Four steps for hiring success: choosing the right person

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Business Station

Four steps for hiring success: choosing the right person

The right employee can take your business to the next level but choosing the right person can be difficult if you don’t know what (or who) you’re looking for. Searching for an employee adds to your workload and the daily pressures of running your business, which is difficult enough, and then there’s also the pressure of making the right choice! Often, it isn’t as simple as choosing someone who seems the best on paper or in person. Here are four steps to make hiring the right employee easier.

1. Create an achievement roadmap

A new employee is an investment in your business, so it’s best to approach the hiring process with a structured plan in place. An achievement roadmap will give you a clear picture of the new job’s (and employee’s) requirements. To create an achievement roadmap, list out what the employee would need to achieve in the first 3, 6, or 12 months of their role.

For example, if you’re running a café, you might want your new hire to make and plate-up coffees within 5 minutes of orders being placed. If you’re hiring a marketing assistant, you might want them to achieve an email campaign open-rate of 30% or higher within 6 months. Be clear about what your new employee should be achieving in their role and write it down. This roadmap will then provide you with a clear, long-term understanding of what a successful employee looks like in your business.

2. Make a skillset checklist

Once you know what your new employee needs to achieve, you can start building a checklist of the skills they’ll need to hit those achievements. An employee with the skills on your checklist will be able to complete more work in less time, compared to an employee that requires training.

If the person you’d like to hire is unfamiliar with these skills, do they have experience in similar processes that would aid or accelerate their learning? For example, a candidate might not have experience building websites in WordPress, but they may be proficient in Wix or Squarespace – chances are their experience will transfer relatively easily.

When creating your skillset checklist, also consider the amount of time you have to train someone. If you’ve got the time to skill-up your new hire, exact skills matching isn’t as important. If you’re already low on time, you’ll want someone who can step into the role and start delivering straight away.

Once your skills checklist is complete you can then use your notes as the basis of the Required Experience section of your job ad.

3. Look beyond qualifications and job titles

While qualifications and previous roles can be good indicators of job suitability, it’s also important to look at the results a candidate has achieved in their roles. Qualifications tend to reflect study outcomes, whereas concrete results highlight problem solving skills and competency in real life situations. Depending on the role you’re hiring for, this could include things such as making or increasing the number of sales a business has, reducing the time a website takes to load or successfully rolling out digital advertising campaigns. When you contact a candidate’s referees, asking about key achievements is exactly the information you need to make a successful hiring decision.

4. Check value alignment

If an employee‘s personal values align with those of your business, they’re more likely to be engaged with their role and produce better results. Value alignment also increases the importance an employee places on their achievements – leading to higher levels of focus and effort. For example, if your business values sustainability, an employee who shares this value will feel proud, passionate and inspired about their work and what they can achieve in their role. You can get a sense of your candidate’s values through their cover letter and resume, which may detail their experiences (both paid and volunteered), and through conversations you have with them during their interview.

Hiring your first employee or growing your team is an exciting point in your business’ growth and success. These four steps will help you make the right hiring decision for your business and keep you kicking goals. If you found these steps valuable, you may be interested in learning more about the employee recruitment and onboarding process. Our Human Resources Foundations Skill Set teaches you the fundamentals of hiring and HR, is low cost, and can be completed online. Learn more about our Human Resources Foundations Skill Set here.


This post was adapted from information provided by David Osborne, Managing Director at Profitable Personnel. Visit their website here.

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