For most business owners, hiring is one of the top challenges they face in growing their businesses. Putting the right employees in place is paramount in freeing you up to work on your business instead of in it. In a recent NY Report webinar sponsored by the New York City Department of Small Business Services, “Successful Recruiting Today for Tomorrow’s ‘A’ Players,” director of talent acquisition for Workforce Engine Jennifer Scott provided tips on how to recruit the best employees for your company.
1. Write a Great Job Description
Writing or updating your job description is the first place to start. You need to be clear about the title of the position, the function, and the purpose. She suggests including the answers to the following questions in your job descriptions:
- What is the candidate going to be absolutely responsible for?
- How is success going to be measured?
- What requirements are a must?
- What kinds of skills are needed?
Scott says that you also need to realize that not all “A” players are going to be right for your organization. Every business should consider the four factors to success: capacity, attitude, personality, and skills, or CAPS. Does the person have the capacity to do the job? Does he or she have the right attitude? Does his or her personality fit into the organization culture? Finally, does the person have the required skills or the ability to learn the skills needed?
2. Advertise the Job
There are four major components to creating an effective job ad. The first component is to use job-specific, industry-specific, and function-specific keywords. The second is a great headline that will immediately attract applications to your company’s job description over the competition. An example of a great headline might be “Enthusiastic Entrepreneurial General Manager Needed for Growing Organization,” because it uses key words and reveals a bit about the job itself, Scott says. Third is the pitch, which is the most important part, according to Scott. Businesses must consider the prospective employee and write the job advertisement with these questions in mind:
- Why would a potential employee want to work at your company?
- Is there room for growth?
- What purpose is this job going to serve?
- Why would someone care to do this job?
Scott emphasizes that this pitch should not include every detail of the job description, but should only list the critical responsibilities of the employee.
Lastly, you’ll want to make sure you are clear on how the person can apply and how they can contact you if needed.
3. Creative Sourcing
Your website’s career page is a great place to post available jobs. It’s the best place to give applicants an idea of who you are, what your company has to offer, and why they would want to work for you. Employee referrals, college campus recruiting, and employment agencies and temp services are also great ways to get the word out about not only your job opening, but also your brand, says Scott.
In addition to the above traditional methods, web sourcing with social media can be a creative way to find employees. Add a photo to your company’s Facebook or Pinterest that links back to your career page.
The last, but potentially most important sourcing idea, is through what Scott refers to as the “world of mouth.” “Communication is absolutely critical to a positive candidate experience,” she says. It’s important to maintain good communication during the interview process, because what a candidate thinks about your business practices, whether hired or not, can ultimately be shared with other potential candidates through word of mouth. This can have an effect on the reputation of your business and can also affect whether “A” players want to apply for a job with your company.
4. Selection Process
After a review of candidates’ credentials and resumes, Scott suggests screening candidates by phone. A quick five-minute phone call can save you a lot of time in the end. If a specific candidate seems like a good fit, you can continue the process.
When you have a candidate in mind, you should give him or her an assessment. This could include a quick multiple choice test, a personality test, a competency test, or an aptitude test. Every company should get candidates to perform a task they would do on the job through work samples and simulations, says Scott.
The last step in the selection process is the interview. According to Scott, the best way to interview a candidate is in person, while video interviewing is the second best way. Scott almost always recommends at least two interviews during this process and, for very senior positions, even three; the last one should always be done in person. Companies should be sure to include more than one employee in the interview process. “The single person interview is probably one of the worst ways to do an interview,” says Scott. “Interviews are very subjective. At the very least, have two people doing a tandem interview with each candidate.” This allows for validation and ensures that it’s not just one opinion being considered, she says. It is also helpful for the candidate to see the workplace after the interview, or shadow someone so he or she knows what a daily routine might look like.
Ultimately, Scott says that it’s important to attract “A” players to your business because they are intrinsically motivated, resourceful, and they consistently produce; they also prefer to surround themselves with other “A” players, which is why you should aim to build the best team possible. “Likeminded people like to work together, and when you’re all working together and you’re all top-notch, it actually makes working fun,” says Scott.
Kate Riley is the editorial intern at NY Report. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.