Today’s article will help you find and hire the most appropriate employees for the specific positions you need them in. You’ll learn everything you need to know from the moment the need for another person arises and up until the new hire is fully integrated into the company.
People are probably most difficult part of a business. Everyone has their own personality, their own needs, and their own goals. But to know how to effectively choose the best people for specific roles and then nurture those relationships on an ongoing basis is worth its weight in gold.
Though this article provides a few key insights on how to manage the people you already have, it’s more focused on hiring the ones you don’t have, yet. If that’s something of interest to you, I invite you to keep reading.
-1. Do It Yourself
Before you even think of hiring, I suggest you start with putting yourself in that role, first.
Stated another way: Do not hire someone for a role you haven’t personally done.
One might say “But I don’t know accounting.” Well then the answer is obvious: Take an accounting class. In most cases they’re inexpensive, can be found in any city, and can teach you the basics of accounting.
“I don’t know marketing.” Pick up a book or find an article online and learn it. There are millions. Just dedicate time to learn it, to be a part of that role, at least for a week, or more if you can.
The scope of this is to give you enough knowledge and a bit of experience to be able to distinguish between two people for the role.
You will then be able to understand from a 30-60 minute conversation with someone whether they actually know what they’re talking about or not.
If you don’t do this before you even consider hiring. Then what happens is you talk to three people and you’ll have no idea of their level of competence.
You don’t understand the industry-specific language, the tools they use, nor much of anything else for that matter.
0. Write A Great Offer
The second thing I suggest you focus a significant amount of time and consideration towards is writing a very clear, very specific offer. This is crucial if you want to pre-filter applicants before you even talk to them.
Holding interviews is very time-consuming and drains you quite a bit because you need to pay full attention at every meeting so you can make the right decision.
To avoid wasting time talking with people you won’t hire either way, your offer should contain the following points:
- A clear position title. Avoid things like “Superstar” if you’re not in the movie business. Just write “Community Manager (Social Media)” for example.
- A short description of your company and where they can go to learn more. In general, you want to avoid people that just want a job, and see if there are people out there that relate to your business specifically.
- The benefits and perk they’d enjoy in your team. Remember, if they’re truly the right person, then they’ll add immense value to your business, so make sure your offer is attractive.
- A short description of the role and the perfect person.
- Requirements, in terms of knowledge and experience.
- Bonus points for. Generally things they can pick up fast.
- Their specific, day-to-day duties and responsibilities.
- Next steps. I recommend you always ask for a cover letter.
Important note here: Even though your offer might perfectly state what you want, the wrong people might still apply. This happens all the time. Simply tell them you haven’t decided yet on who to hire and go to the next applicant.
But, if you execute on these first two steps (-1 and 0) correctly, you’ll significantly increase your chances of talking to the right people and making a correct decision.
Now let’s see what to look for and figure out on the interview call.
For every role you hire there is a specific personality, or a combination of personalities, that can excel in that role. There are 4 personality types: Dominant, Influent, Stable, and Conscious. Or DISC for short.
Depending on your personality type, you might excel or perform poorly in a specific role. For example, imagine a person that’s dominant and influent. They love getting results, going out, being active, talking to people, interacting, and so on.
Imagine that person put into the position of an accountant. Someone who needs to be detail oriented, that needs to look at every single number from huge spreadsheets, and that’ needs to do everything by the books.
It’s very unlikely they will perform well and they will be happy within the role. It’s much better to have someone that’s conscious and stable. They like being patient, to be a master of their craft. That’s a very good accountant or lawyer.
Let’s take another example: Someone in marketing. It’s very useful if the person in marketing is influent and conscious. An influent person loves talking to people, interacting, socializing, and tends to be more creative. And because they’re conscious, they care about their work. They look at the words and think “How can I make this message/article better?”
This is very important whenever you hire for any role.
2. Cultural Fit
This is very important and I can’t stress this enough, esp. because so many business owners or managers ignore this completely. They want to hire someone in a role and say “Ah, OK. Your CV looks good and the interviews went well. Come onboard!”
That is not how to go after it. We in Wesrom are very, very strict about our culture and, in general, all of the companies that get to become successful have this cultural mindset. They want people to be a certain way.
Not everyone the same, but they should have similar values and synergy between each other. For example, one of our core values at Wesrom is Work Hard. Another one is Be Committed.
