How to Hire Your “A Team”
The hiring process can be difficult. First, you spend time sorting through resumes to see who meets the qualifications you are looking for. Then, you narrow the field and set up what could be dozens of interviews, for which you’ve developed the perfect stockpile of questions that will compare the candidates answers. Finally, after narrowing the field to a small group of finalists, you select a candidate and offer the job to the person that seems like they are the best fit.
Hiring a Team Instead of Individuals
When you are hiring to build a team, it is important to identify what individual and team traits you are looking for. You’ll need to approach hiring a bit differently as a result, because building a team is much different than hiring an individual to fill a role.
Hone Your Interviewing Skills and Processes
Being a skilled interviewer can make an enormous difference when screening potential candidates for a team. Many hiring leaders make the mistake of asking questions specific to the job to test the candidate’s knowledge, rather than focusing on the innate skills the candidate brings to the table. When conducting the interviews, ask open-ended questions instead to assess the candidate’s skill-set. Consider posing scenarios that can not only ascertain the candidate’s knowledge but also identify how they would respond in different situations.
Another way to help ensure one interviewer isn’t too singular in their focus is to utilize more than one interview process. Many successful companies use multiple interviewers to screen potential candidates. Others conduct multiple interviews, utilizing different individuals within the company, while still others use a panel process. No matter which approach you take, using multiple allows more than one opinion to identify the right fit for the job.
Know the Goals of the Team You Are Looking to Fill
Identifying the mission and goals of the team you’re creating before the interview process can help to identify the individuals who will help take those from concept to reality. Your company is looking to fill a need with this team, so set clear expectations of what that looks like. When the hiring team begins the search, all involved will know exactly what you are hiring for and what you may need to accomplish it.
Utilize Recruiters and Job Screeners
The internet has provided limitless platforms and methods to help identify people who could be a potentially good fit for any organization. With sites like Indeed and LinkedIn, employers can scour through an infinite number of resumes and job skills, sometimes for people who aren’t even actively searching for employment. Using recruiting services to help in that process means you can find the right candidates without waiting for them to apply. Having your positions defined, an outline of the skills you are looking for, and a defined goal for the team you are hiring can give recruiters the knowledge they need to find what you are looking for.
How to Hire the Right Person
Now you’ve identified what you are looking for and you have the goals of the team aligned, so it’s time to fill the roles. There are a few principles of hiring that can help bring the right people into your organization.
Be Creative and Challenging
Every candidate will prepare for the “tell me a little about yourself” or “where do you want to be in five years” questions. Often, nothing is really gained from those answers other than prepared statements. Instead of asking the standard questions, find ways for candidates to think on their feet. Pose questions and scenarios you think they aren’t expecting. For example, maybe you want to run a simulation in the interview to see how they respond. The possibilities of an interview are endless, so don’t think you have to rely on the same old methods.
Encourage Current Employees to be Part of the Process
As the head of a company, your goal is for the company to be successful and to build a reputation as a good leader. What about the employees that will be working with the individuals you bring on board? They will ultimately be the ones that are working with your new team members every day, so take time to find out what new hire qualities will help them be better at their jobs as well. If the team is cohesive, then the company can be successful. An added benefit is that employees will feel that their opinion matters, and they aren’t just another cog in the wheel.
How to Hire Employees for a Startup
Startups often have an entirely different approach to hiring than established companies. The needs of a startup are much different, and they may not be able to offer the same incentive packages as larger companies that would naturally attract high performing candidates. Often, startups are looking for people that can bring new and fresh ideas to the table to keep the company growing while competing with companies that already have a solid reputation.
Here are some tips to hire for startups.
Of course, standard interviewing and hiring practices dictate that you should assess and compare all candidates. When interviewing for a startup, you will want to be additionally certain that your process allows all candidates to be compared equally across identical parameters. This way, you’ll have truly comparable data. References should also be a part of this process. Startups want to protect what they are building and knowing a candidate’s background can alleviate worry of ulterior motives.
Diversify the Interviewers
Using a diverse group of interviewers that are a blend of company leaders as well as employees can help to bring in the right talent for your startup. Having multiple perspectives on a candidate can help you evaluate their cohesiveness with your current employees. This also allows your employees to use their passion for your company to help identify the right person.
Put Candidates Through a Trial Run
Invite potential candidates to job shadow for a day or two on site and see how they interact with the employees and startup management. Create a project that they can work on during that time and observe the results. With multiple candidates, this creates an additional opportunity to compare them. You can not only see how they approach the work you assign, but how they utilize resources and how their ideas mesh with yours.
How to Hire Employees for a Small Business
When a small business decides to hire, the decision is usually first and foremost based on need. Small businesses generally operate on smaller budgets, meaning the decision to hire an additional employee will cost money, both in salary and in benefits. Deciding between a need and a want in the hiring process could be a critical decision for the future of the company. Start by using your data to determine the projected growth of your company and decide if an additional person is needed or if you may simply need to redefine roles and adjust salaries to meet your goals. This could save money in the long run.
If you determine you need to hire, consider the following.
Employees vs. Contractors
There may be opportunities to bring your team the support you desire through a contractor instead of an employee. As mentioned, hiring an employee means special considerations for salary plus any benefits you offer, such as insurance, paid time off, retirement, and more. When you utilize a contractor for the work, they serve an independent entity who is responsible for their own benefits, tools, and resources. In most cases, you will pay a temporary salary or a flat fee but save costs in other areas. However, you must also determine the longevity of the position. If it is a permanent position, you will want to hire an employee. If it is temporary or if you are unsure, you may wish to start with a contractor instead.
Wow Them with the Job Description
As a small business, you are competing with the big fish in your niche, so make your position stand out. Create a posting that is unique, creative, and inviting, and allows the personality of your company to show through. Larger companies often seem more attractive because people may subconsciously think they are more stable, so consider what you can do as an employer to instill confidence. Then, show them who you are.
Utilize Online Resources
As a small business, people may not have heard about your company before. Use the internet to your advantage and post the position on job seeking websites. Not only does this give you an outlet to get your name out there, but it also puts you on equal footing with larger corporations.
You’re Ready to Interview and Hire
Utilize many of the interviewing techniques discussed throughout this blog when you are ready to screen your candidates. After all, good hiring is good hiring. Remember, you aren’t hiring a skill, you are hiring a person. That means you need to make sure your interview process allows you to evaluate the person and not just their knowledge of the job.
Hire a Team For Growth and Success
Utilizing the right hiring techniques to hire a team that can meet your needs can take your business to the next level. To hire your best team, you don’t have to reinvent the hiring wheel. However, it is important to review your hiring process to make sure you have the right system in place to bring on board the candidates that will help you continue your growth. You are providing an opportunity for a job, but the job is creating an opportunity for your company. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you maximize every aspect of the hiring process—you never know when your future team leader is sitting across from you.