Hiring the right person for the job isn’t always a straightforward process. There are many variables to consider and whether you are a startup looking to hire your very first member of staff or already have a few team members on board and are looking to expand, the right person with the right skills can really enhance your work environment and have a positive impact on production. Hiring the wrong person does just the opposite and can not only be a costly exercise, but it can also be time-consuming and even have a negative impact on employee morale.

When you hire someone who is buzzing with new ideas, wants to know more about your business and is passionate about what they do and what their potential role could be at your enterprise, you’re not only enhancing your work environment instantaneously, you’re also making a solid, serious investment in your business. Here we’ll run through some of the best tips from industry experts on how to attract the right employee and what key attributes you should be looking for in every candidate.

Know the role you’re hiring for

Human Resources Expert Susan Heathfield suggests that finding the right employee begins with attracting the right applicants through a solid and well thought out job description. This should start with a thorough analysis of what the responsibilities, duties, skills and outcomes will be for that role. After taking the time to do this, it’s easier to create a job description which will help you develop a well-rounded and targeted hiring strategy – making finding the right person easier.

Have a checklist

Susan Heathfield also suggests having a checklist to review whenever a candidate applies. Prioritise what key requirements are most important and also list the qualifications, traits and even characteristics you’re looking for in a new employee. Once again, by honing in on what you’re looking for, you’re able to more easily screen potential employees during the initial resume submission process and then at the interview level.

Ask the right questions

Of course, initial interview questions may focus around past experience, qualifications and expertise, but what about asking questions that assess someone’s cultural fit for your business? You want to ask questions that not only determine one’s suitability for the role as it stands but also how this individual may fit within your workplace and what they’ll contribute. Do your research and create a list of questions which are targeted and relevant and also give you a holistic idea of the candidate, how they work and what their personality is like.

John Scharz, CEO and founder of workforce analytics company Visier, suggests asking things like:

  • Why do you work?
  • What makes you get up in the morning and do what you do?
  • Who are you going to be in 10 years from now?

Drive and ambition can be partly measured by asking questions like this and you want to hire someone who has the drive and passion to grow along with your flourishing enterprise.

Don’t underestimate potential

Many skills can be learnt on the job or during special training. Don’t underestimate the importance of the personality of a new employee or their level of social intelligence. Maynard Brusman, owner of consulting firm Working Resources and a psychologist recommends hiring someone based not only their qualifications but also on their social skill set. “Social intelligence — being able to navigate social situations and work well with others — is very important.”

Tom Gimbel, CEO and founder of staffing and recruiting firm LaSalle Network, also believes that having social intelligence is important in a future team member, “Consider soft skills — like interpersonal skills, communication skills, thought processes and emotional intelligence — because they matter.”

Find someone who is highly adaptable

In most businesses, change is one of the biggest constants, so hiring someone with an ability to adapt and be flexible should be high on the priority list. Asking a candidate about ways that they’ve previously adapted and shifted to evolve in a changing workplace in the past is a great place to start. You want to find the right person who has the ability to not only take on a new role but also continue full steam ahead should the company’s direction change or their role evolve.

Look for a love of learning

Having a key interest and pursuit of gaining new skills – even if completely unrelated to the position they are applying for – shows a desire for knowledge and an eagerness for learning. Steve Leveen, CEO and founder of Levenger, says he looks specifically for individuals who are collectors. “It doesn’t actually matter what they collect. Just that they are really interested in something, that they have passions.”

Search for those with a commitment to their career

Steve Olenski advises that it’s important to seek out an employee who is committed to their career and its progression. He argues that you don’t want someone who will simply chop and change their role in different businesses just to obtain a higher salary. Finding someone who wants to grow within a company and who has strong attributes of loyalty will pay off in the long run. Identifying candidates who frequently switch jobs should be a red flag for any potential employer.

Let the interviewee ask their own questions

It’s important that a candidate can also determine whether they want to pursue a role at your business and if it’s the right fit for them too. Opening up and providing honest answers when questions are posed in the other direction is just as important to ensure the right candidate is chosen who will enjoy working for your company, contribute in all the right ways, and be in it for the long haul.

Consider involving your current employees

In most cases, being able to work in a team environment (at least some of the time) is vital to any role. If you want to really gauge how a potential candidate will work within a particular team, why not involve a few employees in the hiring process? Each candidate should meet with a few different staff members individually and the feedback you receive from your trusted employees can also help guide you to make a final decision. If you have a few candidates who are on par with one another, going through this process can be a good way to gain additional feedback from the rest of your team. It also gives the candidate a chance to meet their potential colleagues and this can help them to visualise themselves in the role and how they’ll fit within your company culture.

Remember, there’ll always be something to learn

The truth is, each candidate will have to do some amount of learning and development when they commence a new role. No one is usually ever perfectly qualified for a position. So remember that while skills and experience are important, having a team member who contributes to your company culture in a positive way and brings their own passion to the table is also something you don’t want to discount. By asking the right questions and being prepared for the interview process, you’ll be able to hire the right person who will bring immense value to your business.