Summary: Do you feel comfortable hiring a recruiter for your business, or do you feel you should do your own recruiting?
So there you are, an entrepreneur, and boom! Your business has taken off. Now you find yourself with a very, very good problem; now that you’ve expanded so quickly, you need more employees -- in fact, you needed them yesterday, last week even.
The conundrum, however, is you’re so busy, you really don’t think you can hire new workers on your own. You have investors to meet, manufacturing processes to optimize, concepts to finalize and last but not least, the ongoing training of your current employees simply because their jobs have expanded along with your company in general.
What does this say about your business? If your answer is, “I’m really busy,” and yes, that is true. But there is more to your business than just being busy. Based only in the fact your entity is growing on a near daily basis, you’ve already established a culture and style to your business.
- Your company is fast moving.
- Heavy demands are placed upon your employees to:
- Fulfill orders, which seem to be coming in much more quickly.
- Learn new technology and ways to manufacture, bill and ship your product to clients.
- Your employees, because your staff is still small, are very close and are as focused on your company becoming and remaining a success as you are.
- Even as your workers seem happy and satisfied, the fact is they’re overworked.
That’s when you know it, when you conclude you need more employees. Thing is, your company has a style and culture, and with all you can tell from your employees, that culture is tantamount to them putting out goods that consumers can’t get enough of.
So with that, would you trust an outside recruiter to source candidates for you? Well, to be frank, you might not have a choice.
A Big Decision
Hiring a recruiter is, if anything, dicey. You’re putting trust in a person – as well as your time and money – to find you candidates that they believe would be a perfect fit inside your company.
But will you believe in that fit? Because the fact is, you know your company’s culture. You see it every day from your office window. You know your workers’ personalities; you understand how they work together, and realize that the wrong type of employee can throw an ill-afforded wrench into your business.
Coming to that conclusion, no, your future doesn’t just entail the eventuality of training new employees, it involves the current reality that before any candidates are presented to you, you need to first train your recruiter.
How do you train your recruiter?
An immeasurable amount of time and money can be saved, both by you and the recruiter if you introduce your recruiter to your business, first hand.
In short, show the recruiter around. Show the recruiter everything:
- Explain to the recruiter what exactly your company produces. Why? Because you don’t want the recruiter to misrepresent your company. If you make car tail lights, you make car tail lights, not just lights or parts that go on the rear of automobiles.
- Explain to the recruiter what exactly you are looking for in an employee. If possible, explain or physically show them the task that needs to be done. If the prospective employee’s position and/or tasks aren’t yet operational in your company, relay as clearly as possible what you envision that employee will be doing once they are hired.
- Introduce the recruiter to your employees so that he or she will get a good idea of the sort of personalities that work at your company. Are they younger or older? More blue than white collar? A tightly-knit group who likes to go out for beers or dinner after work? All this is very important for a cultural fit, which in turn can make or break an employee, as well as be reflective of whether they will work for you on a long or short-term basis.
- Show and explain to the recruiter the various amenities you’ve put in place for your workers. If the break room is exceptionally clean, point that out to the recruiter. If you have something break-related such as a basketball and hoop with which your employees can take the occasional couple of shots to decompress, point that out as well. This is important because the recruiter needs to know the atmosphere of your company; is it serious or playful, stern or easygoing?
Yeah but I still don’t trust that a recruiter will understand my company. For that reason I think I should recruit on my own.
This is very understandable. Many of today’s companies, particularly startups are so cutting edge, and albeit in some cases esoteric, that there is no hope an old school recruiter will know how to represent you.
So if you do decide to recruit for your own company, what are some of the steps you need to take? According to Monster.com one of the first steps in your hiring endeavors is to establish a hiring plan.
Hiring plans are tantamount to hiring and then training the correct fit for your open positions. If at any one point your plan has faults in it, you could end up with an employee that does not work out, and consequently wastes their time and effort as well as your own. With that, it is wise to know five of the common mistakes business owners make when recruiting their own employees:
- Not hiring for fit: A warm body is simply that; a warm body. But not just any old warm body will or should work in the position you are seeking to fill. As a business owner, sure, you know the ins and outs of the opening in your company. You know what needs to be done and not done in that position. But as far as a candidate is concerned, you will need to be vigilant about checking their background and related job history to make sure their fit is as seamless as possible.
