The Smaller Your Company (or Team) – The More Important it is to HIRE RIGHT!
Here’s How Small to Medium Sized Northwest Companies Can Avoid Costly Hiring Mistakes!
If you’re a small or medium sized company, you know first hand that hiring the right employees is a BIG DEAL! In fact, the stakes for hiring right are considerably higher for you than they are for larger organizations where an under performing employee can easily get lost in the shuffle of many moving parts. In a small company, every employee and their contribution matters. No one gets lost! Ambitious growth plans can get stalled or advanced one new hire at a time.
The catch 22 is that with limited time and resources, hiring the right talent for a small or medium sized company isn’t easy. A smart hiring process has many steps which have to be executed with a certain level of expertise or mistakes are right around the corner. So how does a small to medium sized company compete against their larger, better resourced hiring competitors?
The GOOD NEWS is that many large companies don’t take the time to HIRE RIGHT. Their hiring processes are all about moving quickly but not necessarily deeply to find the special talent they need. Small companies can compete with these companies simply by making sure the key steps in the hiring process are done well.
Here’s some ways smaller companies can gain an upper edge…..
Get Clear on WHERE You’re Going – Before You Get Going!
If there was a business process that can’t be fire, aim, ready, its hiring. A recruiting project launched without a clear vision of who you need to hire is a hiring mistake ready to happen. Large companies do that all the time, in most cases believing that an updated job description, regurgitated in a job posting, is all that’s needed to find and engage the right candidate.
Small companies can compete for the talent they need by going beyond the job description to more sharply focus on the right recruiting profile – a more insightful understanding of the type of person who will be “right fit” – bringing with it an ability to engage that candidate at a deeper level right from the start.
For small companies, taking the time to identify simple basics like the reason why the job exists, what problems it needs to solve, what obstacles or opportunities it is likely to face, can help you pinpoint the type of employee you need to hire very differently that a traditional job description. It also allows you to engage with candidates differently – attracting those candidates who are indeed the “right fit.”
Here’s some examples of info we like to gather up from our clients BEFORE we start the recruit……
- Why are you hiring? What caused this opening? Is it a a newly created role that needs to solve an important business problem? Is it an add to staff because of an uptick in business? Is it a job created by a turnover of a former employee? If so, what were the underlying reasons for the turnover? What must the new employee do differently to be considered a successful hire?
- What are the Hiring Manager’s EXPECTATIONS – their biases about how work gets done. If, for example, an employee is really good at working quickly, covering a lot of ground but not necessarily perfectly, they may not be the best hire if they end up working for a manager who doesn’t care that much about volume, but wants perfection.
- What must this employee deliver in their first 90 days, six months, first year of employment in order to justify their role? Getting clear on the results needed from a role tells you a lot about the type of employee you are looking for. If, for example, you know your new hire will need to spend their first six months just putting out fires created by a fast changing marketplace, your new hire will need a certain level of patience and “in the trenches” expertise just to survive. If you need your new hire to just grow an already established team or work process, you need a very different profile. What profile works for you requires you to realistically assess what problem you need the “right hire” to address and resolve.
- What are the RESOURCES and/or SUPPORT that will be available to the new hire? The profile of an employee who is joining a team that has an abundance of resources to train and mentor the employee’s success, is very different from the profile of an employee expected to figure things out on their own. Which profile does the job require – really?
- What kind of rewards (tangible or intangible) will be available to the employee if they perform well? If the candidate you hired is looking for opportunity and promotion and you’re a small company with no plans to grow, you’ve likely made a hiring decision that isn’t going to retain the employee long term. Before you start any recruit, all participants in the hiring process should know what they can tell a candidate about why they would want to take this job! You can use this information to screen out candidates who are looking for different job satisfiers and avoid an early term “quit.”
Make Sure You Know What’s “Real”!
At PACE our profiling process always includes an analysis of a typical “day in the life”, preferably gathered directly from the person currently doing the job, or employees who have done the job in the past. We want to make sure we are dealing with “what’s real” in terms of the actual job content – not what a hiring manager thinks it is, or would like it to be.
We use this “day in the life” info to calibrate our screening criteria, plus provide potential candidates with an accurate picture of the “real work”. Absent “real” information it’s far too easy to inflate the skill or experience requirements running, creating the possibility that you hire someone who is either not interested in or not able to do the “real work.”
