Tips for Hiring Superstar EmployeesThink about your star employees. What would it be like if your entire workforce was as good as they are?

Peak performance expert Chris McIntyre has a six-step process for recruiting, selecting, and retaining “A-level” employees. He shares the key points of this process in an excerpt from his book, The Roadmap to Freedom.

How to Hire Superstar Employees

Identify Knowledge, Skills, and PEAs You Want

Knowledge and skills are fairly easy to define, since you probably have a good idea of the type of person you need to fill the open position. When it comes to hiring, McIntyre says, “Every successful small business should have its basic business metrics and key measures.”

But critical soft skills—PEAs (People skills, worth ethics, and attitudes)—are equally important and should be included in a well-crafted job description.

Ask for a “Strategic” Cover Letter

Most candidates’ cover letters offer light insight into their make-up and experience. Instead, request a cover letter that requires applicants to do some online research.

For example, have them addresses two or three open-ended questions about your company.

Good strategic questions include:

McIntyre estimates asking for a strategic cover letter will eliminate 30 percent of job-seekers (those who can’t be bothered to answer the questions). Of candidates who do provide such a letter, “30 to 40 percent will probably disqualify themselves with incorrect grammar and poor attention to detail.” That leaves the top 30 percent to pursue.

Appoint a Hiring Panel

For the most important open positions, consider assembling a few trusted vendors, suppliers, and contractors for their confidential assistance. Other potential recruitment partners might include a management consulting company or a staffing agency. “Good agencies can offer expert interviewers and help you focus,” McIntyre says.

Delve Into the Resumes

Now you have the best of the resumes submitted and a hiring panel to assist in the recruitment process. Divide the resumes among the panel members and give everyone a week or so to select their top five candidates, along with a brief explanation of their reasoning. Then reconvene the panel and tally the votes for all potential candidates, until you reach a consensus on the top few to call for an interview.

Nail the Interview

The panel should agree beforehand which questions will be asked of all candidates (“Straying from your pre-determined questions can skew the dynamics of each interview”). Immediately following each interview, ask each panel member to write down their impressions and rank the candidates. If this doesn’t happen right away, McIntyre says, “You’ll likely forget noteworthy subtleties that might have been the difference maker.”

After everyone has compiled their individual assessments, assemble the panel again to combine comments and ratings on a scorecard. From there, you have ample information with which to make your hiring decision.

Conduct a 90-day Check-in

Ninety days is generally enough time to get a sense of the new employee’s skill level and work ethic. Check in with the new hire at that time and provide feedback that relates directly to the key areas of responsibility for which they were hired. Are they hitting the target? What kind of support can you provide to sharpen their performance?

A process like this requires additional time and commitment from employers. But the prospect of assembling and retaining a team of superstars makes it well worth the effort.

How do you go about hiring a superstar employee?

Recruiting From Within: Look For Top Talent On The InsideWhen a job opening occurs in your company, you probably don’t lack for applications pouring in from eager job-seekers. The problem is, most of these potential candidates simply aren’t qualified for the open position.

Try recruiting from within - what Leah Campbell calls “a large untapped resource of qualified candidates” already existing within your organization. In a piece for Brazen Life, Campbell contends that, “you’ll not only be able to fill positions with talent you know and can vouch for, but can also help create a sense of loyalty among employees.

Here are tactics she offers to make this strategy work for your business:

Make It Easy For Employees To Apply

You can generate interest in open positions by “circulating job openings on a weekly basis” and by sending out email blasts alerting employees to these new opportunities. Make it easy for employees to apply for these jobs by only requesting cover letters and resumes.

Feel Free To Play Favorites

Give your employees top priority when the time comes for job interviews and selection. “You don’t have to hire them for jobs they aren’t qualified for,” Campbell says, “but you can play favorites by promoting employees to positions they can handle.” This demonstrates the value you place on employees coming forward “who already know and understand your corporate structure.”

Use The Buddy System

Have you ever considered grooming employees for executive-level positions? Campbell suggests pairing up the most promising employers with your top leaders, having them work together in a leader-cultivation mentorship program.

