When you decide it is time to hire a new employee, stop and take time to prepare beforehand. You especially want to make sure that hiring someone new is the best thing for your organization.
1. Have you looked at the salary trends for the position in your area? Each position has a range in salary, so you will want to make sure that your organization can afford to hire someone in that range. At the very least you’ll want to be able to afford the median salary.
2. Have you written down an internal job description? You will need to be detailed enough so the new hire could use their job description for the majority of their work. Failing to write this down will mean training will take longer (wasting your trainer’s time) and might even cause the employee to leave.
3. Have you decided on a deadline to hire? Many positions have a deadline to hire, some might even have been yesterday. It is always a good idea to write down any deadline, that way you can adjust your tactics if the deadline is approaching with no great candidates in sight.
4. Have you set a budget for advertising the position? Getting the word out and advertising the open position can take a significant cost so make sure you’ve set a large enough budget. Remember, if you go cheap here you might not get as good of results and you might hire someone who you have to let go later. Most times the cost of hiring and firing a sub-par employee is much much more than spending more money on advertising upfront and hiring an excellent employee.
5. Have you checked to see if the work the new employee will do is actually required? By questioning this, you might be able to find ways of still accomplishing the end result but without hiring anyone new. Perhaps an existing employee would like to be promoted to the new position, maybe outsourcing the work to a freelancer or firm is more effective, or maybe existing employees’ duties could be changed to accommodate the work.
6. Have you described an ideal candidate? Even if you’re doing the hiring yourself, describing and writing down your ideal candidate is a good way to see exactly who you would like to hire. When doing this, make a perfect image of who you would hire and be specific. You probably will never find an exact fit but this will give you some way to compare each applicant to your ideal.
7. Have you written down your internal minimum requirements? Similar to writing down the ideal candidate, write down the minimum requirements for the position. These are the things you will not budge on and will form part of the screening process. This might end up different than any requirements in the job description. In the job description you can flex some requirements but here you want to reject anyone who doesn’t met the requirements. For example, you might ask for “5 years experience programming” in the public job description but your internal minimum requirement is “1 year of full time programming experience”.
8. Have you asked what your existing employees think? This is especially important in small business. Get the opinions of your existing employees about the job description and if they think the organization needs an additional person. Take any feedback into consideration, you might hear something that completely changes who you need to hire.
9. Do you have the time for the hiring process? There is more to the process than just posting an ad and interviewing a few people. There is time needed to signup, pay for, and post the job to online job boards. Time to read and screen all of the applicants. Time to rate and rank the applicants so you’re not interviewing everyone who applies. Then there is the interviewing, which will typically be multiple interviews over the phone, email, and in person. Finally there is time needed to select someone, offer them the job, and to do all of the new hire paperwork. Oh yea, and now you’re hired someone but they aren’t going to help without training so now you’ll have to train them. Make sure you have the time for the complete hiring process or if your human resources has the time.
10. Does you truly believe that you’re ready to hire? Above everything else, make sure you’re ready to hire someone. If your gut or intuition is screaming at you to not hire, then you might be better off waiting.
These are only a few of the questions you should ask yourself before hiring a new employee. Depending on your industry and the position, there could be many others but before you hire you must prepare.