3 Mistakes to Avoid When Thinking About Hiring

Your business is growing. You’ve got solutions your customers want, a competitive difference to leverage and a sales process that closes consistently.  FANTASTIC!!

But as you know, growth brings challenges – and one of the biggest challenges I see business owners wrestling with is HIRING. It can be a struggle to find, hire and retain great people, whether we’re talking about installers, salespeople, customer service, back office or even manager and leaders.

Finding great people may never be easy but you can certainly make it easier on yourself if you avoid these 3 Mistakes.

Mistake #1: You wait too long

Don’t wait until you’re drowning before you start the hiring process. Good hires take time to find. I know… you *think* you can manage and then suddenly you’re desperate, you need help, like, yesterday, and panic sets in. The fact is, you will choose poorly if you’re forced to choose quickly.

As soon as the notion that you might need to hire enters your head, start the process. Obviously you’ll want any new team member to succeed in their role – which means you need to know exactly what success in that role entails. What does the job entail? What are your expectations? What personality would best suit the tasks? (Do you need an extrovert? Does the role require attention to detail? Do you need someone who adores process and procedures?) If you don’t have a clear picture of what Success in the Role looks like and how it will be measured, then you’re not ready to hire someone who will be a success.

Mistake #2: You take them at their word

Hiring is not an area that benefits from blind trust. You’re bound to come across people who know how to ‘look great on paper’ or ‘give a great interview’. Resumes and interviews are important elements of the hiring process, but so are checking references and testing skills.

Again, it’s about setting your new employee up for success! If success in the role demands specific computer, communication, phone, research, technical, or math skills, don’t take a candidate’s word for it — establish your own test. Give them a problem to solve, role play a tough interaction, assign them some homework. If personality and fit is important (when is it not?!) then conduct a personality test – the Kolbe Index, Myers Briggs or DISC are all great. Do background checks, credit checks and drug screenings as needed. And always check references — you’re not digging for faults, but if you find them, know that you’ve dodged a potentially fatal bullet.

Mistake #3: You hire the first good candidate you meet

Don’t stop interviewing, even when the dream candidate is sitting across from you. Keep looking until you have three amazing possible hires. If you’re not attracting good candidates, tweak your ad or posting. Because you want three different people you’d be happy to see in the role. Why?

It feels great to hire – not just a good candidate – but the best of the best! So keep looking until you’ve met good, better and best. You’ll be much more confident in your choice. You’ll have a stronger basis for comparison, and you may even notice a shortcoming in your ‘good’ candidate that the ‘better’ candidate provides. When you have a strong field to choose from, it ensures you have a back-up plan. If something falls through, you’re not all the way back at square one. And, as you continue to search, you’ll continue to clarify the role and improve your recruitment ads, interviewing, and process.

You do yourself – and your next employee – a great favor when you’re diligent in your hiring process. Nobody wants to start a new job to find out it’s not the right fit, they can’t deliver, and they don’t like the work! Whatever it costs in time and effort to find the right candidate far outweighs the cost and headache of letting someone go.

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