“When the time comes to replace your current executives, you’ll quickly discover how valuable it is to have a workforce already trained and ready to take over.”

Celebrate Internal Hiring Achievements

Not only does hiring from within make good business sense, it sends a great message to the world about the importance you place on advancing employees’ careers. Let people know (both inside and outside the organization) when an employee takes on a new position.

“Each week when you notify your workforce of new opportunities, make note of staff members who are already moving up,” Campbell says. “Praise them publicly on the steps they took to advance” and remind other employees “that they have the same opportunities available.”

When you create such opportunities for employees to move up, “you just might find a perfect fit you otherwise could have overlooked.” Plus, “your workforce will make it that much easier for you to continue being picky as you seek out new talent.”

Are you pursuing a practice of hiring from within?

Eight Tips to Improve Your Hiring ProcessKnowing you need the right people on your team and finding them are two different things. That’s why one of the toughest challenges for businesses is to recruit qualified candidates. You need a solid hiring process in place to find (and hire) the best people for the position.

Vanessa Merit Nornberg, founder of Metal Mafia, a wholesale body and costume jewelry company, has learned some tricks about hiring since she opened her business in 2004.

In an article in Inc., she offers tips to refine the hiring process and get more ROI on your recruitment efforts.

Give the Hiring Process Six Months

When you hope to fill an open position by next week (or even next month), it puts you at a disadvantage from the outset. To do things right, Nornberg advises, allow three months to search for and screen applicants, one month for your new hire to give notice to her current employer, and at least two months to train the new person.

Use the Job Post to Describe Your Company

“Believe it or not, you don’t want to emphasize the qualities you need in a candidate in a job description,” Nornberg contends. Instead, use this opportunity to describe your company—what makes it unique, why it’s the right place to work for the right type of candidate—thus upping the odds you’ll hear from people “who are the right cultural fit.”

Build Several Steps Into the Process

Add more than a one-click submission to ensure you’ll hear only from candidates genuinely interested in your position. Lesser-motivated job-seekers will just move on.

Identify Five Essential Qualities

Pick the five most important qualities for the position, and create interview questions to help you determine whether a candidate is actually worth consideration.

Use the Interview for to Ask More Than Questions

The interview is an opportunity to observe the way a candidate handles themselves in situations which can resemble actual workplace experience. “For example, if she will be organizing data for your company, give her data to classify and pay attention to the way she does it,” Nornberg suggests.

Add Others to the Recruiting Process

Any genuinely promising candidates should be evaluated by at least two members of the team (in addition to you). Your gut may tell you this is just the right person, but “having someone to talk about the candidate with can help you get clarity when it matters.”

Customize the Training Program to the Candidate

A training program that accurately reflects the tasks of the new hire will accelerate To accelerate the person’s learning curve, provide a training program that accurately relfects the tasks a new hire will be expected to perform.

Be Honest About the Candidate After the Decision is Made

Sometimes, despite the best efforts, you come to realize the person you hired isn’t right for the position. Nornberg advises swift action: “If you make a hiring mistake, don’t waste precious time and money hoping it will eventually turn out okay. It won’t. Let the candidate go immediately.”

Recruiting takes time and effort, but the pay-off is worth it. When you add great people to the team, your business gains new skills and competencies—and with them, an opportunity to attract new customers.

What are your secrets for hiring the right candidate?

Hiring From Within: Look For Top Talent On The InsideNot all companies focus on hiring from within.

You may not need to. When a job opening comes up, you probably don’t lack applications pouring in from eager job-seekers.

The problem is, most of these potential candidates simply aren’t qualified for the open position.

Instead of wading through piles of resumes from unqualified applicants, try hiring from within.

Leah Campbell says there's “a large untapped resource of qualified candidates” already existing within your organization.

In a piece for Brazen Life, Campbell contends, “you’ll not only be able to fill positions with talent you know and can vouch for, but can also help create a sense of loyalty among employees."

Here are tactics she offers to make this strategy work for your business: (more…)

chevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram