Hiring the right people can make a world of difference in the success of your business, but many business owners do not approach hiring in the right manner and often make the same mistakes. Here are 10 of the most important principles to follow:
1. Look into candidates’ backgrounds. No matter what candidates include on their resumes, you need to conduct some due diligence. If you are serious about specific candidates, make sure their work history is accurate, and check at least a reference or two. In addition, it’s helpful to check their background.
2. Don’t be overly influenced by advanced degrees. Candidates with plenty of letters after their names have certainly worked hard to earn their degrees. But there is no substitute for real-world business experience, and people often make the mistake of overlooking candidates with track records but not degrees. Note: this does not apply, however, to specialized fields that require advanced degrees.
3. Have a long-range plan. Hiring someone to fill a current need can help you through a busy time. However, unless you’re hiring someone on a temporary basis, you need a long-range plan for that employee beyond your immediate need, including how you plan to develop him or her, and how he or she fits in with your company’s long-range plans.
4. Don’t make promises you cannot keep. It can be a very costly mistake to make promises that are not well thought out. Know ahead of time what you can and cannot offer a prospective employee. 5. Hire for all the right reasons. If you’re doing your cousin a favor or are impressed by the way someone looks or talks, you may not be influenced by the right criteria. Your focus should always be on the best candidate for the job.
6. Conduct a good interview. It’s important to ask the right questions to determine whether a candidate is right for the position and fits into your company.
7. Look for a good fit. If you hire someone who does not fit in with the team’s chemistry, you may find yourself with unnecessary problems.
8. Give offer letters. Offer letters list all the important details, including the starting salary, bonus structure, start date, at-will status, and benefit information.
9. Be prepared. You can easily make a hiring mistake when you’re not prepared for the interview and hiring process. Know the questions you want to ask and the type of employee you’re looking for. Also be ready to explain the position and answer questions about the company.
10. Don’t expect too much. A common problem these days is looking for one person to save a sinking ship. An unrealistic, lengthy list of qualifications and background requirements — as frequently seen in employment ads — creates a situation where you settle for someone whom you think can do a little of everything, but does not excel in the key areas. Narrow your focus to the most important aspects of the position.