- Consider your interviewing skills: There’s more to interviewing than just presenting an open position to a candidate then asking them if they think they can do the job, a question to which that candidate will invariably say “Yes, I can do it.” There’s much more to interviewing than that. You need to vet a candidate out to get an idea as to the candidate’s competency, ability to adapt, and loyalty, among any other concerns you may have toward netting the right person for your open position.
- Hiring then not properly or thoroughly training your new employee. This is all on you. While the first two mistakes listed here, if made, are somewhat understandable, not properly and thoroughly training your new recruits is a carnal sin in business. Be sure to give the most training you can to your new recruit in order to satisfy both them and yourself that the new employee is up to speed with their responsibilities.
- Monitoring performance: Don’t think for a hot second that just because your new employee interviewed well, seemed to fit your company culture, and is now producing impeccable work in their new position, that they’re operating at their most optimal level. Even if your new employee is the nicest person you’ve ever hired, or seemingly one of the most competent, you still need to establish a performance management process that puts you and your new hire on the same page of what and how you envision their job should be done.
- Your business’s structure is MIA: Businesses that lack structure never last. Orders get botched, clients get pissed off and take their patronage elsewhere, and before you know it, your business is out of business. To prevent that, you need to establish a business structure. A strong business structure can help ensure that not only will you produce a good product in an efficient and timely fashion, you will also retain the employees you recruited, trained, and to this day are now an integral part of your company.
Depending upon the complexity of the job opening and its required skill level, you of course need to hire the correct person.
As is explained by Entrepreneur.com, one way to ensure this is by hiring someone who knows and enjoys your product. If your product appeals to the candidate, as “a fan” they are more likely to fit in culturally, enjoy working within your company, and take pride in the final product.
To further guarantee you’re hiring a competent employee, use the following guidelines:
- Make your workplace appealing: No one wants to work in a dump, just in the same way no one wants to work in a place where it’s all business all of the time. Strike up a happy balance between work and life in your business to attract better job candidates. Many company owners and recruiters fail to realize how a balanced work culture can improve employee performance as well as the eventual product. Install a small basketball court in your employee’s workplace to give them a chance to shoot some hoops for a mental and physical break. Or bring in bagels and pastries on Fridays as a gesture of appreciation toward those who work for you.
- Promise to integrate new employees with seasoned vets: Of course you want competent and confident employees. One way to establish this is to tell new recruits that if hired, they will be paired with people who already know the ropes of, not necessarily the recruit’s job, particularly if it’s a new job, but of the company’s culture. Make your new recruits comfortable in their job, and your efforts may result in having a reliable long-term work source, i.e. a successful recruit.
- Show your worker loyalty by keeping and rewarding your existing talent: Good, strong employee talent is hard to find. What’s even harder to find is good, strong talent that will tout and trumpet their job, the company and you as the owner. While Taco Tuesdays and Bagel Fridays may seem like bribery, it is still a perk – a small reward – that can go a long way in employee appreciation and loyalty.
- Divulge challenging projects and goals: In many cases challenging projects and goals can attract top job candidates. During the interview phase, try not to be shy, paranoid or secretive of what plans and goals you have on the horizon for your company. Speaking about them now to a new candidate can lay a foundation of trust for that candidate where they immediately feel comfortable with you and their prospective job.
In the end, do this and you will wonder why you needed a recruiter in the first place.
Without a doubt, recruiting, whether you hire someone to do it for you or you do so yourself, can be a tricky part of your business. If you use a recruiter, make certain that person understands your business, what it produces and for whom, as well as every detail of the job you have that they will be recruiting for. If these aspects of the open job and your business aren’t realized, you may end up with a bust of a candidate, a lot of wasted time, and money owed to a recruiter that fronted you the wrong person from the get-go.
And while being your own business owner/recruiter can make your hiring process much more direct than it would otherwise be with a third party (the recruiter), you will still need to make a concerted effort to delve into a candidate’s background to find the perfect fit for the position you seek to fill.
See the following articles for more information: