One of the biggest challenges business owners face, is in hiring good staff. I hear about how hard it is hard to find good talent and how there is no one out there capable of doing the work. This could be the case, but I would say that sometimes it is in how hiring is approached.
Let’s challenge some of your thinking and see if it helps to provide you with some different answers, to how you might approach hiring.
What’s in it For Me?
In many cases, when you are evaluating a potential hire, this is the lenses from which you look at them. “What are you going to bring to me?” What experience, talents, knowledge, etc.
Let’s flip the table on this and ask the question from the opposite side. “What are you bringing to them?” I already know some of you are going to say you are providing them employment and a wage. What you fail to understand is that likely they can get that same thing elsewhere. Sure, they might make a little more money here or there, but in essence, there are lots of business just like you offering the same thing; employment and a wage.
So, what else do you and your business offer? Why should someone come to work for you? What within your business sets you apart from anyone else?
Do you offer flexible scheduling? Do you offer job sharing? Does the size of your business, mean an employee will have the opportunity to learn all facets of your business? Are you an expert in your field, and are willing to help train them? Do you offer education support? Do you offer incentives? Do you provide for extended, non-paid vacation periods? Do you have potluck Fridays? Do you allow employees to bring their pets to work? The list goes on and on.
There are benefits in working for your business, even if it is a small business. You have to be prepared to tell potential candidates those things right from the start. You want great talent to see beyond the job and wage, and pick to work for you because of the things they might not be able to get elsewhere.
Get Away from the Warm Body Syndrome
Hiring can be a painful, time consuming and frustrating process, but too many times people make hiring decisions based on, “the best of the adequate” and never get away from the pain. They deal with the pain of trying to train them. They deal with the pain of getting rid of them and then they are right back into the pain of having to hire someone new. It is a cycle and if you don’t break it, then you are destined to continue to live it.
The first step is to write a clear and succinct job description. In doing so, please, please, please don’t simply copy a job description from someone else and think you are done. Get really clear on the type of person you want to hire and what specifically they are going to be doing.
For example, if you are looking for office administrator, are they really going to need to know how to use Power Point or not? When was the last time you did a presentation? Or, if you are looking for a salesperson, do they need to know how to use a CRM? Do you even have one?
This is important for two reasons. The first is if you put in qualifications that aren’t real, then you run the risk of having great people not apply because they don’t believe they are qualified. (I could be a great office administrator, who has never had to use Power Point in any other position and so I am not confident in my skills.) The second reason is that you could attract someone who has the qualification, but then you lose them when it comes to the compensation. (I am a salesperson, looking to make $60,000 based on the companies I have worked for with a CRM, and you are only offering $45,000.)
The second step is not to settle. I know it might be hard not too, but if you aren’t happy with the first round of applicants you get, expand your geographical reach, talk to your network about people they might know, offer an incentive to your existing employees and get them to help you out.
Settling costs you and your business, not only financially, but in terms of time and resources being wasted. It impacts morale; both yours and your other employees. It causes you to continually change your systems and practices, in an attempt to solve the problem of having an unsuitable hire. You would be smarter to put that money into paying a little more for a great fit, than spending in on a losing proposition.
If you are struggling to find the right people, maybe it is time to do a little more homework upfront, and see what type of results you get.