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8 simple steps to Hiring Right People

Hiring the right people for your business isn’t as straightforward as you think. Finding someone with the skills you need is just the first step. Here’s our eight simple steps to get you the right people you need to help your business flourish.

Bernadette Eichner
Bernadette Eichner
Coworkers having a lively discussion around a table

Hiring the right people for your business isn’t as straightforward as you think. Finding someone with the skills you need is just the first step.

A business flourishes when the people in it are happy, productive and willing to go the extra mile when required. And none of these things have anything to do with how fast someone can type, how accurately they can add up, or how technically savvy they are.

So, how do you make sure you’re not only getting the skills you need but hiring right people for your beloved business?

The trick is to start at the very beginning…

1. Understand your company culture

The famous playwright William Shakespeare once wrote, “To thine own self be true” and this applies to company culture as well. Most companies have a mission statement or similar up on the wall because someone has told them they should.

But most don’t really walk the talk. Before you can hire the right people, you need to know what you’re hiring. What do you actually want your company culture to be? What do you value in people? What experience do you want your customers to have?

Once you know this, and I mean honestly know it, you can profile the type of personality that will succeed and add value to your offering.

2. Be clear about the job you want them to do

A solid Job Description is the starting point of every successful hiring project.

Be specific about what this person will be critically responsible for. Stay away from vague things like “Assist management when required.” Assist them do what?

When people are confident about what they are meant to do and what is expected of them, they’ll almost always perform to the standard you want.

3. Screen for integrity, honesty and that “will do” attitude right up front

As part of your initial screening process you might consider adding in a short integrity test to weed out those that might appear on paper to be a strong candidate but aren’t the type of person you want in the team.

There are a few great online assessment tools around, but we find JobFit to be the easiest to administer, the most reliable in terms of results and the most budget friendly.

4. Use behavioural interview questions to understand candidates more deeply

The best way to understand how someone is likely to behave is to ask them one of behavioural interview questions. For example, about a time when…

  • “Tell me about a time when you were in conflict with your Manager. What was the situation, what did you do and what was the outcome?”

  • “Tell me about a time when you went the extra mile for a customer. What was the situation, what did you do and what was the outcome?”

What they perceive as a conflict or going the extra mile is the first test of their suitability for your business – staying behind for 5 minutes to finish a call rather than hand it off to the next shift is hardly going the extra mile and being asked to stay behind to complete the call isn’t a conflict with your Manager!

5. Be careful of the common psychological traps when you’re interviewing

We are all human and therefore prone to human frailties, one of the most common psychological trap being stereotyping, where we assume certain things about someone based on their ethnicity, skin colour, clothing, or anything else that is external; and ingroup bias, where we assume that anyone from a similar background with similar interests to us also has similar values.

The most common stereotyping is around appearance – for example, most of the population believes that the most attractive person in the room is also the smartest. Someone who dresses conservatively is probably inflexible and rigid in their thinking. A person of colour doesn’t have the same values as us. Yep, pretty flawed thinking, right?

If you’re aware of this very human tendency to judge people based on things that have nothing to do with skills, experience and personal values and can stay focussed on their answers to the behavioural questions, you’ll find that there are right people everywhere.

6. Conduct thorough reference checks

By thorough, I don’t mean a quick bunch of closed questions like:

  • “Did they turn up on time every day?”
  • “Did they take many sick days?”
  • “Did they get on well with the team?”

Sadly, this is what most recruiters do – sit there with a checklist of templated questions. A good reference check should take almost as long as the candidate interview did – you really want to understand how your candidate behaves in all sorts of situations that are specific to your business and the only way to truly know this is ask for the evaluation of someone who was there in their previous life.

Ask questions like:

  • “Tell me about a time when [candidate name] was in conflict with you – how did they handle it?”
  • “How did [candidate] manage his/her internal team relationships?”
  • “What would you say was the greatest value [candidate] brought to the company?”

That sort of thing will get you way more information than a bunch of closed questions from a template.

7. Psychometric assessment for shortlisted candidates to determine fit for the job

So, by now you know how you feel about the candidate and what others believe to be true about them. The last recommended piece of the hiring puzzle is around testing for “fit” – not just in terms of organisational fit but suitability for the actual role, based on what we know about the job and the requirements.

Again, we recommend the JobFit tool – this will give you six reports, one of which will actually suggest the questions you should ask at the final interview to do one last check for that specific characteristic.

For example, someone has scored a bit low on the “quick learner” characteristic but not so low we’d be too concerned. Your report will give you three suggested questions to ask that will drill down a bit further, so you can then feel really confident of your candidate’s ability to grasp new things quickly.

8. Give them a proper induction when they start

The first four hours, the first four days and the first four weeks are critical to your new hire’s level of engagement with your business.

Make sure they are properly welcomed when they turn up on their first day, have their desk ready, have their computer set up and have a solid sit down face to face “here’s who we are and what we do” induction session.

At the end of the first morning you want your new recruit to be feeling that their decision to join you was the right one. By the end of the first month, you want them willingly giving their heart and soul to the job. And this comes down to the effort you put in to making them feel welcome and valued.

Hiring right people every time is all about staying true to the process

A solid process is everything, whether it be baking a cake, diagnosing an illness, building a bridge or lodging your tax return, trusting the process is what takes the stress out of the task and provides a sense of security around the outcome.

Hiring right people is no different. From understanding your company culture to having a solid induction program in place, each step in the process is designed to advance the safety and security of the end product. In this case, getting the absolute best person not only for the job but for your team.

Professional recruitment and fair pricing? Yes, it‘s possible!

At Just Right People Recruitment we‘ll give you the flexibility to choose between three different pricing models. And we guarantee each one will deliver a high-quality recruitment outcome tailored to your job, your budget and your specific needs. Now, that’s fair!

Learn more…

Bernadette Eichner
Bernadette Eichner

Bernadette Eichner, Cofounder and CEO of Just Right People, is a recruitment industry entrepreneur and thought leader in Australia, totally committed to improving the recruiter experience for clients and candidates alike. Her secret to life is to “just do the next thing that needs to be done”.

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