Community Futures Meridian

Box 2167, 125 - 1st Avenue East, Kindersley, SK - Phone: (306) 463-1850

Hiring Right

  • March 3, 2017
  • Written by Meridian Admin

One of the biggest challenges faced by small business owners is hiring good employees. Hiring the right person will make an owner’s life easier, free up their time, save and/or make the company more money and help the company grow. The wrong employee, of course, can be a total nightmare.

So, how do you ensure you make the right choice when employing someone, whether it’s your first employee or someone who will have to fit into your existing team?

Here are some basic tips to help you hire the right employee by identifying the importance of “fit” in matching a prospective employee’s knowledge, skills and abilities with the expectations of the job and dynamics of the company and the current team.

Minimum Qualifications

Before even placing a job ad, consider what it is you want this person to do and what hard and soft skills they will need as a minimum. Hard skills are those specific proficiencies required to do the job. It is usually easy to identify if a candidate has these skills. Although, bear in mind, you may be able to train someone in these skills if they are otherwise the right fit.

Soft skills in many ways are more important as they include behavioral patterns – that is the way people interrelate with others. Typical soft skills might include: the ability to communicate well; an open and friendly nature; the ability to use initiative; and being a team player.

Think about what hard and soft skills you need your employee to have for the specific position you are hiring for and list them. For instance, if you are hiring a backroom techie they might not need to have an outgoing personality while someone dealing directly with customers requires excellent communications skills.

Successful Interviewing

In today’s world, as a business owner, you can expect to be interviewed by candidates as much as you interview them. Millennials especially are keen to ensure the company is a good fit for them.

Here are a few key things you might want to consider to ensure a successful interview:

· Give applicants plenty of notice to prepare. This will also give you time to prepare.

· Ensure you know exactly what the job will entail; preferably pull together a job description (key roles and responsibilities).

· Be able to talk about what makes the job interesting and challenging and what career growth it offers. And, what skills and strengths the right person will need.

· Consider what you want to tell the applicant about your company; its history, products and services, potential growth. Also, why it’s a great place to work.

· Review the candidate’s resume and make notes on a separate sheet.

· Prepare your interview questions.

· Organize an appropriate private space for the interview and ensure no interruptions or distractions.

· Consider what questions an applicant might ask you, and prepare answers. Common questions will be around pay, benefits, hours, bonuses, dress code etc.

· Remember, there is legislation surrounding what you can and cannot ask candidates. For more information on this check out the following Canadian Human Rights Commission publication:

o English:

o French:

Interview Questions

When preparing questions remember the journalist’s rule of always asking open-ended questions such as:

1. What skills and qualifications would you bring to this job?

2. Tell me about a time when you…

a. had to deal with an angry customer

b. were required to reprioritize your work, based on a last minute request

c. had to think outside‐of‐the‐box in order to solve a problem

d. had to make an unpopular decision

e. took initiative to accomplish a project at work

3. Is there anything preventing you from meeting the commitments and/or requirements of this job?

4. Why did you apply for this job?

5. Why do you want to work for this company?

6. What do you know about the company?

7. What do you know about the position?

8. If I were to contact one of your references, what would they say is your greatest strengths/challenges/weakness?

9. What are your career goals?

10. What do/did you enjoy most/least about your previous/current job?

Follow Up

It’s great to be able to call an applicant and offer them the job, but it will be good for your reputation if you contact those that were shortlisted and let them know why they didn’t make it this time. This will allow you to keep the lines of communication open if a position comes up in the future. And, remember that in some cases an unsuccessful candidate can also be a potential customer.

Ask Yourself

If you followed the advice in this article, and after you next interview you can answer yes to the following questions, you are on your way to hiring right!

Did you?

· set the stage for the interview?

· greet candidates in a welcoming manner?

· focus on asking open‐ended questions?

· avoid illegal questions?

· ask behavioural questions?

· thank the candidate for their time?

· let the candidate know what to expect from the rest of the process?

Finally, hiring right involves a solid, well-thought-out process, not hiring someone you personally like, or who thinks like you. Avoid hiring a clone; hire the right person for the specific job you are hiring for. A little up front planning will save you months of trouble in the long run.

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