Hiring Top Performers

When recruiting new employees, it’s important that you get the very best. But “best” can be subjective. No doubt, your top candidates look very much alike on paper. Their interviews are also likely stellar. So how do you separate the wheat from the chaff? How do you even know what you’re looking for when it comes to hiring top performers? Here are a few hiring practices you should look into, to make sure you get the best employees for your company.

Use Data and Analytics

Your company likely has a lot of established hiring practices when it comes to recruiting, interviewing, etc. You may have certain questions to ask, like, “What’s your greatest weakness?” to establish… Well, that’s the problem. The answer to that question, along with a lot of other “standard” hiring practices, don’t really establish anything worth knowing about the candidate or how they’ll perform at your company. Many of your methods are likely outdated. So leave them behind and instead adopt a strategy of data and analytics. The right analytics program can take the raw data about a potential hire and scan it for certain key factors that indicate they’d be a good match for your company. By crunching the numbers, it can provide you with not only the most qualified candidates, but the ones that would be the best fit for your company.

Use Assessment Tools

How do you get the raw data about a candidate?  You use an online assessment tool. These tests determine a candidate’s aptitude in a number of different areas, from leadership skills to teamwork to problem solving and more. They can be customized to fit your company and programmed to find specific traits that will best complement your existing team.

Look for Passion

Computer software and test results can’t tell you everything you need to know about a candidate. You still need to interview them one on one to determine who will be the best fit for your company. But perhaps try a different tack when talking to them. You’ve already determined their skills and aptitudes. It’s clear they’re capable of doing the job. So what you want to determine is, what are they passionate about? Will they find something in this job to motivate them every day and spur them towards greatness? Or will it just be about trading 8 hours of their day for a paycheck? Find someone who really cares about the work you do, and you’ll find a candidate who will not just excel, but stick with you for the long haul.

Look for Unique Individuals

What does your ideal candidate look like? Well, if you’re like a lot of executives, they basically look a lot like you when you were at that stage of life. Or they look exactly like the previous person who filled that position. That attitude turns all of your employees into cogs in a machine. One leaves, so you find a carbon copy, fit them into the hole that was left, and it’s business as usual. That’s not how business works—or life, for that matter. Choose the people you hire based on their own merits and personalities, not just on the qualities that have worked for you in the past. Yes, that means the dynamic of your workforce will change. But if you make the right hire, it will change for the better.

These are just a few of the hiring practices you should look at when trying to find top performers for your company. It’s not an easy process, and it can take some time, but with the right tools and the right attitude, you can fill your company with people who really want to make a difference, and can remain with you for years to come.

Building an Authentic and Inclusive Company Culture

Every company has a culture. It’s how your employees interact with each other and how you interact with other companies. It’s your values and what you stand for. It’s the way you work on a day to day basis: your habits, your practices, etc. In short, it’s everything that makes your company what it is. And it’s a big part of what will ultimately determine your success of failure. Therefore, if you want to improve the direction in which you’re going, you’re going to need to take an active interest in building your company’s culture, to make it authentic and inclusive. Here are a few ways to do that.

Know Who You Are—and Who You Want to Be

What is it that your company stands for? What are your core values? What are your goals for the next year, the next five years, the next century? Determining who you are as a company will help you better establish a more authentic company culture. Don’t just look at bigger, more successful organizations in your field and try to copy them. That will just doom you to failure. Instead, embrace what makes you unique.

Get Rid of What Doesn’t Fit

When you hire a new employee, it’s important to make sure that they’ll fit into your company culture. There are a number of assessment tests and analytics programs that can help you do that. That, plus the interviews, will hopefully help you find the best workers to complement your existing dynamic. But if somehow it doesn’t work out, don’t be afraid to replace them with someone better suited. Of course, firing employees quickly doesn’t mean you should have an itchy trigger finger. That makes it difficult to maintain inclusivity. But if it’s clear that an employee simply won’t work in your company, it’s better to let them go sooner, rather than later. Likewise, if some of your practices and policies aren’t meshing with your culture, and aren’t yielding the results they should, eliminate them and find a better way. It’s easy to hold on to old, established ways of doing things, just out of habit and routine. But doing so can be detrimental to your company.

