenting your offer letter
Once your best candidate accepts your offer, you’ll move into the On-Boarding and Training process. But that again is a topic for another blog post.
The hiring process is really a marketing process. You’re marketing your business, not to find new clients, but to find highly qualified people who are a good fit for your company and the position you’re needing to fill. You have to know who you’re looking for, where to find them, what will attract them and how to reach them. In a sense, it’s like marketing the back end of your business.
It helps to have a concise list of the processes or tasks you’re going to be needing the new employee to follow. Think of this as a ‘position specific’ operations manual. With this, you can define the top behavioral and technical skills required of a candidate. You use this skill set to filter for the type of candidate you need in one of the on-line hiring services that are now available. I’ve provided a link to a few at the end of this article.
For example, if you’re looking for a new book keeper and your company uses QuickBooks, then some examples of TECHNICAL Skills might be:
- experience with QuickBooks
- a background in GAAP accounting (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles)
- good working knowledge of Excel and spreadsheets
And some BEHAVIORAL skills might be:
- detail oriented
- able to follow processes
- goal oriented
- good at follow through
Interviewing a Few of the Best Candidates
Interviews take time. You don’t have to interview every candidate who applies for your position. Pick between 3 and 5 of the best – more than 2 and less than 10. If, after interviewing the top candidates, you haven’t found “the one”, go back to your list and interview the next set of top contenders.
You can test for the behavioral and technical skills you need. To do this well, we recommend building Behavioral Score Cards, and score every candidate on each Behavioral Skill. Technical skills can also be scored with tests. In this way, finding the best candidate is easy. They are the one that scores the highest.
Once you’ve found “the one”, always make the effort to check their references and do a back-ground check. I can’t tell you how many horror stories we’ve heard because this step was skipped over – a sales person, for example, was hired who had a DUI. He went to work for the new employer without having a valid driver’s license.
Presenting Your Offer Letter
Obviously, the Offer Letter is going to address compensation but there are a number of other areas you want to highlight such as:
- Your Management Philosophy – how they will be managed
- Your Expectations of them
- The expected Start Date
- Their Review Period (30, 60 or 90 days – your choice)
- The Company’s Raise Policy (when they can expect a raise and how much they will receive)
- The Company’s Bonus Policy (What they need to accomplish and how much they might get)
- Other Benefits
- Any Working Conditions that need to be spelled out
Be prepared and open to negotiating the terms of your Offer Letter but you should have your ‘bottom line’ well defined before entering into any negotiations.
And when it comes down to the final candidate, there are three more questions to consider before their acceptance.
- Does the candidate believe in your vision?
- Is the candidate compatible with your corporate culture?
- Is the candidate a good fit for the position?
Does the Candidate believe in your vision?
If the person that you intend to hire, is not interested in going to the place you wish to take them, they can be a cancer in your organization. They will battle you. They will resist you. They will rally the troops against you. Or, they’ll simply quit as you get closer to your target or vision.
Here’s an example. One of my consulting client was a law firm and at the time he was quite small, it was just him. But he had a vision to create multiple offices nationwide.
As he grew, one of the first positions he hired was a legal secretary. He found a candidate who had just left a large corporate firm that had several offices across the country. He thought this was a perfect opportunity for him because of her experience.
She was a great employee but she quit as soon as he started talking about opening up his second office. This was surprising to him, and it was a huge setback when she left.
During the exit interview, he asked her why she had decided to leave his firm. She told him that she took his job offer because she was looking for a small, boutique law firm. She was tired of the bureaucracy and hassle of a large firm. She wanted something much simpler. If she’d known that his intention was to grow the firm into one that was nationwide, she would’ve never come on board in the first place. But he never shared his vision with her when he was hiring her.
Is the Candidate compatible with your corporate culture?
If the people in your organization are working under the same set of foundation values, and a new hire’s values are radically different, this can present a major challenge.
