7 Ways to Hire and Keep Great Employees

hire good employees

Finding and keeping good employees can be the toughest part of an HR manager’s job. After all the effort and money your organization puts into a new hire, the last thing you want her to do is turn in her notice after only a month on the job. To ensure you find the right employees and to help you keep them, we’ve compiled a short list of some hiring must-dos.

1. Write a killer job description. Elli Sharef of HireArt said in an Inc. article that “a job description should be treated much like marketing material, like an ad.” You are competing with other organizations with positions just as good or better than yours, and you have to sell the position to the applicant. For now, he is, in a sense, your customer, so treat him that way.

Sharef also recommends that you write the job description on your own instead of googling to find a template. Writing a job description specific to the position and organization allows you to be specific about “the challenges a potential hire must tackle” and to describe company culture accurately.

2. Check out their people skills. Before you bring an employee on board simply because of her qualifications, you want to make sure she fits with your company culture. The new hire that will best grow your company is the one who has the necessary qualifications but who can also work well with your current team and relate with your clients.

Christina Desmarais, a contributer at Inc., recommends introducing the applicant to other people on your staff. Encouraging interaction between the applicant and the staff will give you a better feel for how the applicant will fit in with company culture and perhaps how well she will do with your customers.

3. Ask your staff for possible applicants. Your current staff is your best resource for finding great applicants. They won’t recommend someone who would reflect poorly on them nor would the refer someone they couldn’t stand working with. According to John Sullivan at ERE.net, employee referrals are the “#1 source in hiring volume, . . . in new hire quality,” and in hire speed (according to Sullivan, referrals speed up the hiring process by at least 10 days.)

Make your staff aware of open positions at your company and tell them you would appreciate their referrals. If they know qualified and likable people, their referrals will put you one step ahead in the hiring process.

4. Compensate well. To attract top talent, make sure you are offering competitive compensation and benefits. In the IT department here at Background Check Express, we were in the market for a new IT tech. Because we offered a higher salary than other tech positions in our region, we found a highly qualified geek to keep our IT systems up and running.

Also keep in mind that in 2014, Millennials, according to Inuit, made up more than a third of the workforce. To reach them, you have to offer more than just a decent paycheck and a 401K. They want “a social and fun work environment,” creativity, and flexible hours. If you’re considering hiring a female employee with a young family, she may also be interested in how family-friendly your company is and if you allow the option of telecommuting. Attracting talent means you have to consider who your target audience is and what benefits they would like to see in a job.

5. Consider recent grads. A recent grad may still be green, but, says Greg McAfee from the HVAC industry, “they’ve not yet picked up any bad trade habits.” It may take them longer to train them than it would a more experienced employee, but new grads also don’t bring loads of baggage from other positions.

Place ads on area college and university websites, and leverage social media to reach newly-minted grads. In an Inc. article on hiring young talent, Eric Holtzclaw writes that “millennials don’t trust professional recruiters.” Instead, you’ll find them on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+. Post your job description on your social pages and get your staff to share it on their news feeds.

6. Run a background check. After you’ve interviewed the potential hire and considered his qualifications, run a background check with the applicant’s permission to make sure the facts he’s given are accurate. Be sure to check your state’s laws about background checks, especially concerning ban the box. Certain kinds of background checks, such as employment or education verification, will uncover falsified information on a resume; other kinds, such as SSN traces and verifications, will list any addresses an applicant failed to list on his application; and others, such as criminal and civil records, sex offender checks, and motor vehicle reports, will disclose serious offenses.

Criminal records or falsified information on a resume is not necessarily a reason to reject an applicant. Give the applicant a chance to explain any negative information included on a background check, and also take into consideration how his background history will affect his job performance and interactions with your clients and staff. A poor motor vehicle record, for instance, would not affect a cashier’s performance necessarily, but conviction of theft could.

7. Practice empathy toward your staff. And last, but certainly not least, develop empathy in your upper-level managers. Empathy has been a business buzz-word recently. It’s the way to get and keep customers, they say. It’s the way to grow your business. But it’s more than that: it’s the way to get and keep employees, and it has to start from the top down. “Humble leaders who have increased self-awareness and insight,” according to a Huffington Post article, “experience greater commitment and performance from their employees.” Leaders who understand their staff and their customer base, who know their own weaknesses, are humble, and who take the focus off of themselves “are able to engage with diverse employees, and from a humble perspective.” To hire and keep top talent, understand your employees’ pain points, their need for a decent work-life balance, and that your company is not their entire life.

Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments!