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While it seems like hiring great employees should be an easy task, it isn’t. To start with, in order to hire great employees, you need to start with great candidates and getting great candidates can be challenging in and of itself. Once businesses find great candidates, however, the second challenge is narrowing the field of candidates into the best fit for the position. From there, the last challenge is overcoming your own biases in order to choose the best candidate, not necessarily just the one you like the most. Here are 3 tips to hiring the best employees.
1. Be honest about your culture
If you ask a dozen different employers or recruiters what they are looking for in an employee, you might get vastly similar answers. The truth is, however, that almost every company is going to have vastly different needs. The best employees for your company are not just going to have certain skills, they also need to have certain personality traits. For instance, no one wants to think of themselves as a micro-manager, but they are out there.
If you know you or the manager of the team you are hiring for has a tendency to micro-manage, however, you can find an employee that can handle a certain level of micro-management. If you don’t acknowledge that tendency, however, you are likely to look for a “motivated self-starter” like every business claims to want. A person that does well independently is unlikely to thrive in an environment of micro-management. Before you can get the right people, you have to be honest about what the environment you are asking them to work in really is.
2. Use pre-employment screenings
Job boards and other online tools can help you cast a wide net to get a wide range of potential candidates. Pre-employment tests and screenings can help you narrow that pool down into just a few that fit the best. Pre-employment assessments can do far more than just tell you whether prospective candidates have the right skills, they can also tell you whether they have the right personality.
People that have great customer service skills can sometimes have difficulties working alone or independently. The very aspects of their nature that make them great with people often hinder their ability to work alone or independently. Similarly, employees that work well on their own don’t always have the best customer service skills. Pre-employment assessments can test far more than just skills, they can also determine personality and temperament.
3. Account for biases
Many people think racial and gender discrimination are the only kinds of biases that recruiters and hiring managers need to watch out for. They are not. Biases are actually the way in which we help minimize the thousands of decision we are forced to make every day. In many cases, one choice is not inherently better or preferable to another, but we will still have a preference anyway. That preference is generally based on a bias. Those biases will inherently carry over into hiring decisions.
You may not be aware of it, but if a person graduates from Yale, they will often have a bias against graduates from Harvard or Dartmouth or against anyone that didn’t matriculate from an Ivy League school. While in some cases, biases can simply help us narrow the talent pool a bit further, in other cases they can actually cause us to pass up better candidates for less qualified ones. No matter how hard we try, we will never be able to fully overcome our own biases, largely because we are often so unaware of what they even are. Bias training can help, but AI and machine learning can do even more to help overcome bias in the hiring process.
The best employee for you or your business is not going to be the best employee for everyone. Finding great employees, however, goes far beyond just looking at a resume or past performance. Employees that thrive in one environment may not thrive in another and an employee with one job title at one company may have entirely different responsibilities than what another company is looking for in an employee for that same position. Finding great employees involves getting past just the standard resume and interview process and delving into whole different dynamics.