You’re only as good as your team. That’s a terrifying and inspiring reality when you’re just starting out. You know that, when you do great work, you’re contributing to your own success.
But for many business owners, it means that when you achieve growth, along with all the good is a new challenge: how to grow your team while maintaining the level of commitment and care that you put in at the start. The traditional approach to business has been to sit down, list every task you could possibly ask an employee to take on, slap on some prerequisites like a specific educational background or a certain number of years of experience, and pop that brand new help wanted ad out onto the job search engines.
However, a few days after you’ve been buried in resumes (or worse, are still staring at an empty inbox!), you’re going to wonder if there’s not a better way to find the right staff. Or maybe the moment of realization doesn’t come that quickly. Maybe it takes a few new hires that don’t work out, some weak production cycles, missed deadlines, or internal staff conflicts to fully realize the power of excellent recruitment.
Then there’s adjusting for workflow as you grow. Maybe you’re constantly running behind, wearing down staff while you scramble to fill the gaps. Or you might have the opposite problem, investing in the hiring process only to go through a downturn and find yourself with unsustainable overheads.
The team you need is not only capable in a specific field or professional competency, but a right-fit for you and for each other. The trouble is that it’s very hard to assess just how capable a potential hire is, or how well they’ll work with your existing staff and support your company’s needs, until you have them in place.
Investing in doing the recruitment process smarter in the first place can save you a lot of pain (and lost time and money). Start with your job descriptions. Making an exhaustive list of all the things you want someone to do for you is the perfect way to send great staff running for the hills. It’s not inspiring, motivating, or compelling to do someone else’s chores, even when you’re getting paid for it.
Instead, consider what problems your business has, and then frame a posting around those challenges. Maybe you’re looking for someone to help you convert customers into fans, prospects into enthusiasts. Maybe you really need someone to help you become a market leader in display advertising, or product design, or any number of things, in any number of departments. Instead of a list of chores, pose meaningful challenges that a potential employee can get excited about solving.
The side effect of this approach is that you not only get people who are motivated to help your business succeed, but it draws people with the type of personality that likes taking on challenges and proactively, creatively solving problems.
When it comes to skills assessment, a great approach is simply to conduct a test or trial on any core skills that are required absolutely. Hire someone motivated and with good learning and problem-solving skills in the first place, and you’re less likely to need to worry to much about this, but it’s entirely possible to add a skills or technology-based test into your hiring process, or to even invite candidates in for a trial period, anywhere from a few hours to a few days (you should plan to compensate for time, though, if it’s an extensive amount).
Another way to get the most out of your recruitment process is to work with professionals. Many businesses just don’t have the internal resources to learn how to do recruitment well, and sometimes it’s more efficient to invite in a professional who can help you identify and frame a position to attract the right candidates, filter applications, and assess candidates. Professional recruitment agencies source potential hires across all industry sectors, levels of seniority, and specializations. While you might be more familiar with services like corporate headhunting or agencies that focus on highly-paid software engineers, it is by no means necessary to be offering an executive-level position.
Outsourcing your hiring process is an effective solution for businesses of all sizes. Especially for smaller and start-up businesses where the impacts of a good or not-so-good hire can have a much deeper effect, using professional support can save you a lot of pain. Sue Bhatia’s Rose International provides both American and overseas recruitment services. Depending on your needs, you may benefit from extending your reach into the international markets when it comes to searching for the perfect new team member.
Investing in your recruitment methods can save you time, money, and the knock-on effects of a bad hire while helping you connect with the team members that can help take your business to the next level. Rethink your job postings, test for essential skills, or outsource to a professional recruitment service to hire right, the first time.