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Take a deep look at what you have and what strengths the current team members have.
People tend to make a mistake in hiring people similar to themselves, when in reality they need to be hiring to supplement their weaknesses. Spell out the position and the ideal, perfect world candidate. Then get real about your salary range and skillset. This can range from an unpaid intern helping with a variety of items to a salary plus bonus based on production.
We like to recommend sitting down with pen and paper and making a list of things you like doing and don’t like doing. Another tip is to ask others or do an anonymous survey to get feedback here too. You have to be honest with yourself about your strengths and weakness to get the right people on board.
You should also speak to an accountant or HR professional to assess if you can hire staff as a 1099 contractor versus employee. There are a number of companies that can help you maintain compliance for w-2 employees and handle a simple payroll. We use and recommend TaxinHouse.com (be sure to drop our name) and also LegalDepot.com is great for documents specific to state laws (free, fully functional trial).
This is a crucial part of this process that is often under-served. It’s really important to spell out the role you’re looking to hire. Both in the day to day and in the high level of “what does it feel like” when this role is done well. You also want your company culture to shine through on this description.
The job title is very important too. Don’t make it super fluffy, but don’t make everyone your assistant either.
We are big fans of Indeed and social media for sharing out jobs. One of the most overlooked opportunities is marketing to your sphere and past clients. These are people who really know you, how you work, and people that might work well with you. We highly recommend pushing out to your database that you are hiring. It’s great marketing for your business that, “We’re growing!”, and also a great way to find ideal candidates.
We highly recommend getting an account at Workable.com. At $50 per month per job, posting with unlimited users, and a 14 day free trial this is an excellent low cost option to manage all resume information. This gives you the capability to invite others on your team to help review resumes and make notes on candidates. It also allows you to email the candidate(s) directly and create and save email templates for easy, consistent follow-up. Another advantage is the ability to put the candidates in different categories based on screening method or skill set. As you wean the number of candidates down you can easily cross them off the list or invite them to stay on the interview process. Resumes can be uploaded automatically which means you can spend more of your time analyzing candidates rather than working with software.
Read through with an open mind. We almost always send a round of some basic questions to narrow applicants quickly for anyone that qualifies for a second look. Some people won’t even fill them out, some people will eliminate themselves with grammar or spelling and then you have a smaller pool to really dig a little deeper on. Once you receive the feedback on that second tier of questions, you will have a better idea who each candidate is based on their answers and their resume.
We highly recommend Calendly (free trial, then also a free, one-event version after that) for setting up in person interviews or phone calls.
It’s important to ask questions to get a feel for how the person will respond to day-to-day tasks.
We suggest focusing on asking open-ended questions and letting the interviewee talk as much as they can.
You can also plan to ask for a DISC profile as an additional measure - at meeting or in advance. We’re big fans of the report from the free Tony Robbins DISC found here: https://www.tonyrobbins.com/disc/
Generally, your first impression of someone will be right, in our experience - read “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell if you ever want to dig deeper on this.
Consider giving them some time with someone else at the office or the team they will be joining - largely to get that person’s opinion. You can step out to “grab a call” or get some coffee to give them a few minutes. Your agents and staff will respect you for asking their opinion too.
As with many things, you get better as you do a few interviews. We recommend setting up interviews with a few B prospects before meeting with any A prospects to find what techniques work best for you.
Take some time with the narrowed resumes and ideas. Make a spreadsheet if that’s your thing and give applicants a score or a way to compare and contrast them. Meet them by phone and then in person. This gives you two different viewpoints of their behavior and professional work ethic. It also allows you to see if they would fit into your company culture and day-to-day office business. Another option is to have them “test drive” or “shadow” the office for a day. Have final candidates meet some of your staff to see if they fit in well and see how quickly they pick up on certain things to help you determine the best fit. Keep in mind skill set and personality traits so you come out with the best fit for your company on all levels.
It’s super important that you MAKE THE PERSON AN OFFER. We see people all the time basically say, “You’re not terrible, let’s try this out.” That’s just not a good way to start. Make it a big point that you are choosing them from a pool of candidates and that you are excited to work with them. Make sure they know that it will be hard work, but you’re confident in their abilities and happy to get to know each other. We also recommend a formal offer letter spelling out the basic terms and expectations.
Have a formal onboarding process - even if it’s super simple. One great way to start your own onboarding list is to just start writing down everything that you do when you bring on the next hire or agent. Think really basic items like software logins, company email address, business cards, pic and bio, etc.
Set a note in your calendar for 30/60/90 day reviews as soon as the person signs their agreement. We recommend having a one-on-one in person meeting to talk about what’s going well and what could be improved. You should plan for an annual review moving forward after your initial reviews.
We also highly recommend writing this down and keeping a copy on file and ideally sending the employee/agent/contractor with a written copy to review beyond the meeting. Pro tip: this also makes dismissal easier if there are things addressed early that don’t get fixed over time.
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