Lack of time, diminished quality of work, counterproductive customer relations, a painful work environment, confused work flows – a lot of a struggling firm’s woes can be laid at the feet of poor team members. But it must be made clear, the buck doesn’t ever stop at your employees. Bad employees mean bad hiring practices, and that’s your fault.
Cleaning house of bad employees can be a costly affair in terms of both money (according to MIT up to 2.7 times the base salary) and time. It will pay you back thousands of times over to have a proper hiring practice in place before you hire your very first employee. This holds true even if you’re only bringing someone in to clean the office, never mind handling your valuable accounts.
Having a stellar team comes down to two main components – hiring practices and retention practices. If you’re continuously bringing in people that don’t work out for you then your problems are to be found in the hiring end of things. If you can’t stop good employees from jumping ship then you need a better system for retention.
Today we’re going to look at a tool that can greatly improve your hiring system.
Proper Hiring Practices
As the Big Boss, your goal when hiring people is to make sure you find employees who can handle as much of the number-crunching as possible. You want to be able to delegate the day-by-day stuff to your team so that your main focus is on A) working on the firm itself in order to expand and improve it and B) wooing more A-list clients.
Another way to look at this is that if you, the head of your firm, are doing all of the number-crunching yourself then you’ll have little to no time to focus on building the firm. No building means stagnation, and stagnation isn’t going to be sustainable in the face of your competition which will be focused on its growth.
The first bit of technology we’d recommend is of course outsourcing via the cloud. You know our pitch by now – it’s fast, it can represent an upgrade in work quality, it’s secure, it doesn’t require physical resources, doesn’t require hiring costs, and allows for greater expansion in a much smaller amount of time.
The second bit of technology you might want to consider to boost your hiring prowess is the use of a profiling tool.
Profiling tools are a questionnaire that potential hires fill out to give you an indication of their personality. A resume gives you the potential’s skill-set; the profiling tool gives you an indication of the type of person you’re hiring.
It varies from one profiling tool to another, but they generally give you an archetypal view of candidates. For example, the Myers and Briggs tool breaks people down into Jungian categories. You use these archetypes to fill in gaps. So if you’re an aggressive personality, you might want to consider hiring in somebody who takes a more considered and laid-back approach to act as a balance.
The DiSC tool gives you a graphic that breaks a personality down into enthusiasm, collaboration, support, stability, accuracy, challenge, results, and action, indicating which way each candidate leans. There are no wrong answers in these tools, they are purely an indication of the personality of the person you’re looking to hire.
These tools can help you avoid continuously hiring people just like yourself, which is an error all of us are prone to make. It’s easier to get along with people who share our personality type, but that’s not particularly healthy for a growing firm. If you’re a quiet person who’s not good with chatting up clients you’re not going to get much growth happening if you continuously hire other people who are also of an introverted nature. Shy people will be depressed and intimidated by being slotted in a salesperson’s role, but an extrovert has the chance to shine.
Profiling tools let you target people with the right personality for the right job. Your firm will be strengthened by having a proper hire, and that employee will be happy in a job that suits their personality.
Added bonus – you can use the tests to figure out what personalities you currently have in-house and see where your firm could use a little boost.
Added bonus #2 – you can also profile your clients. Why? To better tailor your services to make you’re A-list clients happy. Some personalities want to roll up their sleeves and get right down into the details. Other clients just want a broad overview over a whiskey.
By using a personality test alongside the usual resumes and interviews you’ll end up with a much clearer picture of how a potential hire will fit into your firm. Now you’ll know not only what you’re hiring (the skill-set and experience) but whom you’re hiring, allowing you to build a more versatile team.