A lot of businesses are hiring right now, and I hear from owners every day who are struggling to find the right fit or rushing through the hiring process in order to fill empty spots on their team. Which is unfortunately the worst time to look for a new hire– because when you are desperate, you make mistakes, and those mistakes end up costing you thousands of hours (and possibly even thousands of dollars) in order to make it right again. But if you do find yourself having to fill a position in a hurry, all is not lost.
Here is what I suggest you do before listing your open position, which will save you thousands of hours on the back end.
Step 1: Look at your track record and current system.
If you take an honest, objective, hard look at your company’s hiring track record, what has
been your success rate? 1 in 2 hires are successful? 1 in 3? 1 in 4? Having a good understanding of where you have been successful in the past is a good place to start when listing a new position. What have you done successfully in the past? Why has it proven so hard to make good hires? What’s gotten in your way? Does your company have a rock-solid system for making great hires? If yes, does your company follow the system it has? Why or why not?
Step 2: Clarify the role, including what success in that role looks like.
After you have reviewed what has and hasn’t worked in the past, it’s time to get really clear on what you want in your new hire. And this goes far beyond just a simple title. A customer service representative can do a thousand different tasks depending on the company and the needs of its customers. So write down what you expect this person to do every day. What does a typical Monday look like in this role? How will you and they know that they are being successful? Be very thorough with your writeup, because a few hours spent on the front end will save you a lot of heartache and extra work on the back end. Don’t cheat on this step and look up what others are listing for similar positions. Only you know your company and its needs and culture, so resist the urge to copy off others.
Step 3: Create your “Candidate Profile”, including the 3-5 non-negotiable “Must Haves” for your hire to have to be successful in this role.
The last thing you want to do before posting a new job listing is to get really clear on your “Must-Haves.” Your last customer service representative may have not only had a great phone presence, but she may have been able to write amazing sales copy when needed, use Photoshop and was always able to fix a co-workers computer when it broke.. But that doesn’t mean that your next customer service representative needs to have all those skills, and realistically the chances of you finding another one just like her is pretty slim. So be realistic on the things that you need for that position, and write them down on a piece of paper. When it comes time to interview the candidates, you can simply check off whether they have those “must haves” or not. Which makes your hiring process run a lot smoother.
Hiring when you are in a time crunch can be stressful, but a little planning on the front end can make the process go a lot smoother with much better results.