Enhance Operations with an Objective Hiring Process
Every business needs to have a Hiring Blueprint. If your business does not have a hiring blueprint, then having and maintaining the appropriate staffing levels will be difficult, if not impossible. There is both an art and a science to maintaining the adequate number of employees in order to sustain the profit and income targets for the business.
A hiring blueprint is simply a process that a business leader creates that is aligned with the company’s revenue expectations. The process is predictable, repeatable and if necessary, can be implemented by other senior members of the management team due to its rigor and standardization.
Here is how to use the hiring blueprint to ensure hiring success when the business is not yet large enough to need a dedicated Human Resources leader.
1. Start with the Staffing Needs/Costs Analysis from the Business Plan
Every business plan and its recurring update require a detailed analysis of the number and type of employees. This component of the business plan also outlines a timeline for when certain employees should be hired. From this analysis, it is possible to map the type of employee and their corresponding salary; how many employees are required; and, when the positions will be filled. Here is a sample staffing analysis.
2. Create Realistic Job Descriptions
Begin this process by creating a list of the job functions and duties that the employee will have to complete. Recognize that if your business is still in its infancy, you may need to hire a unique (and therefore more costly) individual that will need to perform several jobs initially until the company grows and generates enough revenue in order to transition to a one person per job model. When making the list, be realistic about expectations. For example, a cashier is not required to be able to use Powerpoint or Excel, whereas, an Administrative Assistant absolutely needs to know how to use this type of software. From the list of job specific duties, sort out the must haves from the nice to haves. Many sample office job descriptions can be found here.
3. Develop Interview Questions
The interviewer needs to be as prepared as the the candidate being interviewed! Otherwise, the meeting will simply be a waste of time and there will be no objective way to access all applicants unless they all have to answer the same set of questions. There should be two sections to the list of interview questions. The first section is a boilerplate that asks open-ended questions that are purposely designed to get the candidate to discuss their experience and fit for the position. The second set of questions should be specific to the particular job that the candidate has applied for. An example specific question may be: “tell me about your experience as a cashier”. A comprehensive listing of potential interview questions can be found here.
4. Post the Open Positions to Solicit Candidates
It’s now time to hang the “Help Wanted” sign. This is literally the case if your business is brick and mortar based. Cast a wide net to get as many candidates as possible. In addition to popular job boards like Indeed and Monster, look for job boards that are specific to your industry/business type and advertise the position there as well. If the company has a Facebook fan page, post the job here as well. The key is to try and get as many qualified candidates to apply for the positions that are being filled. Consider posting on LinkedIn as well if the position is mission critical.
The predetermined list of interview questions proves invaluable in this step of the process because it offers an objective method for ranking and rating all applicants. Asking the same question of five people who will provide their best answers provides a fairly riskless way to conduct an assessment. As you conduct the assessment, consider retention. The best candidate may not always hit all the marks on the skills and experience, but has demonstrated loyalty and longevity in previous jobs which is usually an indication of their likelihood to stay with the company. Rapid turnover of employees is a difficult process to manage, and compounds the volume of filling positions. Choose your company’s employees wisely and objectively.