4 Steps to Quickly Hiring Contract or Permanent Staff
Step 1: Refine Your Job Description and Performance Expectations
We see many organizations with totally outdated, incomplete, and even incorrect job descriptions. Don't be one of them! Remember, goals of your job description are twofold:
- Sell qualified candidates on your organization and your job.
- Set realistic expectations of your hiring process, current work, culture, and future prospects.
Here are some tips:
- Concentrate on what the candidate will do.
For example: "You will lead our new customer prospecting team and interact directly with both line and procurement management at local manufacturing plants to reduce their purchasing costs and timelines."
- Concentrate on the benefits for the candidate, not what they can do for you...
e.g.: "You will gain or refine experience in customer management, business development, and negotiating with Operations on what can and cannot be promised."
- Help them understand your culture by being very realistic...
e.g.: "Our teams work long days, since some of our prospects get in early and some leave late. Your day can be flexible as negotiated with your peers to ensure covering the working hours of our prospects and customers."
- Let them know the deliverables they will be responsible for and generally how they will be reviewed.
e.g.: "You will update our Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system with every planned and attained prospect and customer communication to both set an example for subordinates and to aid senior management in coaching you on process. You will update and present forecasts and status to peers and senior management. Your growth will depend on how accurately you maintain these documents and how many prospects are converted to customers."
- Drop or drastically scale back
- Your organization description. Instead, link to your web and social media About pages.
- Your professional, not company, benefits like medical and paid time off. Instead, link to your web for those. Use something like, "Industry leading benefits including medical, paid time off, and more, see www.yourURL.com/benefits for details.
- If you are selling a location, find a couple of links touting how great the area is to live in and link to those. Use something like, "Our staff loves it here and here are two sources of (whatever point you are trying to make, such as low cost of living, great for sub/urbanites, friendly neighborhoods, etc.) such as Relocation guides from local Chambers of Commerce and Realtor firms.
Step 2: Streamline Your Hiring Process
When we talk with candidates and dozens of job seekers at our speeches and in discussions to prepare candidates for submission, they are all turned off by lengthy hiring processes. Read this, takes less than 2 minutes... https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6358379405944983552
Some have said that the presentations and work they do is unpaid. We have even seen some edge cases where interviews include soliciting ideas for improvement that they make without hiring the candidate. Not good... Let us know if you have interest in a follow-on post on Streamlining Your Hiring Process, or if you would like help in paring down what may have become a more complex process than needed... Here are some tips:
- Make your first interview step a phone, Skype, Google Hangout, or other online interview that does not require travel.
- Make sure you have a backup interview leader to avoid rescheduling.
- Set onsite interviews such that if there is obviously not a fit, you can cut remaining interviews, saving your employees and the candidate time.
- Present Your Choice to Objective Advisers in related areas in your organization and be sure to include all interview notes. Culture fit trumps specific expertise almost every time.
- Clearly lay out next steps and deadlines for communications. No one likes these things to drag on. If you want to leave candidates with a good taste in their mouth, be diligent with your brief follow-ups and include any reasons why they were not selected. Candidates hate the 'Valley of Death' of the 2-3 weeks after an interview without hearing from an employer. It only takes a minute to send an email... Followup on every step via email to build candidate loyalty and keep their impression of your organization positive. GlassDoor and other sites are getting fairly sophisticated in their reviews of organizations, make sure yours is not labeled poor due to simple followup.
Step 3: Work With A Trusted Staffing Partner
Why work with a staffing partner? Why not just do it all yourself? There are literally hundreds of articles and blog posts on this topic... Here are the key points that are relevant to working with DA&R as your staffing partner for positions in our areas of expertise...
- Save time, money (yes money...), and hassle for your employees. Your people are busy. They are likely not specialists in both the area of hiring and recruiting these specific type of folks. For example, keeping up with expert project managers, business analysts, technical writers, and mid-level IT/MIS managers is quite different than petroleum engineers or marketing staff. You should pick a firm that is, has done, and keeps current on issues, salaries, and available experts in particular domains.
- We know how to best describe your position to make it attractive to candidates yet be truthful and transparent.
- We act as 'Project Manager' to fill each position, keeping everyone focused on making the right hire. In fact, you will likely deal with a Professional Project Manager (PMP) or an alumni of our Advanced Project Management Certificate program so rest assured nothing will fall through the cracks!
- We handle most of the candidate feedback which saves staff time and inconvenience.
- Unless requested to broaden a search, we know each and every candidate as alumni of our training, from our consulting engagements, professional association interactions, or from volunteer work.
Step 4: Make Your Offer and Negotiation
Yes, you need to be ready to negotiate... Why? Two reasons:
- The days of take-it-or-leave-it hiring practices, at least for professionals, are in the past... Many if not most candidates expect to test the waters with salary, time off, and other parameters before accepting. Setting a hard stance on everything does not set a good precedent for a loyal employee relationship. Be ready to talk things over and explain your positions, even if some are non-negotiable.
- You will find out more about the candidate and in general the hiring environment. Just negotiating and not rejecting a question or counter-offer out of hand will buy you and your organization a lot of goodwill.
Here are some negotiating tips distilled from our courses on negotiation and from our experience negotiating with many candidates:
- Seek to first to understand, then to be understood. Listen and gently question until you hit the root of the concern. Is the requested salary what they need to preserve their lifestyle? Is it just what they think they are worth in the market? Is it just a number they picked? Is it what or near what they were making before? Once you know why, you can choose a response with confidence.
- Widen the discussion, don't let it be just about salary or any other one thing. You may be able to address salary concerns by educating the candidate on the many benefits of working for your organization. Shoot for Win-Win-Win (the candidate, the hiring manager and team, and the HR function.)
- Consider a few of these higher salary alternatives:
- Starting and performance bonuses. Sometimes a candidate is coming off a long job search with immediate needs for cash. You could also do perhaps a few weeks salary paid in advance or as some sort of loan. Any of these might remove the initial need for cash.
- Probationary period then an automatic raise to at least mid-point assuming they pass muster.
- Short feedback cycles that could be tied to a minor compensation review.
- Performance-based raise or bonus paid quarterly, short enough to matter and long enough to make sure the candidate is really performing.
- Expect the candidate to come in with vacation plans and a time of scaling back of current activities such as volunteering or taking classes. You might mention working a 3-day week the fist few weeks to ease the transition or offer a quick start date if their calendar can be cleared.
Make sure the candidate is treated as a valued person every step of the way. Remember, they all have friends and not much to lose if they feel slighted and decide to post negative reviews on social media and other sites...
We are happy to assist you in staffing just the right fit for your your contract or permanent Project Managers, Business Analysts, Technical Writers, mid-level managers, and selected technical staff. We represent several executives for interim work.
"May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us– yes, establish the work of our hands." - Psalm 90:17.