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Hiring the right person for an existing role or a new one can be a significant challenge. For many organizations, hiring a new team member seems to be a painful process – but it doesn’t have to be that way. Instead, it can be a great opportunity to bring in highly skilled expertise, fun energy, and a renewed commitment to make the organization a better one.
Here are some recommendations for you and your organization to make the process to find and hire the right person a great opportunity:
When it comes to determining expectations, we sometimes try to make the process shorter than it needs to be. Do yourself and your organization a favor and really dig deep into the details of what you want and what you need for hiring for this position in your organization. The process doesn’t require you to write out a lot of expectations, but you need to know what details are negotiable and what details are non-negotiable.
When looking at resumes, avoid the temptation to do the “data sort” and to have the computer find the key words in the candidates resumes that are important to you. Look at the resumes of candidates who are not on the top of the computer’s sort list. Read through the cover letters as well. Just like there are students who can “test well”, there are candidates who can put together a great resume and put themselves on the top of the search report.
Although they are good at building a resume (or having someone build it for them), that doesn’t always mean that they are the best candidate for the job. Additionally, think about talking to potential candidates who are not necessarily applying for the position. Go to LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com) and complete a search for the position, location and skills you are looking for. It never hurts to connect with people who are highly qualified for the position – even if they aren’t interested. It is highly likely that they will know others who are just as qualified as they are – and those people may be more receptive to consider your opportunity.
When you interview your top candidates, remember that the interview process is a two-way experience. Just as you are considering the candidate, the candidate is considering you and your organization. A positive experience is important for everyone concerned. You want to present your best opportunity to each candidate and to make a good impression.
Avoid playing the “I don’t want to be friendly because I don’t know if I’m going to hire him/her” game. Not only does it put you in a bad light, but it also makes your organization look unfriendly as well. Instead, be honest and friendly, and answer any questions that the candidates have. You want to have your questions ready to go, too. “Drill down” on key points that are important ones you determined for the final hire.
Every organization is busy. Every organization has things to do. Hiring a new team member takes time. That time has to come from something else you have to get done. Nevertheless, don’t neglect putting the right amount of time and effort into the process. Don’t rush the process, but don’t drag it out forever. Keep the interviews moving. Make sure you spend plenty of time evaluating the candidates which fit your organization’s expectations.
If you find that none of the candidates fit your expectations, start the hiring process over again. Don’t just hire someone to “fill the slot.” Make sure you hire someone who provides additional value and benefits to the organization. When you get down to the final interviews, make sure you are clear on the process and the content of those interviews. Get your questions answered and your concerns addressed. When you get to the point of making a final decision, take everyone’s opinions into account. Remember that you need to make the final decision that you can easily live with.
When you make that decision to hire someone, be sure to define the on-boarding process as they join your team. Engage with them and talk about expectations and responsibilities. Don’t leave it up to your new team member to ask all of the necessary questions or to determine his or her role in the organization. Be committed to building trust by talking about why you do things, as well as how you do them.
Give your new team member plenty of opportunities to succeed and learn. Be able to make some immediate, positive and beneficial contributions to the organization. Pay attention to those who are guiding the new team member through the first steps within the organization,. Make sure that these people are communicating the organization’s core values and expectations.
It’s a challenge to hire a new team member. However, it can be a highly rewarding and beneficial experience if it is managed well. Commit to be strategic in this process, and you will reap great rewards!
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