Guest Blogpost by Laura Wallace, Owner and Creative Director, Worx Graphic Design, based in Hagerstown MD. Laura is a branding expert, author and speaker.
Expanding your team is an exciting time for opportunity. A qualified candidate can bring relief to dense workloads, bring fresh life into the office and help take you to your next goal. Finding the right fit for your culture is an essential part of the process. Considering what their goals are, how they fit into your current culture and how their skills propel the team are all things that take time and planning.
Here are a few tips on how to get to the right person, faster:
When putting out your ad, lay it all out. Be as specific as possible about what you’re asking of them, what your expectations are and what they can expect their job to be like. Transparency is key in setting the tone for working together. List the skills required, types of projects they’ll be performing and what they may be asked to do from time to time. Tell company characteristics – who you are, what you do and how it makes a difference. What is acceptable and what isn’t? What’s in it for them? The more specific you can be, the more qualified candidates you will receive.
The interview process has been the same for decades. What is your company culture like? How can you infuse the interview process with that same concept? The questions you ask should be framed around the ideal, long-term employee in mind. Make a list of qualities you are seeking and check them off as you go. Consider untraditional interview styles like putt-putt golf or having them put together a piece of furniture with your team. Seeing how they interact in normal situations can give you early signs of their true personality vs. rehearsed interview questions across a desk.
When you’re adding someone to your team, it affects everyone. Take the time needed to find the right fit, even if that means going through several rounds of people. You have the right to be choosey when it comes to evaluating their work, their working style and how they mesh (or don’t) with your team. Include things like personality tests or strengths finder tests (We love using the Gallup Strengths Finder). These will give you unbiased data to see who this person really is. If you know what you’re looking for, these types of tests will shed light on the right fit.
As an employer or manager, you have a responsibility to look out for your current team while nurturing new talent. Hire slowly and fire quickly. A bad egg can overturn a whole cart and by taking the steps above, you can reduce your risk of being in that situation. And when the right fit gets settled in, it will feel like he or she has always been there.