If I talk about someone who talks about their past and says: “Well I delivered that… It wasn’t good enough, but they didn’t care, so I didn’t care. That’s a red flag for me.
A much better mindset, from our perspective, is: “If they didn’t care, F them. I’m going to work for a company that actually cares.”
That’s what I want to hear from a person. If I hear that, I know this person will over-deliver in their role. Same goes for checking all other values.
3. Competence in Role
This is something I personally overlooked in the past. I had the mindset that if they have a great personality and they’re a great cultural fit, that’s enough. But it’s not.
Many times the applicant might have a great personality. They’re very friendly, they’re nice, and they have the specific personality traits you’re looking for. More so, they also seem like they integrate perfectly within the team.
I’ve personally made the mistake before and hope I will never make it anymore. It costs so much time and money to try to grow someone in a specific role, just to realize it’s all wasted because they’re not really happy there.
For example, a person on marketing can be very good at writing clear, concise, educative articles, but they’re very bad at social media. Or vice versa.
In the case you need someone to be good at both, then neither of the two above will do. Or if one of them strongly expresses the desire to become good at both, then you can consider them.
But again, the keywords here are “strong desire,” not just “I can learn that also.” People that hire have to be smart and analyze the specific words and tone of voice of applicants.
Of course, it takes a ton of practice to become good at distinguishing between applicants, but mastering this skill will help you make the right choices from the beginning, before moving on to the next phases of the hiring process.
4. Probation Period
Hiring doesn’t stop when the person is in your company. Thinking that will hurt your business more than you think. The hiring process stops only when the new hire is fully included in the company.
“We let time tell whether they’re a good fit or not” is BS. Don’t be lazy. Take the time to consider what a new member would need from you, in terms of logistics, training materials, guidance, feedback, and so on.
If you don’t have one already, I highly recommend developing an A-Z hiring process that considers every step on the new hire’s journey. The one we have in Wesrom has a couple hundred action steps and tips at each stage.
This stage specifically, the probation period, is very important. If done correctly, it’s the part in which you get to see whether you’ve chosen the right person or not. If yes, congrats. If not, you’re 3 months behind on hiring the right person. Better get someone else asap.
For us, this period lasts 3 months. It can be less or more for you, but we found 12 weeks is a good amount. During this time, you should check up on the new hire and provide feedback as often as possible.
Again, don’t leave things to chance — don’t be lazy. Take responsibility for making sure they have everything they need and their work is aligned with your expectations.
The easiest way I’ve found to do this is to put myself in the mindset that I’m 100% responsible for every output the new hire produces. I don’t really delegate, I share the responsibility, and I’m there with them to make sure it gets done correctly.
In the first 2 weeks, I suggest you have a daily meeting to go over everything they did in the past 24 hours. These don’t need to be long, but they tell the new hire you care and are there for them if they need anything.
Afterward, you can transition to weekly meetings. These are much less frequent, but still very effective in keeping the new hire motivated, on track, and aligned with company-wide standards.
5. Employee Development Meetings
I got this term from The E-Myth Revisited book by Michael Gerber. The only difference is in Wesrom I swapped the word Employee with Member, which fits better into our democratic culture.
These meetings are an opportunity for you as a manager or team leader to connect with your members. During these 30-60 minute sessions, you might talk about work for 5-10 minutes. Everything else should be just about you and the other person.
You want to know them as people. What they do on the weekend or in their free time, what they like or dislike, what books they’re reading, and everything else that defines who they are as people.
People appreciate these and you should appreciate them because you get to know and bond with each individual on your team on a much deeper level.
I suggest you do these meetings as often as you can. At the beginning of Wesrom we would do these weekly, but now we have too many members and we do them monthly.
And yes, I block dozens of hours out every single month to connect with my team. If that sounds like a burden to you, you’re either not effectively running your business, or you don’t like your employees so much.
In either case, something needs to change, and hiring great people can be the solution.
I know this entire process might seem like a lot of effort, but I can tell you with all honesty, there is no more important part of your business than the people in it.
True, money is the lifeblood of a business. But the people within the company are similar to organs. Each individual one has its own role and is important. Any one of those fails to work correctly and the entire system suffers.
Help your employees become world-class and they’ll help your company become world-class.
I hope this article proved valuable for you. If you have any questions, leave a comment below or send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lastly, I’d highly appreciate it if you’d share this article with at least one other person you think would benefit hiring and nurturing great people.
To your continued success,