So where do you begin? Begin by investing some time organizing yourself. Invest time in writing a job description and preparing yourself for the interview process. You will either spend your time on the front end organizing or on the back end dealing with the fallout from hiring the wrong person. Hiring the wrong person can cost you in productivity, employee morale and financially.
Know what you want your employee to do. A job description should provide the applicant with a realistic picture of what the job will entail. Identify the job by title, essential functions, and requirements. A good description spells out the knowledge, abilities and skills required to perform a job successfully.
Next, prepare the interview questions. Any question that doesn’t give you information on whether the candidate can perform the job is a waste of time. Use open-ended questions, questions that require more than a one-word answer, for example, “Tell me about a time when you worked under a tight deadline.” Include questions about work experience, “what is the most important thing you learned that you can bring to this job?” and questions about communication skills, “How do you get along with your co-workers?”
The manner in which applicants answer a question can be just as important as what they say. Everything, eye contact, voice inflection, sincerity, enthusiasm, and confidence, plays a role in helping determine suitability. While most applicants can tell you what you want to hear, they cannot hide their body language. Use your intuition. If the words sound OK, but something doesn’t feel right, probe deeper. If it still doesn’t feel right, there probably isn’t a match, no matter what the applicant says.
Only hire people with the skill and the will to do the job. The key to successful hiring is to provide a clear definition of responsibilities for the job as well as the personality characteristics required. Make sure you are managing expectations up front so that your new hires don’t have any buyer’s remorse when they begin working for you. Finding the right match requires time and attention, and it’s something even busy business owners need to make time for.
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