Employers overall and many managers have a very unique and important responsibility: Hiring. I was originally going to call it “pleasure” but then the thought of how stressful the whole process is and how much insecurity and second guessing people have over their choices told me the word pleasure didn’t really fit. The following advice has been gleaned over years of mistakes and lucky breaks, employee hits and misses, and hard lessons learned when ultimately faced with having to admit that mistake and correct it. Behold our Employee Onboarding Tips:
- There is no “perfect” solution. There is no one method that is fool-proof to hiring, to finding that ideal candidate, and anyone who tells you there is has no understanding of how people work.
- Hire for the culture first and position second. Unless the position is telecommute based or requires a super-niche skill set (like selling nuclear water coolant systems), the culture of the organization outshines the need of a skill set. So many people can fall within a particular list of skill or experience requirements that it’s okay to be picky and wait for the person that will fit within your organization foremost.
- Be very selective in your hiring, don’t just fill a role with any candidate because the position is open. This step is critical, because you want a person that will grow and stay with the company. Every employee hired is an investment into the future output the employee can provide, without the right candidate, that investment can be better used installing a new couch in the break room. Successful hires are the benefit of two main conditions: Good people intuition and luck. It’s luck that your selected candidate found the ad, and its your intuition that selected that person from the pool of applicants.
- Spent a LOT of time training the candidate. You not only want to train them to do their job, but you also want them to succeed in the job, which means training the candidate in the company’s mission, its goals for the future, and any cross training the employee might need to complete laterally assigned tasks.
- Invest in your best employees and make sure candidates know you are willing to do just that. Don’t just invest time and payroll into your shining star employees, but invest in growing that employee’s skill set overall. Send them to training seminars, help them with class tuition, offer incentives for certifications received, and so on.
- Test the candidate through roleplaying or secret shoppers. It’s important to gauge how well your candidate is picking up on your training, so reinforcement of previous lessons as well as a method to assess progress is necessary.
- Don’t be afraid to admit a hiring mistake and fix it early. It’s better to figure out that a person just isn’t a good fit for your organization a month after you hire them instead of trying to constantly coach, train, remind and professionally evaluate someone, dragging the proverbial dead weight around to hold progress back.
These are just a few tidbits I’ve received or learned throughout the years. I hope they help people.