Whether you are hiring your first ever employee or your 100th, taking the time to make sure you get someone who is a perfect fit for your company is essential. When such decisions are made right, everyone benefits. When they are made incorrectly, it results in negative financial, environmental and time implications for all those in your work environment. The following key steps will help ensure you are on the right track next time you have to recruit.
Define the job
If you want the right candidates to apply for a job, you need to make it clear exactly who you are looking for and what it is that you want them to do. Looking through online job listings, you will encounter endless examples of vague, fuzzy job descriptions where it is clear that the company do not really know who they are looking for. This is often the case with newer companies where a new hire may be expected to take on a number of roles all at once, though they may eventually settle into one particular position.
The more time you spend analyzing why you want to take someone on, what skills they would need to possess and what responsibilities they will need to take on, the fewer unsuitable candidates you will have to weed through. The same logic should also be applied when you’re looking for a team of professional to outsource to. For example, if you were to hire a local web design firm to upgrade your website, you would provide them with a precise and detailed brief once you’ve vetted them. Provide the same level of care and attention to the process of recruitment.
Don’t be in a rush
When the three founders of Airbnb decided it was time to take on their first employee, they could have simply chosen the first Berkley computer science graduate they found. Instead, they spent four months going through thousands of applications and interviewed hundreds of potential applicants. Why? In the words of company CEO Brian Chesky, recruiting your first employee is like bringing a DNA chip into your company.
That first hire, Nick Granby, has advice of his own for those in a similar position at a new company. Be sure the candidate understands that the company is likely to change on a week by week basis as it begins to take off as not everyone will be comfortable with that reality.
Put potential candidates to the test
As well as finding an employee who fits in with the culture of the company, it is also important to use a range of methodologies to test candidates on the basis of their learning and analytical skills. This is necessary because it is unwise to evaluate potential candidates by their resume and performance during an interview alone.
An introverted candidate who performs less well in an interview situation may have more than enough skills to compensate and may become more confident once they feel fully accepted within the work environment. There have also been numerous cases of candidates padding out their resumes to make them seem ideally suited for a position they simply do not have the correct skillset for. Testing can weed out such imposters.