If, for example, your employees are mostly in their early 20’s to late 30’s, chances are you’ll have a culture of millennial’s.
If you’re past your early 40’s, (you’re not a millennial), and your boss calls you into their office, you’re probably thinking you’re in trouble. Why else would they want to talk to you?
On the other hand, when the boss is leaving you alone, you’re thinking you must be doing a good enough job that they don’t need to speak to you, that things were okay.
It happens to be the very opposite of how most millennial’s think. They need to be recognized and acknowledged. They need to be told that they’re doing a good job. You want to check in with them on an ongoing basis. It’s when you do not speak with them that they think they’re not performing.
So, if you have a culture of millennial’s, be sure to either higher millennial’s or make sure that you have processes in place that will address their needs after they’re hired.
Is the candidate a good fit for the position?
How often have you hired a person because you simply have a good gut feeling about them? They’re just like you.
Many years ago, when our company was in it’s early growth stage, I caught myself doing this time and time again until I finally smartened up and developed a process for hiring more effectively.
Here’s the mistake I made.
Our lead generation process involved cold calling prospects. I hated making cold calls so I decided I needed to hire a sales person who would make those cold calls for me.
I didn’t really have a hiring process at the time. I just put an ad out there on craigslist and started interviewing candidates.
When I was interviewing candidates, I would “sugar coat” the position. I would tell them that they needed to make cold calls for only a few months after which we would train them to be consultants to the clients that they had landed from their cold calling activities.
After several months, they would ask me when they we’re going to become a consultant. But they had not landed enough clients from their cold calling activities. And because they didn’t like cold calling, they weren’t closing new clients. So, it didn’t work out and they either quit or I had to fire them.
What was I thinking? When I was hiring candidates that I had a “good gut feeling” about, I was hiring candidates that were a lot like me. If they were a lot like me, why did I think they’d be good at cold calling?
I was thinking that, because I didn’t like cold calling, then nobody would like cold calling. That’s simply not true. When I was trying to hire people that we’re just like me, I was interviewing people that didn’t like cold calling. They were not a good fit for the position I needed.
Once I realized this, we created a hiring process that recruited candidates who were not afraid of rejection and who were actually good at cold calling. We no longer “sugar coated” the position. We found and interviewed candidates who fit the position we need to fill.
Online Sites for Hiring
Now the Good News – How to Implement using The TouchStone Business System …
This all well and good but how do you implement all of this? There are so many things to consider and steps to take. It’s all too overwhelming…
We’ve made it really EASY.
The TouchStone Business System is a web-based process tool that makes organizing and implementation your processes ridiculously easy. All of the processes that have been described in this article are part of a library of processes that are available to you for FREE.
AND, these processes can be linked to specific positions in your organization to create your very own Position Specific Operating Manuals so the processes are EASY to find, EASY to edit, EASY to follow and EASY to implement over and over again whenever you need them.
If you’d like to hear more about that, or to find out more about a library of processes that we’ve developed specifically for Property Management companies, in partnership with LandlordSource you can go to www.BusinessDesignCorp.com or call (707) 522-6253 or email [email protected].
Or, you can get started right away with your very own FREE 30 Day trial of The TouchStone Business System.
Michael is one of the Managing Directors of Business Design Corporation, a business development company for small and mid size businesses.
Michael was a Master Certified E-Myth consultant for many years delivering Gerber’s E-Myth Mastery program to many hundreds of entrepreneurs before deciding to focus specifically on creating a tool and a process to make it really easy to systematize your business.
Business Design Corporation developed and implements this technology, specifically The TouchStone Business System. TouchStone makes it ridiculously easy to consistently document, organize and implement your operating procedures and job descriptions. As a result, businesses can become more scalable and more satisfying enterprises with 100% more value – more freedom, more balance, more profit and more satisfaction.
Disclaimer: LandlordSource does not represent the article content in this website as legal advice. It is shared information only and up to the reader to use this information responsibly, seeking legal advice as necessary to their business.