New managers often struggle with hiring decisions, especially when the applicant pool is quite large. Adding a new member to your team is a big decision, and it’s important that the new member is a good fit. There are multiple things you can do to immediately narrow the applicant pool, and here are three:
- Perform Background Checks
A quick peek into an applicant’s background can reveal questionable work histories and undesirable traits. You don’t want to onboard a team member who has been found guilty of theft or had multiple protective orders issued by friends and family. That mistake would invite chaos into your work environment. This mistake can be easily avoided by using professional screening services to help you weed out those applicants.
- Call References
The references an applicant provides are a great source of information. Make use of your valuable time on calls with them by asking how the applicant worked as a team member. Would they want to work with them on future projects? Also, ask about their attendance. One of the worst hiring mistakes a manager can make is hiring a person who calls out sick once a week. Not only does this slow your team down, but it can be hard to maneuver the tools HR provides in order to get rid of them.
- The Interview Process
Now that you’re at the interview phase, you’ve weeded out the applicants who had negative background histories and poor references. The interview is the hardest part of the hiring process because it is the applicant’s job to sell you on their capabilities and personality. How do you know if they are being truthful? You won’t, so be creative.
Take them on a tour of the workplace and see not only how they interact with the team, but test their knowledge and ambition. Don’t ask the standard questions for which they’ve prepared. This will help you get to know who they really are, especially under pressure. Take note of how respectful they are to current employees, and observe whether or not they seem curious and motivated. These are good indicators of an employee who works well with others and has the ambition to succeed.
A good hiring manager doesn’t require you to be a mind reader, but it does require a bit of thorough work and time investment. You’re making a decision that could impact you and your company for years. The extra work will pay off.