Last week, a client and I achieved something magical. My client (whom, like the Dentist in the Oral-B ads, is so important, they shall remain unnamed) was clever enough to on-board two new team members. Both of these team members were applying for the same role, and a junior role at that – a Leasing role. Both team members were very different, in fact they couldn’t have been any more different; everything about them was different – their age, their skill set, their gender, their salary expectations. Everything. Well, I tell a fib – almost everything. What was the same you ask? They were both extremely well suited to the role, and to the culture of the team. My client, a savvy business person with the foresight to know that given the climate of the market and the average turnaround of a staff member, he would likely be losing someone in the next 3-6 months anyway, hired them both.
You might currently be thinking that it was perhaps a silly move? An impulsive buy? Not at all. Quite the opposite. This client actually just saved himself time and money. And of course to do that, he had to invest time and money. Which leads me to my next point, it wasn’t plain magic that made this happen; it was a plan that was put in place between my client and me that lead to this occurrence which I like to refer to as “Smart Hiring”.
Let me tell you seven things about Smart Hiring that you need to know;
- Be available!
You’re under the pump. And that right there is one of the reasons you need more staff! Block out time for interviews. Try and do this over a day if possible, two if not. My client (bless) gave me an entire day. He committed to interviewing my entire shortlist in the one day, which was two days after I had sent him the shortlist.
- Know what you want
Have a mental (or literal) list of three things that you want the candidate to have (skill/attribute/experience etc).
- Have a rating system
My client used the Real+ Human Rating System. We sat down together at the start of the day and went over all of the candidates that he was meeting that day. I explained to him our rating system and advised him that it would be the most valuable resource for him to refer back to at the end of the day. This rating system would naturally work out a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place candidate. Without a rating system, you will either get confused, or you will meet someone you like and then compare everyone else to that person. This could leave you in the vulnerable position where the 1st choice (or now, the only choice!) is holding the power. In this market, candidates are interviewing on average at, at least, three other businesses. Without a rating system, you could end up with no one at the end of a very long day!
- Don’t discuss salary!
In fact, try not to even think about salary. Don’t let it weigh in on this initial decision making process. I see too often, both candidates and clients, shoot themselves in the foot with discussions on salary. Finding the right person for your business needs to be the priority.
- Have an open mind
If they’re perfect, but not perfect for that role, don’t rule them out! My client felt that one of the candidates he met would actually be much better suited to his Sales team. Recognising the potential and talent in this person, we worked together to come up with a structure that would work in his business to allow for him to on-board this stellar candidate. He soon realised how brilliant an idea it was to open up this position, which would in turn, free up his own time to focus on the bigger picture. Needless to say, he saw dollar signs!
- Understand the market and what your business’ average internal churn is
You understand and know your pipeline when it comes to listing/selling/renting right? So why not understand what your HR pipeline is? As they say, history repeats itself. By uncovering what the average staff turnaround is within your office, you will be able to devise a recruitment plan, and furthermore, a budget. This will allow you to make these decisions in the moment, without second guessing yourself and whilst understanding who you have room for in your office.
- Move quickly!
Is there anything worse than deciding you want something and then realising you were too slow and it’s too late? I see this happen all too often! In most cases, it is where there has been a lack of planning. Perhaps it’s because the interview wasn’t booked at a time where all decision makers could be present and this leads to a second interview needing to be booked, or maybe it’s because you don’t have a rating system in place and therefore you’re left wondering whether you’re choosing the right person. Either way, just remember, if you come up against another company whom have a Smart Hiring procedure in place, then you could run the risk of missing out.
My client was clever and allowed me to work with them to put this Smart Hiring plan in place. That afternoon we discussed all of the candidates at length and went through the Real+ Human Rating System for each and every one of them. At the end of the day, we had a 1st and 2nd place. Easy-peasy.