Trust but Verify.
Skilled job seekers know how to create resumes that reflect on them favorably (if not fully accurately) and can present themselves in an interview as confident, personable and capable – traits that can easily lead an inexperienced hiring manager to make a hiring mistake. Talking is not action.
To counter this trend, it’s important to verify the key information provided by the candidate’s resume or application. At PACE, all candidates, even those only interested in working in a temporary role, are vetted by…..
- An automated “quick look” reference program that not only confirms the candidate’s dates of employment but also how a previous supervisor rated their work. Our “quick look” reference program can deliver results within 2-3 hours of request.
- A wide range of professionally constructed knowledge and skill assessments designed to pin point very specific areas of competency including basic math and reasoning abilities, competencies in almost any software, experience in specialized areas of work like customer service, or specific industry or job category vocabularies.
- Customized aptitude/talent assessments that verifies the the quality of a candidate’s cognitive and personality “fit” for specific jobs.
PACE is now offering these vetting services on an a la carte basis to employers who have sourced their own candidates but still need some objective confirmations that what is being reported on a resume or in an interview is valid. ( If you’d like to learn more about these services and request a complimentary demo, give us a call at 425-637-3312.)
Treat Everyone the Same….
…not just because you don’t want to expose yourself to charges of discrimination but because a consistent hiring process makes sure that the best candidates easily stand out from the rest. Try it and you’ll see what I mean.
- Yes, you need a simple documented hiring process
- Yes, you need screen all resumes using the same set of screening critieria
- Yes, you need to have all candidates fill out the same application
- Yes, you need to ask all candidates the same questions, hopefully by the same interviewer
Keep Your Hiring Managers Fresh!
One of the easiest ways to burn them out and set yourself up for hiring errors, is to ask them to both screen and evaluate candidates….two big steps in a hiring process that should’t be combined.
Screening activities are done early in the hiring process as a way to whittle down the number of candidates who will later be tagged for more in depth evaluation. The results of a well executed screening process is a short list of candidates who are most similar to the preferred candidate profile you put together as part of your pre recruit homework. Screening activities typically includes a resume review and/or brief phone screen that ranks candidates based on their “fit” to the recruiting profile.
Candidate Evaluations are different and include a variety of vetting activities designed to go deeper into a few candidate’s background, experience, and talents as a way to assess the candidate’s “fit” for a particular job. Evaluations often include structured interviews, skill or aptitude assessments, reference checks, and more.
Confusing these two activities by combining them into a one step process often leads to hiring mistakes simply from exhaustion or avoidance. If, for example, a hiring manager is asked to make their hiring decision from a stack of unfiltered resumes, they can easily get over whelmed by the “stack” and will end up making a hiring decision simply to be “done” with the project.
Even in a small company its best to have someone besides the hiring manager screen candidates so that the hiring manager can focus their time evaluating candidates who have already been vetted as qualified for the job. Asking a hiring manager to both screen and evaluate, sets them up to be overwhelmed or exhausted.
Feeling overwhelmed by all the steps necessary to HIRING RIGHT? Feeling the impact of a hiring mistake? Its time to connect!
PACE services are all about helping small to medium sized businesses hire right – to find and identify the RIGHT CANDIDATES, to hire faster with less hassle, or to minimize the risks and costs of hiring mistakes.
And because PACE’s service packages are customized to fit your needs for help (and your budget) we have programs in all sizes and shapes. Whether you need a full service recruiting package that manages the recruiting process from beginning to end, or a very specific candidate evaluation service like our quick turn reference check program, PACE will provide the SMART HIRING services you need.
PACE Staffing Network is one of the Puget Sound’s premier staffing /recruiting agencies and has been helping Northwest employers find and hire the right employees for over 40 years.
A 3 time winner of the coveted “Best in Staffing” designation, PACE is ranked in the top 2% of staffing agencies nationwide based on annual surveys of customer satisfaction.
PACE services include temporary and contract staffing, temp to hire auditions, direct hire professional recruiting services, Employer of Record (payroll) services, and a large menu of candidate evaluation services our clients can purchase a la carte.
To learn more about how partnering with PACE will make a difference to how you find and hire employees, contact us at 425-637-3312 or e mail our Partner Solutions team at firstname.lastname@example.org.