Hiring Part Two

hiringDetermine Your Hiring Process

When your company’s most important asset is the people who represent you and do the work, it’s critical to have an established process for recruiting and hiring. Hiring is, in fact, the most important process in your business. In developing your hiring process, you will need to determine the following:

  • Whether you will be recruiting internally (using your own people) or externally (using a recruiter).
  • What types of assessment tools (personality assessments and skills tests) you’ll be using, and at what point in the process?
  • What other additional screening you need to do.
  • How you will verify work histories.
  • How you will rank candidates.
  • How you will conduct interviews, and what you will ask.

Let’s look at each of these points in more depth.


Recruiting means how your future employees find you, or how you find them. You can choose to have this done internally by your HR department or you can hire an outside firm to recruit for you. If you are too small to have an HR department, this task will fall to whomever you have designated as the hiring manager for the position (it might even be you).

Internal Recruiting: Recruiting internally should involve all your company’s employees. If they are happy, they will tell others, creating a pipeline of ready, willing, and able employees. This is sometimes easier for the less skilled positions, but nevertheless works at all levels. One company I know of provides business cards to all employees to hand out to anyone they see doing an outstanding job. The card says, “You are a Star, and this card entitles you to an interview at XYZ Company.” This provides a great opportunity for all your employees to be constant recruiters for you. An architectural firm I work with offers a one-week cruise to any employee who recruits an architect that is successfully hired and stays on after six months. Some companies pay finder’s fees to employees who bring in someone who is ultimately hired. I used to pay a finder’s fee of $500 upon hiring the new employee, $500 at six months, and $500 at a year. This gave some incentive for the referral employee to help keep the new employee happy. I’ve also seen cases where the new employee was also given the fee, thus creating a bond between the two employees. Don’t be afraid to use nonmonetary incentives as well. For instance, time off is always a good motivator.

Job listings should always be posted on the company website in addition to other venues. While this might seem obvious, I’m amazed by how often this easy recruiting tool is overlooked. Create a jobs section with a listing of all the jobs available, why someone would want to work for your company, and a statement about your values. Highlight the three required behaviors for that job and tie them to your values. Make sure your website jobs listings and ads are always up to date.

External Recruiting: I’ve worked with some great recruiters and some really bad recruiters. Some agencies don’t truly recruit; they just place ads for you, wait until someone answers, and then prepare the candidate to interview with you. By definition a “recruiter” should go out and seek candidates for your positions, usually contacting people who are already employed. You will typically pay 7–100% of the position’s annual salary as a “fee” for this hire with a guarantee of 30–180 days retention depending on the level of the position. Some agencies will work on a fixed-fee basis with the understanding that you will not use other recruiters (this is called a “sole and exclusive contract”).

Because you’ll be making a significant investment not only in your future employee, but also in the process of finding that person, choose your recruiting partner carefully. Speak to other clients who have had successful placements and find out what that recruiter’s track record is for successful hires. You might need to hire a recruiter who works by specialty (for example accounting, executive placements, engineering, etc.). Choose a recruiter who will take the time to get to know your company: your culture, the position, the responsibilities, and what it will take for a hire to be successful. And always read the contract carefully to determine your obligations if you find a candidate on your own.

Excerpted from my book, “Putting Together the Entrepreneurial Puzzle: The Ten Pieces Every Business Needs to Succeed.” Available here on Amazon.