Building Your Team: How to Find the Right Person for the Job

December 1, 2015


Have you ever gone through the process of hiring someone? It’s a pretty challenging task. Spending your day weeding through job applications, conducting interviews and finally ending up with an awesome employee is just shy of a miraculous event.

If you’ve ever tried hiring someone, you understand the struggle.

There’s two tough facts that make finding the right employee for your team difficult:

  1. Your team has a unique culture based on communication and work ethic. Finding someone who can be assimilated like Picard into your organization means they must share your work ethic and vibe with your communication style.
  2. To put it directly, there are entirely too many terrible employees out there. Hiring the wrong person not only wastes the time you spent finding them, it can have an untold impact throughout your business.

Thankfully, you can overcome both hurdles with a strong interview process. I’ve found that asking the right questions and observing reactions can really go a long way.

In today’s post, I’m going to walk you through the steps I’ve taken to hire some awesome people…

1. Clearly Define the Roles & Responsibilities

Sometimes communication is difficult – even when you’ve been a full-time writer for 7 years.

One of the hardest lessons I’ve learned in hiring is communication. Whether you’re hiring your first employee or your hundredth employee, it’s vital that you set the right expectations.

You can’t assume they thoroughly read your job posting – because they probably won’t.

It’s not enough to define roles & responsibilities in the job posting. Repeat what they’ll be doing and how their work will be evaluated during the interview. Ask about any work experience that’s related to these roles and responsibilities.

Directly ask them if they feel prepared to handle the roles and responsibilities. If they’re timid or uneasy, they may not have what it takes.

2. Look for Alternative Hiring Opportunities

Traditional practices of hiring and employment are still the standard, but change is in the air. Explore alternative methods of finding someone to work with to gain access to a diverse pool of talent. I’ve outlined a couple of options…

Temp Agencies

Temp agencies aren’t solely for finding temporary work. Most temps are looking for a position that can become permanent, making agencies an excellent source of talent.

Contact a temp agency and let them know what type of person you’re looking for. If they have someone who fits, you just found a lead that’s already been pre-screened by a recruiting professional. Score.

Independent Contractors

The people I bring onto my small team fall into this category. It’s a pretty standard – especially when hiring for a small business or consultancy.

Plus, you only pay for the work they’ve done – no taxes and minimal paperwork. You can even hire contractors who work within your office.

(I’d like to take a moment to point out that you can’t treat independent contractors like employees. There are important laws that you need to follow in order to avoid legal trouble.)

3. Search for Talent within Your Own Network

I like finding talent that comes directly from personal recommendations. I’ve found that it’s the easiest way to find great people, because someone is only going to share a recommendation if they truly believe in that person’s work.

Let it be known that you’re looking for someone.

Put it on social media, insert the topic into conversation, send out personal emails to people on your contact list. Do what you can to get the word out.

But don’t just hire someone just because they came from a connection in your network. Put them through the same process as every other candidate and make sure they deserve the position.

4. Be Willing to Invest in People

The person you hire becomes a human asset. As with other assets, it’s an investment. You aren’t just investing the time and cost to find someone, you also need to invest into developing them.

Don’t be shy of paid training – both in the beginning and ongoing education.

I’ve learned that if you help people maximize their potential, they’ll help you maximize your potential. That’s why one of the known values for my team is, “An unrelenting desire for growth – for others, the business and ourselves.”

You should also be willing to invest time in people.

A new hire might not immediately perform as expected, but with time and training, may be able to exceed your expectations. Don’t make the costly mistake of killing the flower before it’s had a chance to fully blossom.

5. Hire People with Similar Values

All else aside, someone who shares your core values will likely be a positive hire. Assuming they have the required skillset, shared values translates into easier integration and ultimately seamless collaboration with the rest of the team.

Values don’t always translate well to job applications and portfolios. So, you’ll need to uncover these aspects in the interview process.

I’ve already mentioned one of the values I instill in my team. Here are all of them:

  • Unrelenting desire for growth – for others, the business and ourselves.
  • Crusading passion for local businesses – and the communities they serve.
  • Aptitude for innovation – even in the small things – to increase efficiency + effectiveness.
  • Mindset for simplicity – in operations, management + workflow.

Pose questions in the interview process that speak to your values. For example, to see if someone has an aptitude for innovation, I could say, “Tell me about a quirky life hack that you use to make your life easier. How did you create and implement it in your life?”

6. Use a Comprehensive Onboarding/Training Program

Onboarding is the process of providing a new hire with everything they need to feel empowered and confident to begin working. The effectiveness of proper onboarding is priceless. Just a few of the benefits it can bring include:

  • Improved retention
  • Fewer mistakes
  • Increased productivity

Creating such a program is no small feat, but it can be done.

Root Inc. has created a comprehensive guide to crafting an onboarding program that will have measurable business benefits.

The Right Person is Out There

These are great times for employee hiring and recruitment. Between traditional job postings, working with independent contractors and exploring – there’s never been more talent available.

I truly hope these tips have armed you for your journey.

Are there any interview tips that you’d add to this list? What questions do you ask to determine if someone is worth hiring? Share your tips and questions in the comments below!


about the author

Freelance Contributor Chelsei Henderson is a content marketing consultant helping freelancers and entrepreneurs build successful companies in the digital world.