As a small business owner, you are certainly always looking for ways to improve your company and take steps towards continued and growing success. However, the beginning of a new year is the perfect time to take a moment and seriously focus on how to change, improve, and fix aspects of how you run your business. One of the biggest keys to a successful small business is hiring the right team of employees to collaborate with and make your dreams a reality. That said, here are some ways to fix your hiring process in 2018.
Involve Your Team in the Hiring Process
There’s no reason you should feel like the entire hiring process rests solely on your shoulders.
Involve the members of your team that will work most closely with your eventual hire from the very beginning of the hiring process. While you obviously already want to make the best hire possible for your company, your employees will have a very different perspective than you do of how this hiring decision might impact how things operate on a day-to-day level.
Ask your employees for feedback on what they would like to see from the candidate you hire for this position. This perspective can be invaluable to helping you understand what might make a candidate fit best within your company culture and help your team succeed.
Bring in members of your team during the interview process. Even if it is simply to have an informal chat with the candidate about your company or the position, this can go a long way toward helping the candidate understand the job they are interviewing for, as well as giving a small glimpse at how they might interact with the rest of your team if you decide to hire them.
Better Job Descriptions
Many companies seemingly go years without making any updates to their job postings and post the same job description time after time.
Don’t fall into this trap. Instead, remember the Three Re’s of better job descriptions: Review, Rethink, and Revise.
When was the last time you really thought about the job descriptions within your company? How accurate is that description to the current state of your company?
Individual roles, especially at small businesses, frequently evolve, shift, or grow along with the company itself, and you should make sure that these changes are reflected in your description of the job itself.
What could be different about this job going forward than the past? While hiring someone new to fill this role is one of the best opportunities you may get to rethink this role within your company to improve upon past shortcomings, redundancies, or business growth.
Take a look at this position’s role and the distribution of responsibilities, tasks, and goals, and question if that is still the best way to do things. Is there someone else currently on your team that might be better suited to handle a particular task going forward?
Do you specifically need to hire someone to fill the job description, or would it be better to hire a the candidate that is the best fit on your team then shape the role to fit them and the new dynamic of your team?
After reviewing and rethinking a job description, you should take the next step and revise it. Even if you are happy with the current job description for the position after these first steps, you should challenge yourself to find improvements that could be made.
One great way to do this is by attempting to rewrite the description from memory. Pay attention to any differences between what you write and the actual job description. Were there any roles or responsibilities that you included but are not in the written description, or vice versa? What aspects of the job felt most important for you to include?
You should also ask other members of your team to do this same exercise, especially any employees who work closely or collaborate with the person in the position you are hiring for, employees in the same position in your company, managers overseeing that position, employees managed by that position, or the employee leaving that position who are hiring to replace if possible.
Interviewing potential job candidates is a crucial step toward finding the right person to fill the position you are hiring for. However, many companies are not doing themselves any favors in making this goal a reality with their interviewing process. If you want to fix your hiring process in 2018 and bring on the best additions to your team possible, you need to have a strong gameplan.
Ditch Useless Questions
“What’s your biggest weakness?”
This interview question is both so cliché and useless that jokes about it are a cliché themselves now. There is no real good way for an interviewee to answer it truthfully, and instead you will only hear candidates giving themselves backhanded compliments about their work ethic.
“I work too hard.”
“I’m too detail-oriented.”
“I take on more than my fair share of responsibility in group projects.”
Or, worse yet, the completely unrelated, usually food-related joke answer:
“My biggest weakness? I just cannot function until I’ve had coffee in the morning!”
These answers don’t really help you understand the interviewee or if they would be the right fit in your company. Learning about potential weaknesses can be vital to making your decision, but this is not the best means to accomplish this.
Instead, ask questions about more concrete examples of the concept:
“What is the most constructive criticism you have ever received from a manager?”
“What is an example of a time when you struggled with a work task and how did you overcome that?”
This way, you are more likely to get answers that actually demonstrate open and honest answers, not something they prepared beforehand that doesn’t give any real insight.
Have a Conversation
It’s important to have a plan going into an interview, but you should also allow for some flexibility and natural conversation. If you simply go through a set of scripted questions with the candidate, then you won’t leave yourself room to dive deeper into any interesting responses given by the interviewee. They are also likely to pick up on this and respond in more formulaic ways as well.
In order to truly get dynamic responses that show the interviewee’s personality, it’s important to have a discussion with them that encourages this type of back-and-forth. Identify the several most important questions for the candidate to answer in the interview and use those as bullet points to guide other parts of the conversation instead of a strict script to follow word-by-word.
Also, allow the interviewee chances to ask you questions throughout the interview instead of only reserving time for that at the very end. If you have been discussing a specific role or responsibility they would have in the position in your company, then check if they have questions about this topic before moving on. This way, they will be less likely to forget any questions they do have about that topic than they might be if you wait until the very end when you have talked about other topics.
If you are looking for better interview questions, or guidance on remaining compliant of serious issues like nondiscrimination laws, be sure to check out our free eBook on it through the link below as well!