Create Dialogue

Do your employees have a voice within your company? When you make decisions, are you taking their opinions into consideration? When they have concerns, is there an outlet for them to express them and have action taken in response? Your employees are the most important part of your company culture. Maintain an open dialogue with them, rather than just dictating to them and expecting them to follow. This will lead to better job satisfaction and help you to solve problems more quickly and make better decisions overall.

Recognize Exceptional Work

Confucius said that a good government is one that both chastises those who do poorly and rewards those who do well. This can also be applied to business. Unfortunately, a lot of companies only practice the former. If someone’s sales numbers aren’t where they should be, management is jumping down their throat. But when they reach a new milestone, no one says a word. Make sure your employees feel appreciated and recognize and reward them for a job well done. When you do that, you make them feel more invested in their job and in your company and motivate them to continue working hard and doing well going forward.

Authenticity and inclusivity are both essential aspects of your company culture. Your organization should be like a family. It’s where most of your employees spend the bulk of their day. They should feel like they belong—like they’re a part of something great. And by building an inclusive and authentic company culture, you can help them be proud of that fact.

Effective Employer Branding

An important position just opened up in your company. You post a job listing on the most popular employment sites, as well as on your own site and social media, and talk to a recruiter. You end up with a stack of resumes, which you then evaluate carefully to see which candidate will be the best fit for your company.

What you need to realize, though, is that your top candidates are doing exactly the same with you. For the best, most qualified applicants, chances are you’re not the only company making them an offer. Why should your ideal hire choose you over all of their other options? The way you get a better chance at landing them is called employer branding.

What Is Employer Branding?

These days, there are many more factors involved in choosing a place of employment, besides just who offers the highest salary or the best benefits. When weighing their options, potential hires will ask things like, “Is this a nice place to work?” and “What good can I do here, both in my field and in the world?” In fact, they may even be willing to take a slightly lower offer, if it means working at a place they know has a reputation for a good working environment and satisfied employees.

That reputation is employer branding. It’s what separates you from your competition, not just on paper, but in practice. In evaluating whether or not to take the job you offer them, one of the first questions candidates will ask themselves is, what do they know about you—not just from the tour you gave them in the interview, or from your website, but from what they’ve heard. Here are a few factors they’ll look at:

What’s it like to work for your company on a daily basis?

Some of the best employer branding in that regard belongs to Google. Everyone knows that working for them is a dream. They provide free gourmet meals, snacks, and drinks for their employees. You can bring your pets to work with you. There are games, gym equipment, and offers of massages as incentive for a job well done. You’re not Google and don’t have their money or resources, but you can still improve your branding by adding a few perks that make employees look forward to coming into work every day.

Big corporations often have a reputation for being evil

Or at least cold and uncaring. Therefore, companies with a reputation for giving back to the community and making a difference to the world around them are often very attractive to potential hires. Do you care about the environment and reducing your carbon footprint? Do you organize charitable programs that employees can be a part of? Prospective employees will often be more likely to choose your company if you give them the opportunity to do some good in the world.

Once they come aboard your company, what will your hire be able to do there?

This doesn’t just mean opportunities for advancement, though those are important as well. It also refers to what kind of work they’ll do on a daily basis. What impact will it have in your field, and in the world at large? Are you building new technologies? Performing revolutionary research? Maybe you give employees access to your company’s resources to work on their own projects on the side. Giving potential hires the opportunity to do something they’re passionate is a big part of employer branding.

Obviously, your company doesn’t have to provide employees with all of these things. Find your niche, the thing that makes you stand out as an employer, and focus your branding on that. Then, focus a portion of your resources on showing the world that that’s who you are.

For instance, if your focus is on providing a good working environment, post pictures to your social channels of employees enjoying their day at the office and some of the things you offer. If your focus is on giving back to the community, send out press releases for some of your bigger charitable events and get them covered by the media.

Make it clear to the world exactly who your company is and what you stand for, and what sets you apart from every other employer. That way, when you make an offer to a job candidate, they’ll know your reputation and be able to see why working for you is worthwhile, besides just money and benefits. And the employees you choose will be more likely to choose you too.