Your business is only as effective as your employees. That means the hiring and onboarding process is an enormous contributing factor to the success of your business.
If you’ve ever felt lost during the hiring process or that your onboarding strategy isn’t supplying your business with the staff you need, when you need it, it’s time to rethink the way you bring on new team members.
Here are four go-to tips you should review before jumping into the hiring pool:
1. Create an accurate job description.
To attract candidates who will be successful in the position in question, your job description must be accurate and enticing. Consider the five most important tasks and expectations of the position. Take these key tasks and create goals that the employee should reach for in the role.
Using these five tasks, estimate the amount of time the worker will spend on each task. This gives an accurate description of how the employee will be spending his or her day and prevents any misunderstandings on what the job entails. Once you’ve created an accurate portrayal of the role, Inc. Contributor Julie Strickland suggests you “woo potential candidates.”
“You are not, after all, the only fish in the sea and courting your perfect candidate begins with the first word of your post,” writes Strickland. “Pictures are helpful, even if it’s simply the company’s logo. Graphics brighten a page and proper spelling, grammar and neat format are always essential and must not be overlooked. Bullet points can help break up paragraphs of information.”
2. Identify what you need from an employee.
Another important part of the job advertisement or description is the skills needed by the employee. These skills can be mandatory or optional. According to Strickland, it’s very important that you delineate between “the preferred and required.”
“Beyond absolute essentials (make-or-break skills, such as licenses or a very niche kind of knowledge), the perfect candidate may not tick every box on your list of preferred qualifications, experiences and background items,” advises Strickland. “It may be tempting to rattle on about preferences but just don’t. Exceedingly exclusionary language may send someone great running for the hills.”
You may expect an employee to be a master of certain skills while just a novice at others. Before you create the advertisement and figure out the skills and expectations of the position, analyze the tasks of the job again. This can give you a clear understanding of how often the skills are used and how in-depth their use can be.
Not only are the skills of the potential employee important, so are the candidate’s attitude, habits, and demeanor. Include a brief synopsis of valuable traits needed to fill the position successfully and satisfactorily.
3. Screen the candidate thoroughly.
After posting your advertisement, you may receive an influx of resumes from potential job candidates. At this point, it’s important to screen through these candidates thoroughly before inviting anyone in for an interview.
Reviewing a candidate’s cover letter and resume can tell you a lot about their past, experience, writing abilities and organization skills. According to Tom Gimbel, Founder and CEO of LaSalle Network, “If a candidate can’t articulate their success and how they achieved it with quantifiable information to back it up, DON’T HIRE THEM. If you don’t see potential in the candidate on paper by reviewing their history and ability to communicate, move on to the next.
4. Thoughtfully interview candidates.
Once you’ve selected a handful of candidates who seem to meet your requirements on paper, bring them in for an interview. Conduct this interview in a relaxed environment so the candidate can feel comfortable and truly be him or herself. During the interview, you should not only pay attention to the skills and knowledge the candidate possesses, but also attitude and personality traits. Be sure this person is someone who will fit into the work environment and perform with enthusiasm.
Gimbel suggests hiring managers shouldn’t shy away from the tough questions. “The only thing that limits a company from finding the right fit is having a management team that is afraid to ask candidates to validate their own experiences,” writes Gimbel. “People can say anything; however, it’s the people who execute who rise above. Whether the interview is in person, via email or on a video call, ask people to demonstrate their accomplishments and make objective decisions based on their results.”
One you’ve brought on the right team members, it’s up to you to get them up-to-speed as quickly as possible. If your business’s training process is lacking, you may risk losing new employees or suffering through a long lag time, while they figure out how to perform their jobs.
Here are 7 tips for streamlinging your new hire process and increasing efficiency within your business:
1. Create a written plan. When you hire a new employee, you probably have some paperwork and employee manuals for them to address. If you’re unorganized or unsure of which paperwork they needs to complete, your business looks unprofessional. A new employee is more likely to have a bad first impression if you don’t have a written step-by-step plan for the onboarding process.
2. Send paperwork before the first day. If possible, have your Human Resources department send the necessary paperwork to the new employee well before their first day. When an entire first day is taken up with filling out forms, a new employee can feel bored and discouraged. It also wastes precious training and education time. Get as much as you can out of the way before day one of employment.
3. Manage first day expectations. While you’ll want your new employee to jump in and start helping with workload, it is important not to overwhelm them on the first day. Proper training and education is paramount for the longevity of employment and efficiency. Take the time to ensure the new employee receives training before completing tasks so they don’t develop bad habits or cut corners.
4. Offer a welcome video. Create a short video introducing yourself and your company. Highlight how the company got started, the mission statement, and core values. This can help the new employee to better understand the company, feel comfortable in the new work environment, and get excited about the new job.
5. Use clear and simple language. While training or educating a new employee, it is important to stay away from industry and technical jargon at first. While you want the employee to eventually become well-versed in technical and business-specific terms, the first few days or weeks are not the time to overwhelm them with acronyms and big words. Keep it simple and integrate industry jargon into communication slowly over time.
6. Create a list of helpful resources. Employees who are new to the industry or position may want to learn more about processes and procedures. While your new employee training should thoroughly cover these topics, you should also offer information on additional resources for education. By offering a list of training schools, websites, books, or magazines that can provide more information, you’re encouraging your new employees to increase their own values.
7. Present a welcome bag of goodies. Show your new employee how happy you are to have them at your company by providing a little welcome bag on their first day. Simple branded pens and other giveaways are appreciated by new employees and can get them excited about their new jobs.
Bringing on new employees and getting them up to speed can be a long and costly process, but it’s important to get it right. Follow these steps to ensure you bring on the right talent for your business and ensure their productivity from day one.
Author Biography: Jodie Shaw is the chief marketing officer for The Alternative Board (TAB), a global organization that helps forward-thinking business leaders grow their businesses, increase profitability, and improve their lives by leveraging local business owner advisory boards and private coaching.