Given the current economic reality, many managers are facing hard decisions regarding staff levels. However, now is also a great time to put out the help wanted sign, smart hiring can make the difference when the recovery comes.
As discussed in Staff Reductions, the Most Difficult Decision, you should carefully consider your business model in terms of today’s reality. What got you here won’t get you there. This will, in all likelihood, require some adjustments to the skills and capabilities of your employee.
Smart hiring, i.e., hiring the right staff for where you are headed may be the #1 business decision you can make in terms of long-term impact on your business. Your employees drive your competitive advantage, they find the innovative solutions, they are your business.
Early in my career the ad agency I worked for selected me to be in charge of hiring Account Executives for a year. This was a big honor given to up-and-coming Account Supervisors. Doing a good job meant further advancement. It was a big responsibility. I was terrified. How do I hire the best employees?
There are three key factors to consider when finding and interviewing potential new employees: can do, will do and fit.
- Can they do the job that needs doing? This is usually answered by the resume. Do they have the required skills, education, experience?
- Will they do the job the way your business needs it done? This is something to explore in the interview. What’s the approach they take to fulfill the job requirements? What’s their approach to conflict resolution? What’s their approach to leadership?
- Will they fit into the team? Fit is the hardest and possibly most important factor. It’s a judgment call so, if you aren’t confident in your skills in this area, involve others in the hiring process. It’s very important that the new employee complements the established culture in your business.
- And last but not least, don’t hire cookie cutter people. You want a mix of personalities and styles on your team. This may cause some conflict but that’s not a bad thing if you’ve built a culture where respect is the foundation. Music without dissonance is beyond boring.