The people that you employ, particularly in a small business situation, are one of your greatest assets or liabilities depending on the choice you make. The right people can catalyse your business success and help nurture its growth, whereas, if you employ the wrong person – it’s a recipe for disaster as they have the potential to tank your business (whether they mean to or not).
Here are three things to consider when trying to find the right person for the job.
The most fundamental aspect of making a good hiring decision is to have the clarity to consider what this looks like; for if you don’t know in very specific terms what it is you’re looking for – then you have no quantifiable metric to measure against, meaning you are relying solely on your gut instinct and the impression the person gives at the interview stage.
The first step, therefore, is to find clarity in what you are looking for – what qualities, skills and personality type. This way, you will be in a better position to advertise your vacancy to that type of person (meaning you can filter who will respond based on your specific criteria), and make a decision after interview, because you will have a much more robust idea of who it is you are looking for.
Rather than focus on education or experience, it might be useful to think in mindset and attitude terms – as ultimately, you can have a very highly qualified person work for you, with a bad attitude or no emotional intelligence… and they will drain your business.
- CHECK THEM OUT
Once you have a shortlist of candidates, be sure to perform pre-employment background screening to ensure they are authentic and legitimate in terms of the experience they claim to have.
It’s incredibly how many business owners march ahead without undertaking thorough background checks and carrying out due diligence; relying on their gut instinct and feelings rather than anything tangible.
- INTERVIEW IN A VARIETY OF WAYS
It’s important that you thoroughly interview candidates in a variety of different contexts; for instance, performing a group task with current employees can show you much more about who the person is and how they will fit in with your team, over a panel interview, where they are under pressure to perform and say all the right things.
Richard Branson, for instance, once hosted a reality TV show where he was in search of someone to mentor; akin to the Apprentice. In the first episode, he put on a disguise and picked people up from the airport in a limousine (pretending to be the driver) and based on each candidates interactions with the driver – he discounted a few people on the spot.
The key point is that different contexts bring out different aspects of people, and their true character, meaning it’s important to adopt a multifaceted approach to interviewing candidates in different environments (and perhaps even covertly) so that the “true person” behind the interview mask we all put up is revealed.