When you hire an employee, you are not just bringing someone in to install flooring, service HVAC systems, or design compelling spaces for clients. You are hiring them to represent your company, to be your face in the field, to help you meet your business-building goals. The right employee is your biggest asset. Think of growing your team as building the foundation of your business: you need it to be strong, secure, and able to withstand challenges while accommodating growth.
5 Tips for Hiring the Right Employees
How do you get the right people on your team?
1.Start by Clarifying Your Job Descriptions and Needs. Define the scope of the job, including responsibilities, required skills, outcomes, and the work environment. What do you want this person to do? How will you know they are qualified for the job? And how will you support them in achieving the outcomes you need? Create accurate, concise job descriptions before you attempt to find the person who will fit like a glove.
2.Publicize Your Openings. Posting job openings on Indeed and ZipRecruiter is fine. Do it. But don’t stop there, or you may miss out on top talent. Job seekers say that social media is the most useful job search resource out there, and 79% of applicants use social media in their search.
Even better: social media is an effective way to catch “passive candidates.” These are folks who are already employed and not actively looking for a job. If the right opportunity comes along, however… You’ve got them. If you focus on job posting avenues exclusively, you’ll miss them.
3.Rethink Your Interview Process. Here’s the deal: most people can nail a job interview if they do a little studying and put in some practice time. That’s because employers tend to ask the same questions, and it’s just a matter of perfecting the expected answers. So, shake your interview process up.
Why not take the prospective employee out to meet your team? How do they interact? Do they ask questions? Express interest? Do they treat everyone with respect? This is one way to assess fit – or the candidate’s ability to coalesce with the team. It’s easy to give the right answers in an interview room; but how do they act out in the “wild” or when the unexpected occurs?
4.Focus Hard on Soft Skills. We know: you need a certified plumber or electrician, you need a designer with applicable experience. Hard skills and education are essential, but some of those skills can be taught and acquired on the job. How about the candidate’s ability to listen? Communicate? Interact with diverse people? How about their personality and willingness to work, learn, collaborate, and grow? You can assess these “soft” skills in an interview situation but remember: if you can reinvent that process to be more encompassing, you may find people who lack a specific degree or certification (at present) but have all the right attributes to contribute meaningfully now and into the future.
5.Ask Your People. Want to find the right employees? Ask your current team members for recommendations. They can reach into their own network to find prospective candidates. Whether it’s their old trade school classmate, a connection they met on another job, a friend who is looking for a new opportunity … you can find the talent you need. If you have dedicated employees, they will not steer you wrong; that is, they will not recommend someone for a job if they are not confident that they will perform it well and contribute to the business. After all, it’s your employees’ reputation on the line too.
Unique Challenges for the Home Industry
It’s tough enough for other industries to find the right employees to fill critical roles. In the home industry, it’s even more challenging. The ongoing labor shortage means we’re looking to fill more jobs with fewer candidates. If you want to think metaphorically, we’re trying to deep sea fish in a relatively small pond. How can you grow your team when skilled tradespeople are in such high demand?
Concentrate on Culture. You can fight the war for talent with culture. This allows you to target the right people from the start, differentiate yourself from other companies, and retain employees going forward. Your culture is your identity, and this is what gives you a tremendous competitive edge.
Provide On-the-Job Education. We mentioned that hard skills and experience can be acquired. The right person may not have the perfect education – yet. Give it to them. On-the-job programs not only enable you to fill critical roles, but also help you recruit and retain top talent. If they have a choice between a job for which they are technically qualified and a job that they can grow into and continue to grow with, it’s a no-brainer for motivated workers.
Be the Change You Want to See. We’re an innovative bunch. We’re used to seeing challenges and creating solutions. This is equally applicable to the labor crunch. Sometimes, it’s not a matter of finding the right people; it’s a matter of developing them. This is why initiatives like high school and trade school partnerships and collaborative artisan organizations are so critical. There is so much talent out there, and if we can steer it to the trades and promote rewarding careers with growth potential, we’re going to win the war.
Taking the time to hire smart is essential to your business’s success. When you’re thinking about growing your team, also consider what you can do to grow the next generation of talent. At Home Artisans of Indiana, we are committed to building better businesses together. Find out more or connect to request an invitation to join.