Three Keys to Hiring Successful Team Members

Hennessey Careers Page for BlogMy company is only as good as the employees who work for me. Due to growth, I am not able to do everything, all the time. I need a strong leadership team and skilled professionals in each position within each department. Without them, I don’t have a company! 

The business’s hiring process is a vital part of creating a successful and effective team. Yet hiring can be a major challenge for many companies who struggle to find the right candidates or find their new hires don’t live up to their expectations. It’s difficult to locate the right person who has the skillset you need as well as the right character traits to fit the role. Additionally, you will need to consider if they will merge effectively into your company culture. Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to improve your hiring process to find better candidates and create a successful team.

In the current business landscape, hiring is a major concern for many companies. With the economic changes the pandemic brought along, combined with the shift to remote work, the hiring environment has changed as many employees change jobs and new positions are opened. Some businesses have used this as an opportunity to build the best teams they’ve ever had, while others have struggled.

The way you go about recruiting and hiring talent plays a major role in finding the right employees to meet your needs. How you define the kind of person you’re looking for, the methods you use for advertising the job opening, how you approach the screening and interview process, the offer you present, and how you onboard and train the employee all have an affect on the outcome. And unfortunately, many companies make mistakes at every step of the hiring process, making it more difficult to find the talent they’re looking for and create a successful team.

Here are three ways you can improve your hiring process to ensure the best results, not only in finding talented and motivated employees, but in setting them up to succeed in their new roles.

  1. Create a detailed job description

Start by focusing on the job description. This is a key part of finding the right candidates, because it is what will determine whether they will apply. The job description needs to be extremely detailed and should describe what they’ll be doing on a daily or weekly basis in concrete terms easy to visualize. A detailed description helps ensure that the candidate has the skills you need. If you use vague language, you may get applicants who are not qualified because they cannot tell they don’t have the skills you’re looking for. More than just listing skills or qualifications, it’s important to show how these skills will be applied. Someone may have skills in a certain area but not know how to apply them in this role. 

Your job description should look like more than just a list of qualifications. It should show the tasks the employee will perform and why the qualifications are necessary. It’s helpful to show how this role supports the vision of the company so the candidates can see the value they would bring to the company.

A detailed job description will also attract candidates who are qualified for the role. It creates a greater understanding of what the role entails. It also allows candidates to apply who may not have every qualification requested but who have strong skills that will allow them to perform the role just as well as someone with those qualifications.

In most cases, you’ll be able to tell whether a person is qualified for the role based on their resume and application. You can use the interview to clarify, but if your job description is written well, you should be able to narrow your search down to the most qualified applicants by their applications alone. 

However, it’s important to be careful with this screening process, especially if you’re hiring for a role with a specialized skillset. Many companies use automatic screening software to sort through their candidates before a human looks at the application. While this can be helpful in narrowing down a large applicant pool, it is also extremely likely to eliminate qualified candidates the software is not able to recognize. Because these types of software look for things like keywords in a resume, someone who has used different keywords that mean the same thing or who has formatted their resume in a way the software doesn’t properly understand may be eliminated even if they are a top-tier candidate.

Requesting evidence of the skillsets needed for the position can be helpful in the screening process. For example, for a writing position, it was be great to see the samples, and for a graphic designer position, it would be helpful to see their portfolio. Additionally, I request a video having the candidate tell my why they’re perfect for the position. It helps narrow down the applicant pool because only those genuinely interested will take the time to create the video. It also gives you an idea of whether or not they’ll follow instructions.

  1. Use the interview process to screen for culture fit.

If you’ve done a good job with your job description and screening process, you should be left with a handful of well-qualified applicants to interview. While you will surely need to ask some questions about their qualifications, the focus of the interview should be to determine whether the candidate is a good culture fit for your organization. Tailor your questions to discover who the candidate is as a person, what they value, what their working style is like, and how they work in a team, among other factors that are important to your company culture.

Keep in mind that the best candidate may be close to having all of the experience and skills you need but may not perfectly fit every parameter even though they’re a great culture fit. In most cases, it’s better to hire people who are trainable and eager to learn than people who fit every qualification but aren’t a perfect culture fit, or who are overqualified and will quickly become bored with the lack of room for growth in their new role. Remember you’re hiring humans, not robots. Most candidates want room to grow and learn and will be much happier and more productive in a role that keeps them engaged and presents new challenges and opportunities. 

  1. Set new hires up to succeed.

Once you’ve chosen a candidate and onboarded them, do everything you can to set them up to succeed. Sadly, this is one of the areas I most often see companies fail in their hiring process. The process isn’t over as soon as you’ve made an offer—you can’t expect to get a great employee without training them and giving them clear expectations. 

Let your new employee know what you expect from them, how important they are to the team,  and give them what they’ll need to accomplish that—including proper training. Many businesses don’t want to spend the time and money to invest in their employees, but a poorly trained employee can cost your business much more money in mistakes and lost productivity. Don’t overlook this vital step—it’s a big part of what separates the best teams from those that perform poorly.

By setting your new employees up for success, you’ll create better outcomes for both the employee and your business, and they’ll be more likely to stick around and feel satisfied with their work. If you follow these steps to hire the best possible candidates and ensure they are able to succeed in their roles, you’ll be far ahead of most hiring businesses.

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Jason Hennessey

Jason Hennessey is an internationally-recognized SEO expert, speaker, and serial entrepreneur whose ethos of “educate and empower” has earned him a reputation for excellence in digital marketing.

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