It's that time again: School's about to start and the "now hiring!" posts seem to be everywhere on Facebook. How can you make sure that you'll pick the right person to join your team? Here are some tips to help you hire wisely, selected from an article by Jeff Shore on Entrepeneur.com. We've chosen a few highlights for the passage below; read them and then check out the full post.
If there is but one consistent business discipline that defines success, it would most certainly be the ability to hire great talent. The right person can help you launch your company to new heights, while the wrong person can almost single-handedly scuttle your hard work and effort.
Consider these steps to ensure you are bringing on only the best and the brightest.
- Remember that you are hiring for a team. Bringing just one new person onto a team can dramatically change the culture of the entire organization, and the entire organization is counting on you to do it right.
- Cultivate referrals. Your team knows how to spot potential rock stars, so ask them for referrals -- regularly. But if a referral candidate isn’t an upgrade to your current team, pass! Even if it means ruffling the feathers of the referring team member.
- Pre-screen candidates over the phone. How many times do you ruefully recognize within the first two minutes of an interview that you will never, ever hire this person? Avoid these painful interviews by spending five minutes on the phone before setting up a face-to-face meeting. If a simple phone conversation is a struggle, well...
- Abandon the cliché questions. Don’t waste valuable interview time asking the same stinking questions asked during every other stinking interview. Focus on behavior-based questions that relate to the actual job -- "Tell me about a time when you had to ..." -- and you will gain fantastic insight.
- Gain team consensus. The responses of your team members -- positive, negative or neutral -- can tell you a great deal about a candidate's potential fit. If you sense tension even before you hire someone that might be all the information you need.
- Check references. This sounds obvious, but it is shocking how many people skip this step. The key is listening for the things you don't hear! If past employers and colleagues don't speak knowingly and glowingly about a candidate’s work, then keep looking.
- Follow up with every candidate. Everyone you interview deserves a follow-up phone call or letter. You can safely assume that most candidates experience a fair amount of anxiety in the days after the interview. Show some respect by giving them a clear and timely answer.
How do you find your rock star employees? What characteristics do you think are most essential in a collegiate retail environment?