The right person in the right job is the key to success for both the employer and employee. When employees are motivated to do excellent work, the organization reaps the rewards. When employees are provided feedback on their work, they will strive to continue excellent performance or improve current performance. In the absence of feedback, employees may think you don’t appreciate or care about them or their work, or worse, their perhaps poor performance gets unofficially endorsed.
Recruiting quality employees is just the first step in building a great team. The bigger challenge is keeping them on board.
Hiring and Keeping The Best
Of course, you want to attract and keep great people. The hiring process can be costly and time-consuming, so once you’ve selected your top candidate, you want them to stay with you! Here are four steps you can take to recruit and retain top performers:
1. Define What Your New Hire Needs To Do
Before you start the hiring process, take the time to define what you need the person to accomplish. Surprisingly, this critical step is often overlooked. By first defining exactly what you need accomplished and then hiring to those requirements, you may well discover an ideal candidate you would not have considered otherwise. To illustrate, a client I worked with typically hired salespeople from within their industry. But the company’s two top salespeople previously sold in completely unrelated industries. We defined what made these two successful, their ability to open doors and be hands-on in the delivery of solutions, as the key requirement to hire similar salespeople. Industry experience was helpful, but not as important as these two fundamental skills.
2. Let the Candidate Talk About Themselves
Here is a simple but powerful rule that will reduce your hiring mistakes: Focus on understanding the candidate’s individual accomplishments. Ask all candidates to give details in the first person (“I did this”) on what they have accomplished in past roles and jobs. Specifically Look for person, place and time; specifically, who else worked with them on the accomplishment, where was this done and what time was this in (month and year). Their answers will also be easier to verify in a detailed reference check.
Many people want to describe things in the plural, saying, “We did this; we did that.” An experienced interviewer will ask what their specific role was in the accomplishment. If a person cannot describe in detail how they accomplished something, they may be overstating their involvement in the accomplishment. By using the right interviewing techniques, you can uncover the best fit for your company.
3. Ask Your Top Candidates What They Want
If you are genuinely interested in hiring an individual, communicate that interest by asking the candidate what they seek in their next role. Ask questions related to the candidates background before you tell the candidate exactly what you are looking for in skills and behavior. Take the time to ask questions that will help you learn about the person’s goals and desires. Listen very carefully to the answers and ask follow-up questions.
What you learn may even help you shape the job description for the people you ultimately hire. You’ll also convey a genuine interest in these people, and few managers do that during the interview process. As a result, you will stand out in their minds. If your interest is sincere, this is one of the most effective recruiting tools at your disposal.
4. You Are the Key to Keeping the Best
The best people want opportunities to work on the best projects and with the best clients or customers. They also want to develop personally and professionally. These people can always get a job (even in a down economy), but they often have a hard time finding an organization (and a boss) that takes an interest in helping them develop and achieve. Simply put, good people want good bosses. The number one reason, supported by significant and varied research, of why employees leave their job is directly related to their immediate manager. So, if you want good people to stay, ensure your managers are properly trained, that they know how to give feedback (positive and constructive) and that they are capable of helping people become more competent in their jobs. This is the key.
To prove the point…write down the name of the best boss you ever had. Why did you enjoy working for this person? Chances are it wasn’t their intelligence or technical ability. More likely, the key was their confidence in themselves and you. The best bosses believe in themselves and their people, and this translates into a work environment that entices a talented person to take a job and stay with it.