There comes a point in every successful small business when it’s time to expand. There are only so many hours in the day. And, as an entrepreneur, you can’t be expected to do everything on your own. Hiring staff is often the first challenge a business owner faces that they have no experience in. How do you attract top talent to your business, leaving you with more time to look after the big picture?
The Cost of a Bad Hire
It’s been estimated a bad hire can cost a business a quarter of a million dollars. This figure might seem like a lot, but there are factors to consider that swell the number, such as time and money spent recruiting, lost productivity and loss of customers due to poor service. When the pressure is on to recruit, many employers fall for the ‘warm body fallacy.’ This is the idea that an employee, no matter how poorly performing, is better than leaving a position vacant.
There’s also the danger of not wanting to admit you were wrong. If you’ve hired an underperforming employee there’s a tendency to miss the indicators of poor performance. You want them to succeed, because their success reflects your ability to select employees. This idea is as much of a fallacy as sunk costs and should be treated the same. Ensuring you attract top talent to your business begins right at the start, during the interview phase.
Tips to Attract Top Talent to Your Business
It Starts with the Job Description
It’s vital to identify and verbalize exactly what tasks your new employee will be expected to perform. The standard way to achieve this goal is by performing a job analysis. This simple task involves mapping out the tasks you will expect a new hire to perform. For each of these tasks, think about the skills, training and abilities that will be needed to complete each of them. The more detailed you can be at this point, the greater your chance of finding the right fit.
Don’t Rush Things
Going through a mountain of resumes, cover letters and job application forms is tough work. The temptation is to cut corners and skim looking for certain key words. Instead, review all applications thoroughly and slowly whittle down the candidate list to identify individuals that match the most of your desired qualities. Consider holding two rounds of interviews, with the first taking a broader approach, and the second honing in on small details. Don’t just trust your own judgement either. Involve key members of the team and gauge their opinions. An individual’s personality fit can be just as important as their skill set!
Consider the Compensation
You’re in business to maximize profit, but one area you shouldn’t skimp on is staff compensation. Well paid staff are more likely to stick around, ultimately saving you money and avoiding dips in productivity as you scramble to replace them. Unfortunately, most businesses take a backwards view on this issue. A mentality of paying employees the minimum you can get away with prevails. With this attitude, how can you expect your employees to ever give more than the minimum effort required in their role?
Set Reasonable Expectations
An important part of easing a new hire into your business culture is to set reasonable expectations with them from the outset. They need to understand how you define and measure what “great” performance is. These expectations can, and should, scale upwards as the new hire becomes more comfortable and experienced in the role.
A good manager is one who is constantly open to receiving feedback. Hold regular one-on-one catch-up meetings where you review job progress, and both have an opportunity to provide feedback. An open and honest dialogue is key to successful integration. Use this as an opportunity to assess your own performance as a manager. The better you become at listening, the easier it will be to create a workplace that feels welcoming and rewarding for staff.
Find Out More
A winning business culture starts with you. Book a one-on-one consultation with our HR Expert and find out how you can attract top talent to your business.