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11 January 2021
Unsplash © Christina @ wocintechchat

Hiring process for startups: 7 tips to achieve better outcomes

Let’s be real—the hiring process is difficult. Although it’s key to hire employees that fit well with your team and culture, it’s arguably even more important to ensure that the people you hire stay with your company long term. Why? Employee turnover on average costs 40% of the employee’s salary.

That’s a lot of money. The good news is, there’s a tried and true hiring process that you can use today to ensure you’re consistently hiring the best people for your company. Finding and retaining top talent will help give your business a competitive edge, so it’s important to really nail this first step! Below we’ve outlined 7 tips to improve your overall hiring process, which will in turn lead to better outcomes for your business!

1. Stop using traditional job postings

Job descriptions should be unique to your company—you can’t just copy and paste a template! They also need to spark an interest in the job seeker and stand out in some way. Describe why people like working at the company, talk about the perks and benefits, and most importantly, point out how this role fits into the bigger picture.

Exceptional people don’t look for jobs based purely on their skills and experience, they look for jobs based on the challenges and opportunities. Make sure to point out these challenges and opportunities in the advertisement to attract top talent.

2. Add a performance profile to the description

Most job descriptions list out skills, required experiences, academics, competencies, and personality traits, with only a little bit about the actual duties and responsibilities. This is more of a people description than an actual job description.

Instead, define what this hire will be doing on the job, and how their past skills and experiences will lend to the position. These are called performance profiles. You’ll use them to screen, assess, and recruit every one of your candidates.

Oh, and keep it short and concise. Time is valuable, and research shows that shorter job descriptions receive 8.4% more applications per view.

3. Consider the supply and demand of each role in the recruitment process

When the supply for something outweighs the demand, you need to find a way to increase your demand. For example, if there’s a surplus of startups hiring for data scientists, but only a handful of data scientists looking for new jobs, then the competition is steep. This becomes a job seekers market—one where they hold the power.

In order to break through and gain that competitive advantage, you need to design your advertising, as well as sourcing programs and systems, based on how top talent looks for new jobs.

Somehow, most companies haven’t considered this fundamental principle of marketing and economics when creating their hiring and recruiting process. If you want to hire the best, you have to think like the best.

4. During the interview, forget the clever questions

We’ve all heard of those strange, perplexing questions asked by top tech companies from the likes of Amazon to Apple—but should your company take the same approach? Probably not.

For the most part, asking a question like, “How would you solve problems if you were from Mars?” will not tell you if the candidate can do a good job in the role. (This is actually a question that Amazon asks).

Clever questions will rarely ever get you the answers you need. What you need is to understand if this person will succeed in the role you’re hiring for, and if you can see them as a long term employee.

So, instead of being clever, dig deeply into a person’s major accomplishments to observe growth and patterns of behaviours. Then, compare these to the objectives stated in the performance profile. This is the core of the performance based interviewing process described in the book ‘Hire With Your Head’.

5. Hire people who are both competent and motivated to do the work

It’s easy to measure competency, but don’t stop there. Even if the person is affable, outgoing, and interested in your job, you need to be confident in their abilities to complete the tasks at hand. This often comes down to motivation and drive.

To assess true motivation, you’ll need to look for multiple examples of where the person excelled, and the underlying environment and circumstances. There may be 10/100 people on your list who could do the job well, but what you’re really looking for are people who not only have the skills, but the motivation to do the work.

6. Put your emotions aside with evidence-based hiring method

We’re all human; we all have emotions. That doesn’t mean that your interview should turn into a casual chit-chat. You’re both there to accomplish something, so stick to the course and remove emotional bias in your hiring process.

To do this, you’ll want to implement an evidence based assessment process—which means the interview used to collect information, not to make a decision. The decision is made later in a formal meeting where all interviewers and stakeholders share their unbiased information to reach a consensus.

There are 5 principles in an evidence-based hiring process:

  1. Use current best practices, evidence and data in each hiring decision
  2. Outline key attributes that will help predict success in the role
  3. Remove hiring biases by creating an objective hiring system that targets these attributes
  4. Shape the hiring process and tools to the industry and role you’re hiring for
  5. Make sure to measure and assess your hiring data, then adjust to maximize your results

Watch your accuracy soar with this simple system! Seriously, it’s a game changer.

7. Strong recruiting skills are essential for hiring top people on a consistent basis

You can have the best company and the best role on the market, but if your recruiting skills are falling flat, you won’t be able to secure top talent. The interview process goes both ways! You need to reach (and impress) top talent in order to beat out the competition.

As the competition for talent intensifies, so does the need for strong recruiting, which requires:

  • Consultative selling skills in combination with great open positions
  • An interviewing process based on deep job-matching
  • And the hiring manager’s total involvement

Too many companies still rely on a transactional approach to recruiting based on money, charming or pushing a candidate into acceptance. This isn’t enough to secure top talent today.

The above 7 points are tactics that can help you improve the results of your hiring process. Overtime, this improvement in hiring will directly impact your company’s success.

Looking for a place to find talent? Take a look at The Help List.