Pro Tip: Lean into the culture of your company.
Your hiring process is the key to everything. If you get this right, you’ll have a much easier time managing your team culture and eventually scaling your business.
When entrepreneurs ask me about problems they’re having in their team, my first question is always about the hiring process.
The core of the problem is that most entrepreneurs never really pay much attention to their hiring process. They put together a job description, they interview people, then they hire the best one.
WHAT I WAS LISTENING TO:
Just like that. No strategies, no goals, no targets, no plans for the follow through. Just a wham, bam, thank you mam.
Here at Do it Now Now, we’re all about the strategies. We want you to do everything you do in the most effective way possible, so that you’ll get the best results.
I’m asking you to think about each step and figure out how you can tailor it so that you’re really attracting the best person for the job and, more importantly, for your company’s culture.
PRO TIP: Don’t hire people based on skills alone. You actually have to want to work with the person.
The person you hire has to get it. Meaning, they have to be the kind of person that understands your vision and mission, and would fit in well with your company culture.
If they don’t fit in, they’re going to feel ostracised, and when that happens, they’ll become disengaged from the work, start doing their job badly and eventually they’ll quit, or you’ll be forced to fire them. Then you’ll have to start the entire process over again.
In this blog post, I’m going to talk you through a few key ideas that are going to help you build out your application process so that you get the perfect skill, personality balance that will help your business stabilise and scale.
THE JOB DESCRIPTION
This is prime real estate. This is the shareable page that’s going to help you attract the kinds of people what will help you build your business.
When it comes to your job description you need to think about something more than just the task that you want them to do. It has to be much more interesting than that because at the end of the day, you’re trying to attract an employee, not a freelancer.
The job description is meant to be a self-disqualifier.
People should read the job description and know whether or not they can do the job, and whether or not they want to work for your company. The point of a job description is 50% conveying the task at hand, and 50% conveying the culture in which that task is going to be performed.
Today, people (millenials) generally care more about their mental health than they do about their salary. They know they’re going to spend most of their life working and so they’d prefer to work in an environment that’s conducive to their personality and in a job that aligns with their personal passions and desires.
Ideally, your ideal employee is closely aligned with the personality traits of your ideal customer.
Your customers are the people that are going to see the job descriptions first (since you’ll put it in your newsletter, on social media and on your website). So write the job description like you’re talking to your customers and inviting them to join in the work of a company they already love.
Your job descriptions are meant to affirm why you do the things you do, what is so important about it, and give them an opportunity to contribute to it with their own set of skills.
The page has to look and feel like your brand. It has to be clear and it has to engage with your potential employee in the same way your team culture stipulates.
If you have a fun office, have a fun job description. If you’re a super professional team, phrase your job description to emphasise that. Also emphasise the benefits of working at your company, e.g. remote working, flexible working, 4 day work-week etc. Include highlights that will make you sand out from the crowd, and tie it as directly as you can into your service, products or clients and partnerships.
You want your potential employee to finish reading the job description and feel like your company understands what they’re looking for, and that they couldn’t get this combination of task satisfaction, culture satisfaction and company benefits anywhere else.
PRO TIP; make sure you add your deadlines and details about the application process. When they will hear back from you, when the interview will take place and when the job will start.
This is where you screen. This is for the culture.
You’re going to need more than one interview.
You need to check the applicant’s qualifications to perform a specific task, so ask them to prepare a test. Share the test parameters with all of them on the same day, and give them all a specific deadline. Just to make things fair.
For example, if you’re hiring a social media manager, ask them to create an instagram page and create 5 posts for the account. That will give you a good idea of the vibe they want to bring to your social media.
In the first interview, you’re going to speak to every single applicant that you’re interested in, based on their submissions. This interview should always be a downgrade of the second interview. If the second interview is a Skype one, then the first interview should be over the phone. If the second interview is in person, then the first interview should be a Skype one.
PRO TIP: Be kind to the people that you didn’t like. Get back to them in good time and apologise for not getting the opportunity to work with them, this time around. These people are probably your customers, and you’d like them to stay your customers even after they don’t get the job.
When you’ve got the technical stuff down and you know the people that passed through the first interview can all definitely do the job properly, the second interview is all about whether or not they fit in with your company culture effectively.
The second interview is a personality test.
The mistake most entrepreneurs make when they’re in an interview situation is that they get a little narcissistic about it and end up asking questions like, “what do you like about what we do?” and “why do you want to work for us?” completely forgetting that this person is here for a paid position, not a voluntary role. They want to work for you because they want a salary, and what they like about what you do is the fact that you’re going to pay them.
When you’re drafting your questions, ask the type of things that verify whether or not they’re really passionate about your company.
My favourite question is, “what are three things you think we should either stop doing, start doing, or do better?” The questions forces them to think about your company in more depth than they could have if all they did was read your About Page.
You want to get to know them in context of your company’s mission and vision.
You should also ask questions about their sob story. You need to know if they’re in this for the long haul or if they’re just after a paycheck. Ask a question like, “so what do you think about the [something in the news/pop culture that relates closely to the work you do]?” then follow it up with a prompt that forces them to relate the story to their personal experiences, like “I know, its insane, I can’t believe things like this still happen. Have you ever experienced that?”
That example was a little ham-fisted, but hopefully you catch my drift.
When you’ve finished asking questions that get them to tap into the core of who they are and how it relates to your mission and vision, talk a bit about what inspired you to start the company. Why you’re so passionate about it, and what you are trying to achieve with the role you’re hiring for. Basically, you’re trying to get them to see how the job they’re applying for fits into the grand scheme of things. It will show whoever you hire that they are important to your organisation and that they are really making a difference in your company.
Finally, make sure you leave 10 minutes at the end of every interview to give them the opportunity to ask you any questions they like. Make note of what they ask, because that’s going to give you even more insight into who they are and what they care about.
PRO TIP: The interview should begin with a recap of the role, their CV and the test submission they made. Spend about 10 minutes on this. It will help them feel that you are present in the conversation and that will help them engage more in it as well.
EMPOWER YOUR TEAM
This is only important if you’ve already built a team and you’re adding to it.
Get your employees involved. Ask the top level team to screen the applications, the submissions and get them involved in the interview process as well.
You can either split the interview into parts so that each of you takes the lead in one area, so that you’re each asking questions that are most suited to you and your role in the company. Or, you can have them sit in, or listen into the interview, without actually taking part, so that they can be involved in the behind the scenes screening you do later on.
In either case, and in all interviews, you should be taking copious notes, because notes are much better comparison tools that memory, or vibes and feelings.
That’s all folks.
Thanks for reading,
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