People are your most valuable business resource. You can have the best idea, product or service; you can be well funded, have great cash flow and be positioned in the right market. However, without the right people, in the right role, you won’t achieve your goals.
Having run businesses for the past 20 years I know the value of ensuring everyone is working towards the same vision and hire the right staff.
Your team need to match your core values, with the right skills and the right attitude, and you need to create a culture where they can to thrive.
Creating the right culture starts with having hiring and employment processes which actively creates and fosters a healthy team of staff. This should include:
- A screening process to match candidates’ values to the company’s core values and ensures they have the skills and experience for the role
- An accountability chart to clarify each person’s role and responsibilities
- Setting goals for each team member with measurables and completion date
- A scorecard which tracks what they have achieved on a weekly basis
- Regular meetings to review, reward and recognise the team
- An annual review to assess achievements, productivity and set next year’s goals
Putting in place these HR tools and systems will help ensure you don’t waste money, time, energy and resources on hiring the wrong people.
Designing your hiring process
The first step in your hiring process is to identify your target market: which candidates would be most suitable for the role you are filling? There is no point advertising in places where they don’t search for jobs.
For example, when my company Bold Clarity needed a freelance office assistant, we decided the role would suit a mother returning to work with previous office experience, so found places to advertise where this group would search.
Respond swiftly to any applications – we had over 130 – as good applicants are snapped up quickly. With that many candidates, we needed a highly effective screening process to identify was who right for the job. Our criteria for success included:
- A well written and non-generic cover letter, ideally referring to our company and area of business
- Bonus points given if they addressed the job specifications or requirements in their cover letter
- A well formatted CV
- Speed of response to our request for additional information
- Good customer service skills, with a tenacious, “get things done personality”
We created a seven-stage recruitment process, designed to filter out those who didn’t meet our criteria.
- A “request for further information”
- Phone screening
- Competency testing
- A peer interview
- Kolbe testing – a psychometric which identifies people’s natural abilities
- An interview with me
We then offered the most suitable candidate a paid trial day to see how they work; it is an indication of how much a person wants a job if they are willing to take a day’s holiday for a trial. If the trial was a success, then we offered them the job.
Making sure candidates match your core values
The interview is crucial for determining whether a candidate is aligned with your business, by interviewing them around their core values and delving into their drivers, passions and goals.
Use a template to prepare for the interview, so you can ask smarter questions and be more consistent. Interviewing without this preparation risks asking different questions to different candidates, making it harder to evaluate and compare. A second issue if you interview without a template is that you might ask leading questions, so the candidate tells you what you want to hear, rather than their true answer.
With a system and a set of specific questions, I aim to be conversational, and ask candidates to give examples of how they have done things.
Without telling them, I ask questions around my core values. For example, in the interviews for the part-time office assistant, I asked for an instance when candidates had said they would do something and followed through and done it.
Much to my surprise, one candidate said, oh, I never to that. I always tell my friends that I am going to meet them for a coffee and then cancel at the last minute. Needless to say, I didn’t hire her.
You need to hire the right staff who share your core values is a key tenet of the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS), which I help businesses to implement. EOS provides business leaders with a framework to run their businesses effectively and it has two valuable tools which can be used during the hiring process.
The first is the EOS People Analyser™. Write your company core values at the top and evaluate whether a candidate meets or matches the value. Mark them + if they do it most of the time, +/- if they do it some of the time and – if they don’t do it most of the time.
When a company has five core values, a candidate with three plus’ and two plus/minus’ will be a good match for your company. There should be no minuses.
The second tool is GWC – Get it, Want it, the Capacity to do the job. Does the candidate answer yes or no to these questions?
Get it – do they truly understand their role and the company’s culture, systems and process? Your interview questions should help determine this.
Want it – are they motivated to take responsibility and do the job? Ask the candidate on a scale of 1-10 how much they want the position, and if the answer isn’t 10, be wary. You want them to be excited about the job – after all, they will never be as motivated as when they first start.
Capacity – do they have the time and the mental, physical and emotional capacity to do the job well? Again, your interview questions should scrutinise this.
Getting the recruitment process right, so you hire motivated, confident and competent staff is crucial.
A healthy team, who share your vision, you enable your business to thrive and grow.
Julia Langkraehr is the founder of Bold Clarity and is a Certified Implementer of the Entrepreneurial Operating System.