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4 tips on hiring top talent

Tell potential applicants exactly what you’re looking for in terms of hard and soft skills, experience, and culture fit. [iStockphoto]

The success of any business, whether big or small, hinges on the quality of the team behind it.

Even if you’re a great business leader, without the right team to support you, your business is likely to fail. You need to have a team of highly skilled and motivated people to bring your vision to life.

Hiring the right people means that you can confidently delegate mundane day-to-day tasks to the team.

That gives you more time to focus on key entrepreneurial tasks such as looking for investors, sourcing funding and growing your business. With a great team to support you, you’ll enjoy entrepreneurship.

Even with a tight budget, you can hire highly-skilled and motivated employees for your business. Here are some helpful tips:

Define the right hire

The secret to building a great team lies in hiring the right people from the get-go. Many entrepreneurs and business managers believe that you can hire B players and get them to produce A+ results.

However, that mindset can be costly. Recruiting mediocre employees will only lead to mediocre results.

Therefore, the first step in hiring should always be about defining the right hire for the position. When you have a position to fill, think carefully about the roles and responsibilities you’d like the new hire to take on. What will be their daily tasks? What major projects would you like them to lead or contribute to?

Write down your needs and expectations for the role. Next, define the skills and attributes of someone who can confidently fulfil those needs and expectations.

If you don’t know which skills and attributes to look for, consult an expert in the field.

This exercise will give you a clear picture of the kind of person you’re looking for to fill the vacant position. You’ll have the information to write a detailed job description and attract the right candidates.

Don’t settle for the first “alright candidate” you find. A mediocre employee can be costly in many ways. They can reduce the quality of your products or services, bring down your team’s morale and drive away customers or clients.

While you can always fire a bad employee, high employee turnover is also costly.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) estimates that replacing an employee costs six to nine months of the position’s salary.

Write a winning job description

With a clear idea of the type of candidates you’re looking for, you’re equipped to write a winning job description. Avoid dull job descriptions. Instead, invest some effort in writing a job description that paints a colourful picture of your company culture and the role.

Tell potential applicants exactly what you’re looking for in terms of hard and soft skills, experience, and culture fit.

In describing the right person for the job, remember that you’re looking for attitude and personality, as much as skillset.

A good job description also details what the employee will be doing. Draw a picture of their day-to-day tasks. Here, you can include a bulleted list of the specific responsibilities the job entails.

On top of that, tell the right candidate a little about your company. Are you a vibrant group of young visionaries? Are you a relaxed crew that clocks out at 5pm to promote work-life balance? Including such details will help you attract the right culture fit for your business.

Search in the right places

Armed with a well-written job advert, the next step is to post it in the right places.

If you have a company website, you should post it there first. With no limitations on the length and number of words, you can post a detailed job description on your website.

Then you can post a shorter version for your social media platforms and include a link to the website. There are many other job boards where you can post your advert.

General job boards will bring you big volumes of candidates – but your goal is quality over quantity.

After all, you’re only looking for one or a few right candidates. You don’t want to waste your time reading applications from unqualified or interviewing them.

With that in mind, prioritise advertising vacant positions on industry-specific job boards. They’re more likely to yield high-quality candidates. In addition, consider looking through LinkedIn for qualified candidates and invite them to send in applications.

Filter candidates and interview like a pro

Once you receive a good number of applications, read through them and filter out the ones you definitely want to talk to, the maybes, and the ones you’re not interested in.

Send a short, polite rejection email to those who aren’t qualified. For those in the “maybe” pile, you can send them an email letting them know you have received their applications and will get back to them.

Invite the best candidates for interviews.

During interviews, include open-ended questions to help you gauge whether the candidate is the right culture fit. In small teams hiring for culture, the fit is extremely important.

A new addition can instantly change the team dynamics. Hard skills can be taught – with the right training and time, someone with the right aptitude can master a skill.

However, you can’t teach employees how to have character, personality, and motivation.

The success of any business, whether big or small, hinges on the quality of the team behind it.

Even if you’re a great business leader, without the right team to support you, your business is likely to fail. You need to have a team of highly skilled and motivated people to bring your vision to life.

Hiring the right people means that you can confidently delegate mundane day-to-day tasks to the team.

That gives you more time to focus on key entrepreneurial tasks such as looking for investors, sourcing funding and growing your business. With a great team to support you, you’ll enjoy entrepreneurship.

Even with a tight budget, you can hire highly-skilled and motivated employees for your business. Here are some helpful tips:

Define the right hire

The secret to building a great team lies in hiring the right people from the get-go. Many entrepreneurs and business managers believe that you can hire B players and get them to produce A+ results.

However, that mindset can be costly. Recruiting mediocre employees will only lead to mediocre results.

Therefore, the first step in hiring should always be about defining the right hire for the position. When you have a position to fill, think carefully about the roles and responsibilities you’d like the new hire to take on. What will be their daily tasks? What major projects would you like them to lead or contribute to?

Write down your needs and expectations for the role. Next, define the skills and attributes of someone who can confidently fulfil those needs and expectations.

If you don’t know which skills and attributes to look for, consult an expert in the field.

This exercise will give you a clear picture of the kind of person you’re looking for to fill the vacant position. You’ll have the information to write a detailed job description and attract the right candidates.

Don’t settle for the first “alright candidate” you find. A mediocre employee can be costly in many ways. They can reduce the quality of your products or services, bring down your team’s morale and drive away customers or clients.

While you can always fire a bad employee, high employee turnover is also costly.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) estimates that replacing an employee costs six to nine months of the position’s salary.

Write a winning job description

With a clear idea of the type of candidates you’re looking for, you’re equipped to write a winning job description. Avoid dull job descriptions. Instead, invest some effort in writing a job description that paints a colourful picture of your company culture and the role.

Tell potential applicants exactly what you’re looking for in terms of hard and soft skills, experience, and culture fit.

In describing the right person for the job, remember that you’re looking for attitude and personality, as much as skillset.

A good job description also details what the employee will be doing. Draw a picture of their day-to-day tasks. Here, you can include a bulleted list of the specific responsibilities the job entails.

On top of that, tell the right candidate a little about your company. Are you a vibrant group of young visionaries? Are you a relaxed crew that clocks out at 5pm to promote work-life balance? Including such details will help you attract the right culture fit for your business.

Search in the right places

Armed with a well-written job advert, the next step is to post it in the right places.

If you have a company website, you should post it there first. With no limitations on the length and number of words, you can post a detailed job description on your website.

Then you can post a shorter version for your social media platforms and include a link to the website. There are many other job boards where you can post your advert.

General job boards will bring you big volumes of candidates – but your goal is quality over quantity.

After all, you’re only looking for one or a few right candidates. You don’t want to waste your time reading applications from unqualified or interviewing them.

With that in mind, prioritise advertising vacant positions on industry-specific job boards. They’re more likely to yield high-quality candidates. In addition, consider looking through LinkedIn for qualified candidates and invite them to send in applications.

Filter candidates and interview like a pro

Once you receive a good number of applications, read through them and filter out the ones you definitely want to talk to, the maybes, and the ones you’re not interested in.

Send a short, polite rejection email to those who aren’t qualified. For those in the “maybe” pile, you can send them an email letting them know you have received their applications and will get back to them.

Invite the best candidates for interviews.

During interviews, include open-ended questions to help you gauge whether the candidate is the right culture fit. In small teams hiring for culture, the fit is extremely important.

A new addition can instantly change the team dynamics. Hard skills can be taught – with the right training and time, someone with the right aptitude can master a skill.

However, you can’t teach employees how to have character, personality, and motivation.