Glenn Burr

July 26, 2015

4 Keys to Making the Right Hires

Whether it’s the money pit that a bad hire can create or the absolute joy that comes from bringing in and nurturing the right person, the impact of a hire is felt broadly.

Small Giants share some common elements that enable them to have great hiring practices.

Know Who You Are

It’s a simple enough premise. but it’s something many companies struggle to understand. Independent of the product and your policies, you can’t force yourself to be one way or another. You especially can’t do that by cramming talent into your ideal. If you have a clear understanding of your company, that will lay out the path for getting the right people in the door.

Ron Alvesteffer of Service Express Inc. shares how defining the company impacts their hires: “Our eBook, The SEI Way has been huge for us in recruiting. It tells our story and is used to attract the right people for us....those who share our values.”

Cast Your Net with Familiarity

While there are a number of jobs to be had out there from a mass search, a position inside a Small Giant craves a familiarity that can’t be had from a general posting. To find like-minded people, many Small Giants find that starting off with people you know (internal candidates, contacts from internal candidates) and people who know you (followers in social media, contacts from community efforts) lends itself to skipping past the general candidate to the people who share your beliefs and are looking for the right chance to contribute.

A workplace environment like the one built by Tom Walter of Tasty Catering has enabled him to hire without advertising open positions at all. Tom explained, “We have not advertised for a job in over 20 years. Winning awards brings a lot of interest from outside our community. Hospitality students see these rankings and send resumes.” Tasty Catering also has several 7 speakers that represent the business, which creates exposure in many different areas. The hires the best and brightest from the local high schools and keeps them until they graduate from college. The best of those graduates are retained. Tasty Catering has become a program of attraction.

Let Hiring Reinforce Your Values

By codifying your values into your hiring process, every successful candidate who becomes part of your team will be another person who carries your values forward. Don’t fall into the trap of hiring for a skill set. Just because someone can functionally accomplish the job doesn’t mean they’ll contribute across the company. Rob Dube of ImageOne uses time, people, environment and “feeling out” to make sure imageOne hires someone that goes beyond the required skill set. When it comes to incorporating values, Rob said he focuses on “many questions and lots of time spent with the candidate with various people within the company. Also, we meet not just in the office environment, but in other locations to get a feel for the person in a different setting. This allows for them to get a better feel for us to ensure Image One is a place they want to work.”

It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye (But It Shouldn’t Be)

Having a good hiring process isn’t complete if you don’t have a well defined way to let someone go who just wasn’t contributing the way your team needed. While letting a staff member go is a big enough topic to have its own series (and it will), it’s important to recognize it as part of the hiring process too. Rob Dube shared how imageOne takes it personally whenever they have to ask someone to leave. “We always take a human approach by having a heart-to-heart conversation with the person so they understand where we are, whether they agree or not,” he said. “Most often, we offer a strong severance package (especially in this tough environment) so they have time to find another position and get back up on their feet.”  

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About Glenn Burr

Glenn is First Officer of Mojo for the Small Giants Community and oversees program development, editorial, member management, social media and strategic planning. Currently residing in Dallas, Glenn enjoys doing whatever he can to make his part of the world a better place, matching wits with his rescue mutt (Romeo), writing, rugby and dabbling in the tuba