By: Shraga Jacobowitz
Good employees are hard to find….or are they? While business owners, often lament the inability to find good staff, in truth, it may very well be their fault! The reality is that finding and hiring the right employee for your business is no easy task. But knowing what to look for in a candidate and what to ask is essential to making sure you’re getting an employee that is right for your job, fits in with your company culture (see our article on that here), and is, simply put, a GREAT (not just good) employee.
Too good to be true?
It doesn’t have to be. Here are the 4 steps you need to take in order to hire the perfect employee for your company.
Step 1: Clearly define your position
It’s important to know this step applies to EVERYONE thinking of hiring a new employee. It’s not just enough to say, “I’m looking for a new customer service rep, sales manager, ice cream tester…” or whatever position you want to fill. Before you begin the hiring process you need to have in your head clearly what this job entails.
So how do you clearly define your position?
- Define your company – Answer what the purpose of your company is, not what you make or sell, but the greater good you provide. Nike for example, doesn’t they sell shoes and sporting apparel but instead state: “[We] inspire athletes of all abilities to tap into their potential.” This is especially important because research shows applicants, especially Millennials, are more attracted to positions that have a greater purpose. Gone are the days of soulless corporations; people want to feel that their days are being spent in a meaningful way. In addition, defining your company allows you to define what kind of applicant you’re looking for. Which, lucky for you, is the next step.
- Define the applicant – Don’t just state the requirements of a job, or the necessary skills, experience and knowledge required to fill the position, but figure out your ideal applicant; creative freethinker vs. analytical and by-the-books? Marvel lists the qualities they are looking for by stating “You are” instead of “You have/know” such as, “you are a walking wiki on anything Marvel.” And you had better believe, you won’t find anything about years of experience or Microsoft Office in their job postings. So get creative with how you recruit, (for some great examples check out some of these recruitment ads here.), but while you’re getting creative don’t forget the final step in defining your position….
- Actually defining your position – Let potential applicants know exactly what the job entails, the company goals, the required day-to-day activities, what is expected of them and how success will be measured. Finally, let applicants know their potential of growth in the company with this position. Applicants are always looking towards the future. Telling them right up front where they can go in this position can definitely help attract a qualified employee that is bound to stick with the company.
If all that sounds a little too overwhelming for just step 1, don’t worry, it gets easier from here, but more importantly, if you’re partnered with a PEO, their HR experts can help you determine and define all these aspects of the hiring process so you can quickly move onto step 2.
Step 2: Determine if you really need to hire someone for this position
I know this piece of advice sounds counterintuitive to be included in an article about finding and hiring employees, but realistically sometimes it is just more worthwhile to outsource the task than to hire someone in-house. Prime example: partnering with a PEO to handle your HR administrative tasks, rather than hiring a HR manager. (For more about the pitfalls of developing an internal HR department, read here).
Answer the following questions to determine which direction is better for you.
- Is the employee being hired to provide your primary service or a supplementary service, such as administrative tasks?
If it is the former, hire in-house; the latter, it may be worthwhile to outsource. Even more so, if this service gives you a competitive edge, you want to make sure that you are fully in control of the outcome and therefore may want to hire someone rather than outsource.
- How frequently do you need the services provided by the employee?
If the services are ongoing (even those that are supplementary) then it may be worthwhile to hire, not so frequently needed, then outsource it. There’s nothing worse than hiring someone who doesn’t have enough work to fill their days
- Is the service a commodity that is regularly outsourced and therefore done much more efficiently through outsourcing, such as using a payroll service?
If so, then why are you wasting your time? These providers have figured out how to do this task quicker, better and more cost efficient already. There’s no need for you to reinvent the wheel.
- Is it a specialized service that requires tons of training and education?
Hiring highly specialized people to work for you can be quite expensive, but today’s technology has made available a plethora of highly specialized talent and easy methods of data sharing for streamlined out-of-house work, so why wouldn’t you take advantage without paying out big bucks?
- Does the service need to be carefully monitored, allow access to sensitive company information and/or require a high level of trust in the provider?
If so, it may be better to hire someone in-house. Of course, I’m not saying that independent contractors are not completely trustworthy. You never need to worry about your sensitive data when outsourcing with a reputable provider. The key word there is reputable, make sure to always get references and actually follow up with those references when using any outsourcing provider. If you’re choosing to outsource your HR tasks through partnering with a PEO, using a PEO consultant or broker to find the right PEO is a great way to ensure that you are using a trustworthy company. That said, hiring an employee for a task that is uber-sensitive, (like guarding the secret recipe to your world famous cookies, for example) is often a better choice as employees create an incomparable loyalty towards the company.
A final note about outsourcing, if you are going to use independent subcontractors, it is important to research your insurance’s coverage in regards to these professionals and insure that they are also covered by your policy. If your insurance is through a PEO partnership, your PEO broker/ PEO consultant should be able to help you answer this question.
So now that you’ve defined your position precisely and determined definitively (a little alliteration just for the fun of it) that you need to hire someone, you’re probably even more convinced than ever that the perfect candidate is non-existent. But fear not, the next two steps will help you hone your interviewing skills so that among all the prospective applicants you pick exactly the right one for the job and your company.
You ask, what are the next two steps? We’ll for that you’ll just have to wait until my next newsletter.
Simply can’t wait? Contact ARC Consultants today to find out how partnering with a PEO can actually help you with the entire hiring (and firing) process.