One of the hardest things to watch as a business consultant is seeing business owners struggle to get everything done.
It's such a Catch 22...you wouldn't need to hire if you weren't so busy, but now you're too overwhelmed to spend time on hiring & training new staff!
This week on The Six Figure Biz Show I'm breaking down for you step-by-step the strategy I use to save business owners hours of time, help them attract a great culture fit, and prevent toxic personalities from destroying the business.
So, as always, let’s pull this problem apart.
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With every episode of The Six Figure Biz, I like to empower you with a POWERFUL free resource that goes with the episode which you can implement right away to create some of the same results, if not better, in your business.
This week, since we are talking about hiring, and how time consuming and aggravating it can be, I put together a Hiring Survival Guide so you know step-by-step how to implement this strategy.
After going through this freebie you will be able to save hours of time interviewing candidates, and know precisely what questions to ask in the job interview.
You can download it right away by clicking on the button above 👆
It all starts with having a good pool of applicants. When promoting for a new team member, don't ever lower your standards. Keep them high and remember that you don’t just want a top quality person, but you deserve that person! Your business growth depends upon staff who are bright, energetic, sensitive, intelligent and outgoing. Be willing to compete for that type of person.
In my years of helping clients build million-dollar businesses, I've found that most business owners have a lot of limiting beliefs around hiring: "It's hard to hire right now," and "My competitors can pay more so no one will want to work here." to name a few!
The truth is, studies show that job candidates are looking more and more for a company with a great mission to get behind, and a good culture fit (benchmarkone.com).
While it is important to do your research and set competitive salary or wages, often you will be surprised at the number of candidates who come to you from those same competitors...because you've built a culture around the things that matter.
So stop worrying about whether they will want YOU, and focus on what you want in them!
The next thing to consider is whether or not a full-time employee is the right choice for your business right now.
Review your budget or profit & loss statement, and determine how much you can afford to offer.
Also consider whether or not you have proven processes and written procedures to train the new hire in the tasks you expect them to do. If not, be prepared to pay more to hire an expert!
Work out what the basic purpose of the role will be. In one or two sentences - what is it that they are meant to accomplish for the business or area?
Finally, consider whether you need: 1) full-time, 2) part-time, 3) contractor or freelancer, 4) intern or 5) a virtual assistant might be a better fit to fill this role.
Using platforms like Indeed and ZipRecruiter, place an ad that sets expectations from the get-go for potential employees.
The advantages of these websites are the easy tools they include to help you sort through the resumes and only call the ones that match your requirements.
Therefore, it's important to develop an advertisement that will attract the person you are looking for:
Use an attention-grabbing headline to pique curiosity (e.g., “Are You Motivated?” or “Do You Have What It Takes To Be My Assistant?” or “Are You A People Person?”).
List specific job duties and skills (e.g., “Must have good people skills and be able to handle a busy traffic load.” or “Must be able to take initiative and think on your feet.”).
Warning: beware of the use of too many descriptors in your hiring ad. Some business owners make the error of trying to use the ad to filter out bad hires, rather than allowing the process to do the weeding. A candidate who lacks self-confidence might not identify as "cheerful" and yet be a great hire!
To avoid being deluged with phone calls and walk-ins, include a statement in your ad conveying that you will not accept applications in that manner (e.g., “Email resumes only. No phone calls or walk-ins please.”).
A good hiring campaign should get dozens of responses! Only some of these need to be called in for an interview.
So the first step as an employer is to set yourself a "two-strikes" rule.
Sort through the resumes, and set aside in the discard pile any that have two or more mistakes. For example, if you made a cover letter a requirement, and there isn't one, that would be a strike.
While this might mean rejecting some amazing people, remember: if they can't follow directions or be bothered to proofread their own application, they are unlikely to meet your job expectations either.
Only those who meet this test should be called for an interview.
Finding a new employee can be a very time consuming process. To consolidate efforts and streamline the initial stage of the interview and selection process, have all the applicants who meet the basic criteria come into the office for a “group interview” session.
One of the things we must do in the hiring process is give the candidate opportunities to demonstrate how they will hold up under pressure.
A normal job interview doesn't really do that. Everybody knows what to expect, the questions are often quite routine, and although the candidate might sweat a little, normally there isn't an opportunity to really see them in action.
But by inviting them to a job interview WITHOUT telling them it will be a group interview with their competition, we provide a surprise and a bit of pressure which allows us to see how they hold up.
Once you have collected all of the resumes, go through them and screen out those who do not have the basic qualifications you are seeking.
Consider whether or not the resume included a cover letter and if the letter really communicates something about the candidate. Look at their experience, background and talents mentioned in the resume and letter.
Next, call all those who appear to be the very best and schedule them to come into your office to complete an application and brief interview.
During the phone call, “rate” phone voice, composure, professionalism and willingness by making notations on the resume. You will find a checklist for how to do this inside the Hiring Survival Guide.
Schedule all of the applicants for the same time, such as an evening after work or a Saturday morning.
As you prepare for your first attempt at using this strategy, think about what a job interview is truly supposed to accomplish:
1) Attract the BEST candidates
2) Show them why working for you is the BEST decision they could make
3) Filter out those who lack the skills, would be hard to train, don't or can't listen to direction, and truly toxic personalities.
When you think about it, the traditional method of hiring - one job interview at a time, doesn't really provide the opportunity to do these with any certainty!
So instead, we will prepare this group interview to do all three.
First, set up a mole for the interview. A mole is a "spy" - someone who already works at the business or perhaps a friend or a spouse, who will attend the group interview pretending to be a candidate.
The mole's job is to listen.
What are they listening for? Well, when you walk out of the room, how do the candidates behave? Inevitably, there will be that one candidate who bad mouths somebody, tries to put others down, or does something toxic...which you never would have known if not for your mole!
The way to manage the mole is to have them sit there quietly in the room and fill out paperwork just like everybody else. And then interview them last - so they can tell you what they observed.
The next thing you will need to prepare are the packets of paperwork for each of your candidates. These should contain an application, questionnaire and a form for the candidate to state their employment goals and their understanding of what your company culture is. You can find templates for these forms inside the Hiring Survival Guide.
When applicants arrive to the group interview, welcome them all and deliver a brief statement about the company and the position they are applying for.
Next, direct them to the packets handed out and have them fill out the paperwork you provided.
You also want to ask them each to write a brief letter to a customer who has an overdue account. This will give you an indication of how the person deals with sensitive matters, and their level of professionalism with clients.
As each person finishes the paperwork, take them individually into a private office and conduct a brief job interview: 1) ask your questions and observe their behavior, 2) answer any of their questions, 3) inform them you that you plan to review the paperwork for each candidate before making a decision and that they may be called back in for a longer interview.
One of the biggest questions I get asked is: How do I come up with good interview questions?" Inside the Hiring Survival Guide I included dozens of examples of job interview questions you can and should ask!
Based on what you know at this point, you will be able to determine whom you wish to have back for a second interview.
I hope you found this episode helpful!
Once you have hired the best candidate, you will need a process for onboarding, training and managing them to help them become the best employee they can be. I can help.
Sarah Nicole Nadler is a business + balance coach. When she’s not serving her clients, she geeks out on board games, fantasy novels, and explores the great outdoors with her husband Ben. A digital nomad, she currently calls Tampa Bay, Florida home.