“Great vision without great people is irrelevant.” – Jim Collins, Good to Great
Your workload is crazy. You’re working nights, weekends...all the darn time. Yeah, you’re amazing at what you do (heck yeah you are) but you can’t do it all yourself. You shouldn’t be. You’re bursting at the seams and possibly bursting into tears. You need help and you need it...like...now.
So what do you do? Hire someone. I need another “me.”
But how? I don’t know. Put an ad out? Hire a friend? Reach out to the “I know a guy” guy?
Okay and then what? I gotta see that resume first. Interview them. Pick the best one.
This is usually how it goes, right? Or maybe you go through a recruiting firm? Either way the process is the same ole way we’ve been doing it for years...see a need, look at resumes, interview, hire then cross your fingers it works out.
But there is something missing.
The heart in it all and the strategy in that heart.
I’ll explain and we’ll need to back up and take a look at YOU first.
YOU = Core Values
There’s a reason you’ve been so successful in your business. It is because of who you are and how you operate that you’ve gotten this far. What are those key traits you possess that got you where you’re at now? Can you name them? And what about the things that are your big blind spots - can you name those too? You need to unearth exactly what those are. Those are your core values. Well, except the blind spots...just take the opposite. THOSE are what you’ll be using to evaluate what kind of person you need to hire.
If you can identify these, you’ll be able to bring someone on board who truly LOVES what they do because they’ll possess the same core values as your company.
Don’t Be Boring
I can bet 90% of all the job ads out there right now are extremely boring. Yeah, I said it because they are.
I just googled, “Receptionist” on Indeed (city undisclosed) and here is what I got:
We are looking for a bilingual (Spanish) candidate to handle incoming calls, greet customers, set appointments and follow up with prospects, handle Social Media for the store and answer emails. We will provide training! Basic computer skills are required. Positive attitude helps a lot! Most important we want someone who loves communicating with people. We are also offering an opportunity to earn bonus and commission on top of the hourly pay.
Woohoo that was fun to read! LOL. So where are those values? Where’s the grab for the reader? Who are they REALLY looking for?
When writing your job ad, share what the ideal candidate looks like by giving a vivid, fun depiction of what a day in the life looks like. Or give a colorful 1-2-3 list of what that person does and loves to do in their job.
Check out what we did:
“You are the face, voice and heart of this company. Without you we wouldn’t be “be the change HR.” You are responsible for handling our client’s HR projects and processes as a reliable and knowledgeable HR Consultant and true HR Generalist. You care about your craft. You bring calm to the occasional HR storm. You also know how to have a good time while doing working because let’s be honest, you really love HR.”
And guess what...core values were weaved into this language. Put some love into that job ad and I promise it’ll make them WANT to work there.
Screw Resume Looking
So I do something a little crazy (but lol I am a little crazy). I don’t look at the resumes TILL THE END. I’m being serious. Have your Applicant Tracking System filter out the ones who meet the requirements automatically. Only allow it to see those who have what you need as a baseline (i.e. Bachelors, 10+ years experience in X, X Certification, etc). My first impression besides what they wrote in the application email will be when I speak to them for the first time. No preconceived notions of who they are based on the dry-ass resume writing. I’ll meet the actual person first, not the paper.
What to Ask...What to Ask?
Now take those core values and make them into questions to ask your interviewees. If your core value is sustainability, ask a candidate how taking care of the planet shows up in their life. If your core value is integrity, ask a candidate about a time they did the right thing when no one is watching.
Here are a few examples:
Calming: Tell me about the craziest HR issue and how you handled it?
Reliable: Were they on time? Did they follow instructions? <- This was not a question...I actually noted if they were on time and followed instructions.
Fun: Tell me about the time you had the most fun at work! <- Secretly I hope this involves break dancing.
Ask personal questions. I know what you’re thinking, “She’s in HR she should know we can’t do that!” But yes, you can. Some of my favs:
What are you watching on Netflix?
What’s your favorite book?
Who’s your childhood hero?
Does pineapple belong on pizza? <- our team is 50/50 on this and we find it amusing.
Why ask these...my next tip explains a bit further...
Break Bread (or Steep Coffee or Drink)
These candidates are real people. Get to KNOW who you’re talking to. Show them you value them with your time and attention.
Real simple...after your phone interview, after your first in-person (or even skip this step), break bread. Invite them to virtual coffee. For my hops or vine lovers...grab a pint of Hazy IPA (my fav) or glass of wine on a virtual happy hour. Once the pandemic is over make these in person!!
Yeah, LeiLani this sounds great but how do we measure the viability of a candidate against the others?
I was getting there. ;-)
Create a spreadsheet and measure every step of the process. I’ve got my own little scale I’ve been using since 2008:
1 = No way! I would never hire him/her!
2 = I wouldn’t hire him/her but you can talk me into it.
3 = I would hire him/her but you can talk me out of it.
4 = Heck yes! I would def hire him/her!
And then there are assessments. Do the same there. Assign a rating scale to each assessment (most recruiting platforms now have them). Give bonus points for skills/requirements that are “preferred” in your job ad.
Add ‘em all up and you’ll see who is the front runner.
I’m hopeful by now, being the consummate professional that you are, that you know what you can and cannot ask but just in case, here are a few:
Are you married?
Where do you live?
What did you make at your last job?
Are you a felon?
Where’s your name from?
How old are you? <- I’m actually chuckling. I’m going to smack you if you ask this.
Oh and make sure this stuff isn’t on your applications either (if you actually use paper ones).
Recruit with <3
If you love the process, they will love it too.
If you care about what you put out there for them to see, they will present themselves with care too.
If you devote the time to them, they will devote it to you too.
If you truly love what you do, they will too.
You’re going to find someone great! I just know it.
Love the process.
Love your (new) employees.
-LeiLani Quiray, CEO of be the change HR
“Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for the love of it.” – Henry David Thoreau, Life without Principle
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
LeiLani Quiray, founder of Be the Change HR, has a fiery passion for both Human Resources and philanthropy. With 20 years of HR practitioning and philanthropic work, she built a business that was different from your everyday Human Resources consulting firm. This Orange County-based conscious company and social enterprise provides HR support for small-to-medium sized businesses in any facet of HR from pre-hire to post-term and everything else that happens in between. Gandhi’s quote “Be the change you wish to see in the world” has been the center of the company and inspires the team to make a difference in the surrounding community. Check out her fun social media pages: Instagram & Youtube.