Many HR pros in SMBs will tell you that finding and hiring the talent their organization needs is among their biggest challenges. Without the right people in place, when and where they’re needed, the business’s ability to produce results is in jeopardy. And growing a company from a small to a mid-sized one just can’t happen without employees to do the work.
To offer a helping hand—or at least a few ideas—to SMB HR practitioners, here are a half-dozen tips to keep in mind when hiring new talent is on your to-do list:
1. Know what you need. Before you begin the search for job candidates, take time to thoroughly explore the position you’re trying to fill. Talk to employees in that job and find out what it takes to succeed – the skills to do the work and any other traits a new hire needs to excel.
2. Avoid the rush. Sometimes it feels as if we’re under pressure to hurry and fill vacancies. While that’s true to some extent, we can’t let it govern the search for qualified candidates. Rushing the recruitment and hiring process is asking for trouble and setting up the conditions for a bad hire. Take enough time to be thorough and thoughtful. It saves time, money and effort in the long run.
3. Seek input from others. In some organizations, HR takes the lead on hiring. In others, the hiring manager heads the effort. Either way, it can be helpful to get others involved in interviews with job candidates. Two or three different perspectives can help guard against biases or overlooking details in the screening process. Restrict participants to those directly involved with the position to be filled – HR, hiring manager or team leader, for instance.
4. Do your homework. Make sure your screening process includes background and reference checks that are relevant to the position. As you know, hiring has a host of compliance-related considerations – if you have questions about conducting your inquiries, consult with your organization’s attorney to confirm that your process meets legal requirements.
5. Hire for fit. Increasing numbers of HR professionals say that they would much rather hire and train a candidate who seems the best fit for their organization’s culture than one who has all the skills needed but may not be the best match for the company’s values and environment. Since existing staff know the company and its culture, employee referrals are often a good way to find candidates who are likely to fit well. Ask your folks for recommendations.
6. Track applicants efficiently. As a busy HR pro, you know that a huge part of doing any job well involves your ability to manage the associated workflows and documentation. When you use an online employee data management system, you can speed through many of the tasks that go along with hiring and onboarding new employees.