Some HR professionals think that they keep hiring the wrong people when they actually want to recruit the best of the best. Great employees are crucial to any company’s success, but especially critical in startup ventures.
Every HR department needs employees who simply “get it.” Like most startup ventures, we aren’t in a position to take risks with employees who are underperformers or a poor cultural fit. We want highly talented people to be on ourteam, and everyone should be able to mingle among each other. Those people are the best of the best.
As you keep a discerning eye on your talent pool, here are five key points to keep in mind:
Good talent knows good talent. One of our most productive recruiting tactics has been an employee referral program based on a cash bonus incentive for helping us hire candidates referred by our existing employees.
This achieves a few important goals: it demonstrates our faith in current employees, gives our employees a chance to make a little extra cash, and allows us to hire candidates that have the ultimate references–our own employees.
Companies often overemphasise finding employees with “relevant experience.” Your top performers will end up being smart, resourceful, and innovative – three elements that prior experience.
Compare this to the athletic arena. Great athletes can shift from position to position, and make an impact using their skills. Your team members should be able to use whatever experience they have to rise to a new occasion-not recycle what they’ve done before.
Fast growth creates its own set of “happy problems,” the biggest of which is staffing a company experiencing fast growth. This is a huge pitfall for startups, as they let the pressure of the moment outweigh the need for long-term stability.
Use your growth to attract good talent, but do not let the need for speed influence your decision on a hire. One bad apple in the environment will rot the whole team.
Employees have to be comfortable having a conversation with one another, including the CEO. CEOs in an small firm or micro-corporation should interview every employee they hire. Once the rest of the team has a positive reaction to a candidate, sit down with the applicant for a final “fit” test.
Rather than looking at technical competencies, see how this person will fit into the overall culture. Usually, it comes down to a simple question on that front: would I want to grab a beer with this person? If I don’t think we can be at ease in a semi-casual setting, I hesitate to add them to the cultural mix.
It is easy to feel like you have the advantage in negotiating employment with them, especially in an economy undergoing recession or tight labour market. If they’re good enough to impress you, though, they could likely nail down an opportunity elsewhere.
Make sure you respect their power as a strong talent and sell them on the benefits, personality and development opportunities within your company. The worst that can happen is they want to join you even more.
See: Why do I keep hiring the wrong people?
The original article first appeared on Inc