Hire to grow your business. Live by this one simple rule when it comes to your reasons for hiring and the way that you approach attracting potential candidates. If you are not hiring to grow your business, then what are you hiring for? To manage the status quo, to stop the bleeding caused by previous employees, out of desperation, or are you just hiring to fill an immediate need?
Sadly, most organizations hire with no long-term thoughts other than to fill an immediate need. The problem with not focusing on the long-term results and consequences of hiring is that you end up looking for the cheapest available person to fill your immediate needs. The cheapest available person to fill your immediate needs most likely does not have the skills, experience, or desire to work with you on the much larger picture of growing your company.
Now is a great time to be in the business of hiring people. There is a lot of talent in the job market right now looking for a company, like yours, that they can help grow. If you are looking to hire, then you are primed to take your company way past your competition. The key is to lose the knee-jerk reaction to find a discount employee and instead step up and hire the best, most experienced person you can afford. Your frame of mind at this point should be to find top talent, taking advantage of the fact that others will be hiring the discount employee while you are plowing ahead by hiring people that can actually help you grow.
How do you attract top talent and catapult your business above everyone else? There are four key things to consider and focus on:
1. Ask for the person that you want in the job posting. Don’t just give a vague job description but be as detailed as possible. List in bullet point format the job duties, the job expectations, and the skills and experience you desire. Talk about your company and add links to your website so that candidates can get the full picture of what your company is about. Talk briefly about corporate culture, growth plans, and advancement opportunities. Be detailed but brief. You don’t want a three-page job posting that no one will read. A well written full page to 1 ½ page posting can be very valuable to job seekers and will help you attract the right candidates while discouraging the under/over qualified applicants from applying.
2. Keep the application process simple and human-centric (no generic application, automated or otherwise): ask for a cover letter detailing relevant skills and experience and a resume. Most importantly, put down your contact info (at least an email) and your company name. You want to start your relationship with your new employees off right by showing that you are approachable.
3. Layout in advance exactly why you are hiring. Think long term and big picture. Write out how you think the new position/employee will help your company grow, jot down bonus and raise requirements, and estimated timelines or benchmarks. This information is not in the job posting but is for your own planning. You may also find it helpful to share with a potential candidate during the job offer so that they understand how they can grow with the company.
4. Be realistic about who you can actually afford to hire and what the job duties should entail, based on what you can afford to pay. For example, trying to hire a manager at $12 per hour is not going to get you any manager worth paying 5 cents. If $12 is all you can afford, then you are not ready for a manager so hire a shift supervisor. $12 per hour would get you a very effective shift supervisor who would actually be more valuable than a manager, willing to take $12 per hour (obviously these numbers are examples and pay standards will very per market, but there are a lot of online resources that benchmark this information). The point is that it is better for you to hire at the top of the hiring pool than the bottom. Find the closest position to what you need and can afford to pay top-level for. Don’t try and make the position sound better than it is. Call a spade a spade. If you’re looking for a “director” or a “manager,” make sure that the position actually fits the title and salary.
Stick to these four rules and you will find that your hiring process, applicant pool, and eventually new employee(s) will be optimized for success and growth. Good luck, and thanks for being one of the hero companies willing to grow your business and strengthen our economy.