Whether you’re a big company or a brand new startup, bringing on a team member is a big deal. A new hire is an opportunity to expand your team’s skills, knowledge, and culture. The right hire can take your company to the next level—but the wrong hire can really throw a wrench in your well-oiled machine.
If you’re looking to hire a new employee but are unsure where to start, read on for our 10 best tips for choosing the right candidate for your company.
Write a Strong Job Description
Attracting the right candidate begins with writing a strong job description. If you’ve ever sought out a job on job search boards, you’ve probably noticed that a lot of the job descriptions are extremely similar. Especially with startups, job descriptions tend to focus more on the perks than the job itself.
You want to attract a strong candidate who won’t only be passionate about the position but will also stick around. Be sure to focus on the details of the job, as well as how the job fits into the grander scheme of the company. If you do have perks, it’s great to include them, but be sure to lead with the role.
If you have any requirements or pre-requisites, be sure to add them and include that they’re non-negotiable. That way, you won’t waste your time sifting through candidates who are ineligible for the job.
Perform a Background Check
Prior to sending out a final offer, it’s imperative that you perform a background check on your prospective hire. A background check can reveal red flags in your candidate’s history that they may be trying to hide, and will give you the peace of mind that they are a smart and responsible hire for your company.
Pay Attention to the Cover Letter
Whether you love them or hate them, cover letters are an essential part of the application review process. A cover letter is a candidate’s opportunity to personalize their application and prove they’re not just another resume in the pile. It’s also an extra step that prevents job-seekers from spamming you with applications.
When reviewing cover letters, be sure that the candidate has personalized the cover letter to the role. It proves that the candidate is willing to put a little extra work into applying to your job and that they have a particular interest in your company. Look for a cover letter that conveys passion and excitement. Plus, pay attention to any errors or mistakes. A good candidate will know that first impression are important!
Set Up Several Rounds of Interviews
A strong interview process thoroughly vets a candidate. To do so, it’s important that the candidate interviews with several different people, rather than just the hiring manager or you, the owner of the company. Candidates should go through interviews with their prospective manager, a few strong teammates, and their boss’s boss.
There are a few reasons for this. For one, as a business owner, you’re likely pretty removed from the day-to-day. Managers and teammates can better interview for job skills. They can also vet whether the candidate would be a good fit personality-wise for their team.
After each interview, sit down with the interviewers and ask for their opinions before you provide yours. That will help you with an unbiased view of their thoughts.
Focus on Passion, Not Experience
If you’ve spent a lot of time in the hiring world, you’ve probably experienced the disappointment of finding out that a candidate who was perfect on paper was a bit of a dud in person. A smart and experienced addition to your team can be helpful in the short term, but if they’re not passionate about the role, they likely will be on to the next thing before you know it.
During your interviews, focus on passion and willingness to learn rather than experience. A passionate employee with the right attitude can learn just about anything and will have the determination to do so.