Hiring is one of the most difficult things you will ever do as a business owner, but it’s also one of the most important. A bad hire can cost your business money, time, and resources that you don’t have. However, if you want to be successful at hiring highly-qualified people to take your business further, you have to be proactive.
Sadly, most companies aren’t proactive in the way that they hire new staff. They tend to leave it until they desperately need to fill a position. This approach means they put out ads, wait for all of the applications to come in, and then decide who to hire after reviewing their qualifications.
The problem with this strategy is that it often leads to hiring people based on “gut feeling,” or worse still — you only consider the easily available options.
But when it comes to hiring the right people, you should not be rushed. If you hire the wrong person, you will waste your time and money, so you should take your time to make the right choice.
The four ways you can find and hire the right people for your business, from my perspective as an executive recruiter working for the Fortune 1000, are to:
Let’s take a closer look at each of these executive recruitment strategies.
Before hiring anyone new to your team, define your goals. What kind of an employee are you looking for, and how will they fit your company culture? Identifying your ideal employee before hiring is the best way to attract qualified applicants.
The first step is determining what qualifications a successful applicant will have. Start by listing all of the skills that are needed. Then list any attributes that would be beneficial but aren’t necessarily required. Include soft skills such as working independently without supervision or having a positive attitude.
This information helps you establish baseline criteria that all candidates must meet before consideration. The minimum qualifications may include:
The required qualifications will be what makes or breaks a “qualified candidate”, so you’ll want to put extra thought into this list. It should contain only those qualities essential for the position — if you can remove an item from the list and still have a good idea of what kind of employee you’re looking for, it shouldn’t be part of your required qualifications as this only limits your prospects.
First, clearly define your company’s objectives for applicants applying to your position. A few questions to consider include: What is the role of this position? How can this new hire improve your company? Why should someone want to work for you?
Be clear about what you need.
Whether you’re looking to hire an employee, contractor, or consultant, it helps to be clear about exactly what you want and need these people to do. The better you can define the position in advance, the easier it will be to seek out qualified applicants.
Hiring isn’t just about what the person can do and how they interact with others. They will influence your culture, so make sure you hire a person who will be a good cultural fit.
As part of a job interview, you can easily get answers to questions about a candidate’s skills and experience. But how can you tell if their values match your company’s or if their personality complements the team? These are more difficult to assess during a job interview.
To pinpoint the ideal skills and qualities for people in your company, define what kind of culture you have. If you clearly define your company values, they can help you identify the attributes you should be looking for in candidates. You can also analyze the skills and qualities of current employees who are successful in their jobs.
Use these insights to create a list of criteria that will help you find and hire the right person for your position.
Locating the right person for a job takes more than just relying on resumes and interviews; it takes a combination of screening, interviewing, and skill testing to ensure that your new employee is qualified to do the job — and will be able to get along with your existing team.
Here are some tips for finding and hiring the best candidate after you’ve outlined your job qualifications, company objectives, and company culture:
Let’s examine each of these cost-saving recruitment tips.
Job ads are ideal for diversifying your candidates and seeking qualified applicants. When posting a job ad, make sure to list the job description, salary range, and benefits offered.
Consider posting in different locations and places that are relevant to your industry. For instance, if you’re hiring an accountant, try posting at a local college or trade school with an accounting program.
Hiring someone within your professional network will help ensure that the person you hire is qualified for the position and will fit in well with your company culture. Networking events are great places to meet new people and connect with potential candidates.
The most cost-effective way to hire is through word-of-mouth referrals from current employees or other contacts you trust, like board members or fellow executives. They may know someone looking for a new opportunity or refer someone they think would be a good fit for your company based on their experience working with them in the past.
Recruiting firms or search firms provide talent acquisition services for a fee. These companies are often confused with staffing firms, which place temporary, contract, and project-based employees in jobs. A recruiting firm may place people in temporary positions, but it primarily focuses on placing talent in full-time direct hire jobs.
Hiring a recruiting firm is often a wise decision. Recruiting firms work with companies like yours to find qualified candidates all the time. They are best suited to fill positions that are hard to fill.
There are plenty of great candidates out there, so it’s up to you to find them. Having a clear vision and a well-defined position will help you attract the right people when you are ready to engage in executive recruitment for your C-suite.
Understanding what sets each candidate apart will help you hire the right person for your team. Even after making a job offer, you must not take anything for granted. Once the new hire starts working, invest time in building a strong relationship with that person to ensure the best fit for everyone involved.
Our top-ranked executive recruiters have experience working with private, public, pre-IPO, and non-profit organizations. Clients are typically $50 million in revenue to Fortune 1000’s or have assets between $500 million to $15 billion. Successful placements span the entire C-Suite – CEO, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and include vice president, general counsel, and other director-level leadership roles.
Cowen Partners delivers 3X more qualified candidates than the competition. Through our proven retained executive search process, we find, vet, and deliver the top 1% of candidates for positions across the C-suite. Our process works for all industries, including technology, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, real estate, financial service, private equity, and more.
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