Finding and hiring the right employee

Aug. 4, 2014
It takes more than reading a resume to find just the right addition to your company.

Over the past couple of months, I’ve had an opportunity to speak with operators and I was surprised to hear a common obstacle: how hard it is to attract and hire the right person. However, out of all the issues that arise with owning a business, this is a problem that can be a good thing to have.

For those of you that are large enough to employ someone dedicated to the human resource function in your company, be thankful. However, for a majority of you, you’re not only the owner, but you’re also the one doing all and any of your hiring. If you’re like me, you probably didn’t graduate college with a degree in HR. The most experience I could draw from was when I was a manager at a business while I was in college. My requirements back then were pretty simple. I was looking for anyone who was interested in working with dogs and could work on the weekends.

Hiring is an investment

As you probably know by now, hiring a new employee to fill an existing position or a new position available is an investment. I’ve seen reports that the cost for a company are anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000. Now, most of us wouldn’t take the issue of spending $50,000 lightly, so we must not take the task of hiring a new employee any less seriously. How can you ensure that you are investing wisely in the next employee that you bring into your operation? The best thing you can do is start reading. Out of all the materials that I came across on “Selecting and hiring the right employee” here are the main points that I found. Have a clear job description of the position that you are hiring for. What would you like this person to be responsible of? What skills must they have? Ask anyone who might be interacting with this person or those that also handle the position what they find to be key skills needed.

Read with a critical eye

Review their resume carefully and prescreen your applicants. Anyone can look good on paper, so before you set up a time to bring them in, why not schedule a phone call with this person before deciding if you’d like to speak with them further. This is especially helpful when trying to see if the position that you are hiring for is within their salary expectations. Next is the interview which is the most critical part. Again, while we’ve all heard horror stories of some interviews, on the norm, everyone is putting their best foot forward the minute they step into your business. However, most people let their guard down a bit when they aren’t in your office. So maybe take the applicant out to lunch. You drive and ask some general questions. You can start to gain reactions when people don’t think they are “on the record”. Unless you’ve been expertly trained, it’s not easy to gain insight to someone’s personality and how they would mesh with your existing environment. Don’t take the task of hiring someone all on your shoulders. Invite feedback from everyone to gain an overall perspective.

Lastly, don’t forget to follow up on references and don’t shy away from calling their former places of employment to gain insight from their former supervisor. It’s great to hear operations are growing creating the need to find good people to work for you- but be sure to protect your investment wisely.