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Finding the right employee is a difficult task. Hiring the wrong employee is costly, time-consuming, and damaging to your work environment. Hiring the right employee, on the other hand, pays off in terms of increased employee productivity, a successful employment relationship, and a positive impact on your overall work environment.

Hiring the right employee improves your work culture and pays for itself a thousand times over in terms of high employee morale, positive forward-thinking planning, and achieving difficult goals. It also ensures that you are making the most of the time and energy that your other employees invest in developing a relationship with the new employee, which is a costly and emotional process.

1. Concentrate on De-selection Instead of Selection

You have probably heard the analogy about “getting the right people in the right seats on the bus”, but it may be more helpful to use a rowboat as the analogy. The business world is unpredictable and challenging and the team around you is vital to the success of your business. Put the right person in the boat and the speed will increase but put the wrong person in and the entire team – the whole boat- will suffer the consequences. Every stage in the process of hiring new employees should be more about recognising those behaviours which de-select a potential employee. By using this approach you will reduce the risk of hiring the wrong person, and it’s better to add nobody that to add the wrong person to your team.

2. Begin with a Vision

If you don’t know where you are going in your journey, would anybody else want to come along for the ride? Probably not. A clear vision for your business will make it easier for potential employees to make the decision to join you on the journey. This will be a resounding “yes” for the right person, and a definite “no” for the wrong person. This approach has particular importance when hiring Millennials, as they are more prone to being attracted to companies that have a purpose. Hiring to your vision also means that you will be hiring someone that you can further grow the business and any future roles around, rather than just hiring someone to meet a current need.

3. Values, Values, VALUES

Identity is one of the most powerful shapers of behaviour. A family that eats dinner together at the table every night responds to a child who requests to eat in front of the television by saying, "In our family, we eat dinner together at the table." Similarly, the standards you set define the behaviours that define your company culture. So, what values do you want to see reflected in your company? Do you have a written record of them? Do you recognise team members who embody them? Do you confront team members who ignore you? If not, now is the time to begin.

4. Base Your Decision on Character

Would you hire the most skilled person for the job, even if they were devoid of morals? Why do we hire using an approach that strongly emphasises skills, whilst basing very little on character of potential employees? Quite simply, most skills can be taught, but can you “teach” character? The character of a person is a culmination of nature and nurture, grown over a number of years BEFORE they come to be hired by you. Your focus should be on finding someone of outstanding character and then teaching them the skills they need to be successful in the role. As Thomas Jefferson once said, “Nothing can stop the man with the right character from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong character”.

5. Create Job Ads Like a Marketer

Job advertisements generally follow the same format, based on what the company wants and needs. In fact, great ads are written through the customer’s eyes. When you begin writing your job ad, start with the employee you have in mind – how they think, their beliefs, how they talk, what they are searching for in a job etc. The employee should feel like YOU understand THEM when they read the ad. From there, you can then discuss the company’s needs and how the employee can contribute to the team.

6. Set a Trap!

It doesn’t hurt to be a little bit sneaky to test the abilities of employees before hiring. For example, are you are seeking someone with attention to detail? Along with providing a cover letter and CV, ask applicants to call and leave a message to tell you why they think they should get the job, along with answering something trivial such as what their favourite type of biscuit is. You will be amazed at the number of people who de-select themselves in the process. If someone can’t manage to read a job ad and follow simple instructions when making a potentially life-changing decision, what are the chances they will be able to on the job?

7. Widen your Search

A typical job search begins and ends with a listing on a job search website such as TradeMe or Seek. But how can you expect to get a different result if you're searching in the same places everyone else is? The key is to combine additional strategies that increase the frequency and reach of your job ad. Strategies such as updating your e-mail signature, sign-writing your vehicle, posting a hiring now sign outside your office, talking to suppliers, and messaging your database may appear insignificant, but when combined, they can make a significant difference in the number and quality of candidates. Begin by brainstorming a list of "outside the box" strategies with your team, then put as many of them into action as possible.

8. Conduct Group Interviews

Most people would find the thought of being interviewed in front of a group of other applicants very nerve-wracking. Holding a group interview reveals a lot about people and their character i.e., how they react under pressure, their self-confidence, how they interact and communicate with others and so on. Some may think this kind of approach favours the extrovert and gives the introvert a disadvantage. In fact, being in the presence of others can bring about more pronounced behaviours – extreme extroverts can become dominant and overbearing, whilst extreme introverts can completely shy away and offer little or no contribution. Group interviews also allow you to evaluate a larger number of applicants. In the same amount of time you would ordinarily be holding a 1:1 interview, you could potentially interview several applicants.

9. Find Their Key Drivers’

People can put on a nice show when they first meet someone, but ultimately their true colours will shine through. A DiSC+Motivators assessment will let us know if there is a red flag we need to be aware of, or if what we see is what we will get. The evaluation will show a person's preferred modes of communication, including whether they favour slow or quick pacing and are task- or people-focused. It will also reveal the causes of those behaviours and the motivations of the individuals involved. When finished, the DiSC+Motivators assessment will also give you loads of information to bring into the 1:1 interview, including your candidates' areas of strength and weakness as well as a precise indication of their emotional intelligence.

10. Present a Realistic Image

During a typical interview, we offer the position and our business as the great prize. But in doing so, we frequently produce a fictitious image of what it's like to work for us. So, is it really a surprise when our new employee starts to act like a seasoned veteran within a few weeks? It is essential that the business leader presents a truthful picture of the organisation and the position that needs to be filled, especially when the interviews reach the 1:1 level. Outline everything: What components of the function will they despise, who will they find challenging, and what facets of the culture are still under development. What consumers will be difficult, Your employees won't just appreciate your candour; they'll also be more willing to open up about what it's truly like to work with you as a result.

11. Plan Out Their Induction

First impressions are important. So, how are you going to make a good first impression on your new team member? According to Urban Bound, organisations that use a standard onboarding process see a 54% increase in new hire productivity and a 50% increase in new hire retention. Make a calendar for your new employees' first month that includes who they'll meet with, when they'll meet with their manager, where they'll be working, and what they'll be working on each day. Don't forget to include some personal touches that will make your new team member feel appreciated. On their first day, savouries at morning tea, or a lunch out on their first Friday. Even something as simple as buying them a cup of coffee can make a big difference in how welcome they feel and how quickly they adjust and get up to speed in the new role.

- Robin Olivier (ActionCURVE NZ)

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