Top 5 Tips for Hiring Quality Employees

Would you play darts blindfolded? You’d have to hope someone pointed you in the right direction, that your aim is as good as you thought, and that you at least hit the board. It’s ridiculous, right? So why are you doing the same thing when you hire? Unless you have a solid process in place, the best you can hope for is a fortuitous accident when you select a candidate. Maybe they’ll work out. Hiring is too costly and time-consuming for “maybe.” Take off the blindfold, and start hiring consciously.

These five tips will help you determine what exactly you need from a new employee – and they will help you get it.

1. Decide which job you are hiring for, and create a compelling job description. I am frequently mortified by some of the job postings I see. Why most of you think a job description has to be boring is beyond me! Stop the laundry list of skills, and create a job description by using a day-in-the-life of an accountant, salesperson, marketing team member, etc., at your company. You’ll give the job-seeker a much better idea of what they can expect to be doing – and more motivation and excitement to apply to your company.

2. Develop a job benchmark, especially if you need more than one person in that role. If you can afford false-starts, bad hires, and dead-end employees, skip the benchmark. If you want to ensure you get qualified people who will fit and contribute, then it’s well worth your time. When you create the job benchmark, gather the subject matter experts and key stakeholders who have daily contact with the person who will fill this position. Figure out what the job requires: what personal skills or attributes must this employee have? What behaviors should they exhibit? By what are they motivated? The job benchmark helps you hire the right person the first time.

3. Assess applicants against your job benchmark. Find applicants who meet your basic criteria and conduct an initial phone screen. Continue to cull the herd by having potential candidates take a pre-hire assessment. When they complete the assessment, you’ll know where they match the benchmark, as well as where they exceed or fall short.

4. Set up interviews with applications that meet or exceed your job benchmark.
If you decide to move forward in the interview process, the assessment provides you with areas you can explore in your second interview. 

Here’s a bonus tip for hiring quality employees: conduct a quality interview. Often, job applicants practice for the big day, whether formally with a coach or informally with a friend. They’re prepared. Too bad many interviewers are not. This is a skill many employers don’t think they have to worry about; they’re on the “other side of the desk.”

Guess again. It’s critical that your people know how to interview properly so your company can select and hire the best – and so the best want to work for you. Make sure they are trained in behavioral interviewing (they give candidates a “real life” scenario and ask how they would respond) and that each one focuses on a different area of inquiry.

5. Onboard your new hire their first two weeks on the job. Many employers think the hiring process ends at, “You have the job.” This attitude is a big reason why you can’t keep top talent. Start onboarding effectively with an offer letter that includes the start date, review process, and any other relevant items. Make sure your process includes individualized components for the new employee, and don’t forget to provide them with a complete schedule for the first few weeks.

Your new hire wants to feel like they are adding value immediately. After you’ve spent all this time and money to get the right person, don’t let them languish at a desk, filling out paperwork alone. Provide a welcome packet with all of the necessary information on the first day – but make sure that a bunch of paper is not the entire “welcome” experience.

These five steps are integral in creating a process that kicks “maybe” right out of the equation. Let your competitors rely on luck and fortuitous accidents while you hire the right people, for the right jobs, right now.