Losing a good employee is tough on an organization. You often lose not only their expertise, but you also lose a personality that contributed to your business’ culture. It’s true that it can be hard to replace your best employees, but I find that new hires can present a company with an opportunity to improve all aspects of their office.
Each time we are tasked with this undertaking, I always begin by asking myself a few questions. What do we, as an organization, want and need in a new hire? What qualities will they need to have the ability to do the work? What qualities will this person need to have the passion to do the work? What is our office culture and how would a new person fit?
Here’s the truth of the matter: In my opinion, for most (definitely not all, but most) positions, qualified applicants are a dime a dozen: the quality that makes someone the best candidate is usually something they can offer your business that no one else can. No, not a penchant for bringing coffee in for the entire office or a vacation home they don’t mind sharing. I’m talking more about the ability to encourage your office to reach for an even higher level of success, or a passion for your business’ mission.
Here are some tips for finding a diamond in the rough:
Look in your own backyard. Most companies look to promote internally before they release a new job to public listings, but I encourage you to not just send out a company-wide email, but actively look within your own company for a replacement. With internal hires, you already know that they fit in at your office, and with the right grooming that person will often surpass your expectations.
Ask the right questions. Once your interviews begin, make sure you ask the right questions of your candidates. It may be tempting to ask the tried and true (Where do you see yourself? Are you a team player?), but I suggest you try something new. For instance, ask “How do you define professional success?” Asking broad questions allows candidates more freedom, and often times their opinions on their personal future and professional likes and dislikes will be revealed without your prodding or leading.
Don’t dig your heels in. We all want to find the “perfect” candidate. “Sally would be great if she just knew a little more about excel or had a little more customer service experience.” Dismissing an otherwise great candidate because they don’t possess one skill is a mistake. The best candidates can be taught, and often taught quickly. Hiring and mentoring a candidate with exceeding potential can also be good for your company as it often fosters loyalty.
Go with your gut. You may want to have a few people in on the interview who can provide you with valuable feedback, but that doesn’t mean that you must 100% agree with them. Follow your instincts.
Follow these tips and you will undoubtedly find an employee that complements your staff and business’ mission. For more information, go to BBB.org.