10 Tips to a Successful Hire

Growing your business in no easy feat! Besides marketing, sales, and implementing technology, business owners need to hire the right employees to make it all happen.

Your employees are your greatest asset. Recruiting the right people, the first time, will help your business prosper. Poor hiring decisions, on the other hand, will cost your business money, time, and poor morale within your workforce.

Here are 10 tips to help you hire the right employee for your organization:

1. Plan, Plan, Plan

Future planning is key to support your business’ growth. A talent strategy should be a part of any business plan.

Think about the company culture you envision for your business and define it. What core values will make-up your organization? What characteristics will fit well within that culture? For example, if your culture is entrepreneurial, then a candidate that takes risks and is not afraid to learn from failure will likely thrive. It is important to note that hiring for cultural fit does not mean hiring people that are the same. Company values should be reflected in a diverse workforce.

Then ask yourself what talent you will need in 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months from now to meet your business goals. Then work backward and allow enough time to find the talent you need. The time required to hire varies by job, industry, location, and job market conditions, among other factors.

2. Write out a Job Description

I know this takes time but there are so many reasons why this is a vital step. Most importantly, it communicates to the employee what is expected of him or her. A Job Description should be included with a job offer and reviewed with the new employee at the start of employment.

Job descriptions are also the necessary foundation for performance appraisal programs, workflow design, job evaluations and compensation systems. Ensure that your job description complies with applicable Human Rights legislation.

3. Write an attractive and informative Job Posting

Job Postings are different than Job Descriptions.

A Job Description includes all of the details of the job in regards to scope of work, duties and responsibilities, qualifications required, mental and physical effort required, supervision activities, and working conditions.

A Job Posting is an advertisement that will inform a job-seeker of the kind of work they will be performing and the experience they can expect working for your organization. It should include the following to be effective:

  • An introduction to the company – line of business, industry, brand information, etc.
  • Insight into the company culture – If you have a formal company culture, use formal language on the job posting; if you are a creative company, insert that creativity into the job posting; if you have an entrepreneurial culture, describe the type of employee that would be a perfect fit… you get the picture.
  • An honest picture of what the job entails on a day-to-day basis. I can’t stress how crucial this is. The feedback HR often hears when an employee leaves a job before their first anniversary is that the job is not how it was sold. Often when trying to convince a candidate to accept a job offer, we play up the “glorified” aspects of the job and minimize the more tedious parts. It is best to begin an employment relationship like any other relationship – with honesty and truth about the good, the bad, and the ugly!
  • Qualifications needed to perform the job
  • Ensure compliance with applicable legislation, including the Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC) and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

*LINK HR assists many small and mid-size business owners with meeting the compliance requirements of the AODA and the OHR; contact us today for more information.

4. Advertise the job where your ideal candidate will likely see it

Today, social media should be a part of any recruitment strategy. Share your opportunity through all of your social media channels and ask your employees to do the same. Which brings me to my next point – your employees are one of you greatest resources in hiring your next great employee.

Creating a culture where your employees are your brand ambassadors is not only effective for public relations but also increases your success in hiring the right talent for your business. Consider an Employee Referral Program to grow your workforce.

Job seekers continue to seek their next opportunity on job posting websites such as Indeed.ca, Glassdoor.ca, Monster.ca, etc. however these websites are not your only option. There are also job boards that are specific to an occupation or industry such as Charity Village for the non-profit sector.

If looking for candidates with specific education, certifications, and/or designations, consider posting your job with the College, University, or Professional Association that offers those specific programs or credentials.

5. Begin with a telephone screen

You have reviewed 50, 100, or 300 applications and have selected 20 that you would like to consider further. Before calling them in for an in-person interview, complete a telephone screen first. A telephone screen will help you to narrow down your shortlist of candidates and save a lot of your valuable time. Let’s face it, who has time to interview 20 or even 10 candidates for one job?

6. Know what to ask and what not to ask

Questions should be based on a job’s essential duties and must comply with the Ontario Human Rights Code or applicable Human Rights legislation in your province.A fair interview process is one that focuses on a candidate’s ability to perform the job. Best practices include:

  • Following the same interview process for each candidate
  • Interview questions and testing methods determined in advance of the interview process with objective criteria for scoring and evaluating answers
  • Multiple persons participating in the interview process with the goal of avoiding subjective decision-making and bias
  • Besides standard interview questions, behavioural interview questions should be included in the interview process. An example of a behavioural interview question is “Tell us about a time when you used critical thinking skills to respond to a challenging situation.” They are open-ended questions that ask the candidate to describe past behaviour, which in turn predicts how they will behave in a future, similar context. Behavioural interview questions are also a good opportunity to ask candidates what they have learned from past situations and how they will apply that learning in future.

7. Include tests and assessments where applicable

Testing is an effective way of measuring whether the candidate can perform the job duties. Where appropriate, include applicable testing measures in relation to the job duties and bona fide requirements of the job. All candidates should be tested and scored in the same way.

8. Complete reference checks

The buzz lately has been that reference checks offer no value because candidates will only provide persons that will speak highly of them. I disagree and advise my clients that reference checking is still a very important part of the recruitment process.

Why? I don’t see reference checks as an opportunity to find someone’s skeleton in the closet. I view the reference checking process as an opportunity to learn more about the candidate.

Questions can focus on:

  • their strengths
  • areas identified for development
  • learning style
  • how he/she manages stress
  • how he/she accepts feedback
  • etc.

All this information will be valuable when developing an onboarding program and training plan for the new hire, and will provide his/her supervisor some additional insight on how to best coach, mentor, and support the individual.

9. Use a well-drafted employment agreement

Written employment agreements govern the relationship between employer and employee, minimize liability, and communicate expectations.

10. Start the new employee off on the right foot

This includes more than just an orientation session. Onboarding is more comprehensive process of orienting a new employee not only to their job but to the business and culture of the organization. Effective onboarding leads to increased job performance, satisfaction, and retention.

Next Steps
If you would like the assistance and expertise of a Certified HR Professional to hire the right talent for your organization, contact LINK HR today. We understand small business and are specialists in providing recruitment support to SMEs how and when they need it. We invite you to read more about our on-demand Recruitment Services.

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Happy Hiring!

About Us
LINK HR is the outsourced Human Resources Department of small and mid-sized organizations in Ontario. We are a team of certified HR Leaders that provide on-demand solutions for hiring and developing talent, managing performance and retention, and complying with employment legislation.

This blog is made available for the purpose of providing general information or awareness, and not to provide specific information, legal advice, or interpretation of the law for any organization or reader. LINK HR has made every attempt to ensure the reliability of the information provided, however no warranty of accuracy, expressed or implied, is provided. If reference links are provided, readers should be aware that these website addresses may change over time.