As a small startup, CareerPlug has always understood the importance of a lean team of high performing employees. We know that making the right hire isn’t just filling a seat, but can have tremendous impact on a company’s success. The right person brings new ideas, implements innovations, and delivers meaningful results. As we often tell our software clients, hiring should not be viewed as an annoyance – to be addressed only out of necessity when a team member leaves – but as an ongoing practice integral to the growth of your business.
This isn’t to say CareerPlug hasn’t made its share of hiring blunders. Whether it was hires made in haste or with poor vetting, these hires didn’t stick around for long. What we’ve learned is to never take hiring for granted, along with a few other things…
A hiring process isn’t helpful, it’s essential
We have a comprehensive hiring process at CareerPlug (no surprise for a company that makes hiring software). From phone screens and assessments to speciality interviews and reference checks, we’ve found a method that works for us. Our hiring process keeps us consistent across all teams, ensuring we’re not only looking for the right skill set, but identifying characteristics and values that align with our own (aka “cultural fit”). It also allows multiple people to meet with candidates – including future colleagues and other department leaders – to provide perspective for the hiring manager. While every hiring manager customizes the process for their team, the building blocks always stay the same.
Ongoing recruiting doesn’t matter…until it does
Last year we were hiring for a highly needed new position that end up taking over six months to fill. The market was competitive and getting quality candidates was a struggle, no matter how well we followed best practices. If we’d been consistently looking for talent, even before the position was posted, we could’ve had a talent pipeline at the beginning (and saved a lot of time and headache). By accepting resumes for future openings, keeping an eye out for talent, and following up when we see it, we are able to build a pool of great candidates. When we do have a position, we’ll reach out to them first. It’s also worth noting that sometimes an exceptional candidate merits making an exception (even if you don’t have an open position). Make the hire and see how an excellent candidate can help your business succeed.
Don’t settle (really)
The right hire makes a difference, even if it takes a little while for them to show up. Don’t fill positions with “desperation hires” to alleviate short-term pain. When you’re short-staffed and your team is overworked, settling for the “good-enough” candidate is easy to do. When that candidate leaves after a short tenure and you’re back to square one … not so easy. Make the investment in recruiting the right person for the job (notice I didn’t say perfect, rarely will anyone show up on your doorstep who’s a cookie cutter fit). To this end, running a full hiring process is always necessary to making a great hire – even if you’re in a time crunch or the candidate is a referral from someone you trust.
What have you learned from your hiring experiences?