How To Attract, Hire and Retain Employees
“Great Vision Without Great People Is Irrelevant” — Jim Collins
A good hiring and onboarding process is the essential piece of building a great team. This may seem obvious, but it’s certainly not easy. Attracting great talent is one of the biggest challenges of any manager, and finding the “the perfect fit” is non-existent.
Over the last decade, I have hired and trained more than 50 employees. Keeping in mind that everyone has their own hiring and management style, I’ve learned so many great lessons through all the office quarrels, employee reviews, salary negotiations, under performance and misaligned expectations. Companies that have it figured out operate on a higher frequency, and the right mix of people will build camaraderie that sweetens the company culture — eventually attracting more great talent.
The Recruiting Process: How to Find Quality Job Candidates
“You need to have a collaborative hiring process.” — Steve Jobs, Apple
- Identify the key pieces that your company is lacking and write down a list of everything an ideal candidate would bring to the table. Turn this into a job description.
- Start by promoting the job opportunity within your network — on social media, your website, and emailing friends and family. Use software like ZipRecruiter to get your job posting out into the world, but your network is the best place to start because it usually attracts good cultural fits.
- Replace “Job Requirements” with “Nice-to-Haves” to attract a wider net of candidates. Requirements can deter people that may be experienced in the areas you need most, while people can quickly adapt in other areas.
There is no such thing as the perfect candidate. Align the key areas of need with the employees strengths, and if most of the important things align than you’ve found a good fit.
The Interview Process: How to Vet the Candidates
“Hire an attitude, not just experience and qualification.” — Greg Savage
- Prepare a short list (~5-10) of interview questions. Start with an initial call to gage if both parties are aligned and interested, and follow-up with an in-person meeting if it goes well.
- Take multiple in-person interviews with different members of the team. Get feedback from key people on each candidate so they all get buy-in that this wasn’t just your decision. Letting a few days pass between meetings will give you some time to think over the candidates with a clear mind.
- Send a questionnaire for candidates to complete before and after these meetings. Seeing how well they respond to these questions will be an easy indicator of what type of employee they will become.
- If you’re in the position to try working with the candidate on a test project, or a trial period, this will give you a good sense of their working style and can easily (dis)qualify candidates.
Hire slow. There is no need to rush the hiring process, even if you know you need someone immediately. “Hire fast, fire fast” is in the past. Save yourself the headache of dealing with on-boarding and off-boarding employees, and take your time interviewing people.
The Onboarding Process: How to Welcome and Train Employees
“Hire character. Train skill.” — Peter Schutz
- Give your employee ample time to get acclimated prior to their first day. Send them your Company Handbook, invite them to Email, Slack, and whatever Project Management tools you use. Set them up on your Human Resources platform ahead of time so on the first day you can get right into the fun stuff.
- Have their workspace set up and ready to go. Leave a good book for them on their desk, a note pad, and maybe a gift of some sort.
- Prepare a Day 1 Agenda that involves a few hours in the morning for the new hire to meet the team, and then walk them through the company vision, values, clients and key projects. Create an open and direct line of communication and express the value of transparency.
- Have a backlog of easy tasks for them to get acclimated. Throw them into the mix, but don’t rush the process and overwhelm them.
Organize a team lunch or happy hour to welcome the team member with some drinks and food. A belly full is a happy heart.
Employee Growth: Human Focus
“Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.” — Stephen R. Covey
- 360-Employee Review System: Schedule monthly one-on-one reviews with every member of your team so they can voice any issues, address concerns and bend your ear. Quarterly performance reviews should be held to see how employees are performing against their job description, and peer evaluations can be used to gage how they are collaborating with others. Conduct annual reviews to evaluate overall employee satisfaction, review their job title, description and salary.
- Offer your employees ample time off, require they leave the office at a certain time, and give them freebies here and there to work remote or go on adventures.
- Weekly standups, team lunches and monthly cultural events are a great way build memorable bonds between employees and the company.
- Promote from within, and pay your team well.
At King Tide, we have created a culture where employees can move vertically or horizontally within the organization, empowering them to try new things while have a clear path of advancement.
This philosophy is great for small businesses, but can be applied to larger organizations as well. Culture is the backbone of every company, and your people are by far your most valuable asset.
“If you can hire people whose passion intersects with the job, they won’t require any supervision at all. They will manage themselves better than anyone could ever manage them. Their fire comes from within, not from without. Their motivation is internal, not external.” — Stephen Covey