Hiring employees who are a good fit

The great David Ogilvy, founder of what became the world’s largest advertising agency, knew that his business’s success was founded on talent.  As he said: “If each of us hires people who are smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. But if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we shall become a company of giants.”  David understood how vital it is for any business that wishes to be successful to get it right when hiring employees.

Few people would disagree that it’s wise to hire the best people you can. But how do you go about it? We share our top 7 tips.

  1. Get the job description right when hiring employees

You’ll only attract suitable candidates if you get your job description right – people need to have a clear idea about the role they are applying for. Involve team members in drafting each job description and make sure you outline the skills, qualities and experience needed for the role, as well as the duties and responsibilities it entails.

  1. Pay enough

If you don’t provide a high enough salary, you won’t attract the right candidates. As the saying goes, “pay peanuts, get monkeys”. It’s usually better not to hire than it is to hire the wrong person.

  1. Shortlist carefully

Pay very close attention to CVs, application forms and covering letters. Look for candidates who have shaped their pitch to the role you have advertised, rather than just submitting a generic application. One top tip is to look for candidates who offer ideas about what they will contribute to your company, rather than what they will get out of the role themselves. Also, check for gaps in each applicant’s career history, as well as for evidence that they have a range of skills and talents they put to use at work and in their spare time.

  1. Pre-screen

Some candidates come across well on paper but you can often tell whether they are suitable or not within moments of speaking to them. Rather than going to the expense and hassle of interviewing every potential candidate in person, use pre-screening phone calls to create a stronger shortlist. An experienced telephone interviewer should be able to determine whether it’s worth inviting a candidate for a full interview.

  1. Remember the proof is in the pudding

When interviewing, remember that the best evidence that a person is suitable for a role comes from their past accomplishments. Ask what they have achieved for previous employers and look for evidence of initiative, taking on challenges and solving problems. Just because a person is qualified for a role doesn’t necessarily mean they have the on-the-job skills needed to succeed in it.

  1. Match personalities to roles

Always remember that a new employee will be working with others. Ask yourself whether they will be a good fit with the relevant teams, and whether they will learn from colleagues – as well as bring knowledge and experience others can learn from. Don’t mistake charisma for competence but instead focus on whether each candidate has a personality that will help them flourish within your business. Consider  profiling personalities using a psychometric test such as DISC from Thomas International. These are incredibly accurate aseessments which can tell you a great deal about a candidate that you would not usually discover until after you had hired them.

  1. Check everything

Before you offer any candidate a job, confirm important details. If you are hiring an engineer, make sure their engineering degree checks out. If a candidate has claimed they were made ‘Salesman of the Year’ with a previous employer, ask for evidence. And always follow up references – sometimes you can pick up vital intelligence even at this late stage.

Finally, be sure to follow your gut instinct. If someone seems perfect for the role but you don’t quite feel right about hiring them, there’s often a good reason for it. Hiring the wrong person can end up being expensive and cause endless worry and red tape – so it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

If you’re thinking of hiring, don’t forget to think through the financial side too. You can always have a word with us here at THP before you put that job description out there!

Need further advice on any of the topics being discussed? Get in touch and see how we can help.

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    Avatar for Jon Pryse-Jones
    About Jon Pryse-Jones

    Since joining THP in 1978, Jon Pryse-Jones has been hands on with every area of the business. Now specialising in strategy, business planning, and marketing, Jon remains at the forefront of the growth and development at THP.

    An ideas man, Jon enjoys getting the most out of all situations, “I act as a catalyst for creative people and encourage them to think outside the box,” he says, “and I’m not afraid of being confrontational. It often leads to a better result for THP and its clients.”

    Jon’s appreciation for THP extends to his fellow team members and the board.  “They really know how to run a successful business,” he says.  He’s keen on IT and systems development as critical to success, and he continues to guide THP to be at the cutting edge and effective.

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