Entrepreneurs know that talented people can accelerate their success and that bad talent decisions can sabotage the odds of survival for their startup companies.
Here are four strategic recommendations for startup or young businesses that want to succeed the first time at hiring key employees.
Job description diligence
Most job descriptions today are incomplete, vague and uninspiring. But they are key to not only attracting people with the right skill set, but also for motivating a candidate to apply.
Put yourself in the candidate’s shoes. Would you apply to a young or small company if the job description was boring, hard to understand or poorly written? A recent poll of StartUpHire.com candidates showed that 44 percent wouldn’t apply to a job post that was poorly written, even if they met the qualifications.
What should you do? Make the job description exciting. A job post is an advertisement. Prioritize what skills and experiences you need and make sure they are conveyed in the job description. Explain the role to the reader. Be realistic about your expectations. Don’t describe someone who doesn’t exist.
Finally, don’t focus on pay and benefits. Candidates will want to know, but you want to share that once they are interviewed.
Candidate referrals are golden
Use your network. Business groups, the local associations in your industry, current employees, and friends and family should all be sent an email with the job description and candidate application directions (web link or email address). Offer them a reward such as cash or a large screen TV if you hire a candidate they recommend.
Open up the referral program to your network. Use this kind of headline: “Know a top performer? Send them our way and earn $1,000!”
Upgrade your interviewing technique
Interviews are key to vetting your candidates and, typically, they are poorly done. The latest, most effective technique is called “situational interviewing” in which the interviewer provide the candidates with situations and asks them to respond.
For instance, ask them about a time when they underwent a specific challenge and how they handled it. If you are hiring a salesperson, ask them to describe a challenging sales situation that resembles a situation they may face at your company. Once they tell you about it, dig deeper and listen for specific skills — and listen to if they are stumbling.
These are mandatory: Job boards and LinkedIn
You need to post your positions on job boards to reach a broader audience. Clearinghouse job boards include Careerbuilder, Indeed, Monster and SimplyHired, among many other niche boards that attract job seekers looking for work in a particular industry, geographic location or career field.
Also use LinkedIn for recruiting purposes. Actively search for candidates among LinkedIn members by searching on keywords for people with the required qualifications listed in their LinkedIn profile. Share your contact information so others can easily contact you whether you are actively or passively employee searching. To learn more, take the LinkedIn tutorials, which are well done.