What Are the Best Practices in Hiring?

Hiring is one of the most important things business leadership can do. Hiring top performers can help your company grow and be successful. Conversely, if you hire the wrong people, your business can tank. Make sure you deploy best practices when you’re expanding the company.

New hires need to have a clear set of expectations.

1. Be clear about the job requirements and position.

If hiring managers are very busy, it can be tempting to use an old, outdated job description or to start reviewing resumes and interviewing without a firm job description. However, the first thing that needs to be done for an open position is to make sure that you have a clear job description, itemizing the qualifications required and the responsibilities and core competencies of the position.

Why? Because the job description can act as a template for the new hire’s career. You will interview and screen on the basis of it. The responsibilities can then become the expectations of performance once a person is hired.

Many managers prefer to work without a firm job description because they think it’s preferable to see how the person shapes up once hired. However, leaving job responsibilities ambiguous, or having too many of them, can also be chaotic for the business and demotivating for the employee. Create a job description.

Plan an interview that assesses both skills and cultural fit.

2. Hire for a combination of skills and cultural fit.

It’s common to look for a combination of hard skills and cultural fit. Hard skills are tasks and competencies that require education or specific experience, like an accountant knowing accounting principles. Cultural fit, of course, includes the intangibles that can make a new hire a valuable addition to the company immediately.

You need to ensure that anyone hired has both. Without the proper hard skills or sufficient mastery of them, the person may fail and put your company in jeopardy. Without affinities or perspectives in common with other employees, the person may feel unhappy – and may ultimately be rejected by the rest of the staff entirely.

So, screen for both. Hard skills are ascertainable via testing or trial assignments. Assessing cultural fit is not as precise, but make sure to observe the person during the interview process. Does the candidate show a sense of humor similar to other team members? Ask open-ended questions, such as “tell us about a time you were happy at work?” These kinds of questions can help you define what the interviewee finds important and what makes him or her happy, which is an indicator of cultural fit.

3. Manage employees’ perceptions of your company.

It’s important to manage potential employees’ perceptions of your company. Why? Because reviews on sites like Glassdoor.com and other sites can be negative or neutral. Whether they are accurate or not, they can turn qualified people away from your company. Your company’s values and goals need to be public-facing and clear.

Make sure that your website has a statement of mission and goals. Emphasize your benefits and promotional programs for employees, if that’s appropriate.

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