Ask the right questions during a job search
by Howard Lewinter

Throughout the life of your business, you will devote time and resources toward hiring employees. In fact, you may feel as though you are in a constant cycle of hiring people to properly staff and grow your company. There are many factors to think about when hiring, depending on the circumstances and the position to be filled. It can help to find a few things to focus on when hiring for your company. Here are five points that CEOs, presidents and business owners need to consider. They may not be the most basic or obvious issues, but they are important to make sure that you land the right employee.

1. What does this person bring to the company?

Whether you are reviewing a candidate’s résumé or are conducting an interview by phone, on screen or in person, at every stage of the hiring process, you should ask yourself:
  • What does this person potentially bring to the company?
  • What will they add to the company that is needed; where is there now a void?
  • How will this candidate fit in with the company culture?

2. Do you really need to hire someone?

One of the worst phrases in business—and one often repeated by managers—is “We are desperate to fill this position.” It is a terrible move to hire out of a feeling of desperation. It can often lead to incorrect hiring choices and outcomes, which can prove costly on many levels. The economy, the national unemployment rate and the need to serve customers and fill orders all play into times when the word “desperate” is used. Take that word very seriously. If you don’t need to fill a position immediately, take a breath and ask yourself:
  • Is this person the absolute best candidate for the role?
  • Are the right candidates being found and interviewed in a timely manner?
  • Why is the company in a desperate situation to hire?
If the company is not desperate to fill a job and your hiring team is not finding the best candidates, then ask yourself: Should the search continue? If so, how can the search process be improved? There are times when a position must be filled. The person may not be the exact candidate you had in mind, but someone needs to do the job. You may choose someone who is not exactly perfect for a number of reasons—but be sure that you do so because you must. But if the company is not desperate, consider putting the position on hold, or taking a step back to determine why the right candidate has not emerged. Sometimes, leaving a job open is a wise business move in the long term. Remember: Never be so desperate to fill a job opening that it may have a negative impact on the longevity of your company.

3. How does this person affect the company?

If a job candidate doesn’t fit into the company culture or can’t accept the company’s mission statement; articulates that aspects of the job seem to be a problem, such as hours, responsibilities, skills, etc.; doesn’t exactly understand what the position is; or doesn’t appear to be a good fit with the rest of the team or department, then they are a problem even before being hired. This happens every day in companies, inflating turnover rates and lowering productivity. You don’t want to put someone in a position who is going to turn your current employment structure upside down and interrupt the flow of daily work. Nor do you want to set someone up to fail. Remember: Hire for attitude first. Then hire for experience, skills and education. Without the right attitude, an employee brings nothing beneficial to your company. Everything else is secondary. This is extremely important to consider when hiring.

4. Is the opening easy to fill?

If it’s not an easy-to-fill position, ask yourself:
  • What will it take to find the right employee for this role?
  • What am I willing to do to make this hire happen?
  • Where can the hiring requirements be more flexible, if necessary?
Make sure your company remains competitive in its staffing and hiring practices. Sometimes, that may mean weighing the pros and cons of hiring someone who may not be the best fit for the role. When there is a high demand for a specific job skill, you may not have a choice. Keep your hiring options flexible when necessary, without compromising the company’s standards or reputation.

5. Always be on the lookout for a great candidate.

The hiring process isn’t just about one specific job opening. There will always be jobs that need to be filled due to people leaving the company or being promoted from within. There will also be newly created jobs as your company grows. That’s why it is important to be on the lookout for talented, motivated candidates who may be a good fit with your business. If your company is in the position to spontaneously add a person, and it makes sense with the overall business plan, do it. Don’t miss an opportunity that may otherwise go to the competition. Consider specifically what your company requires when it comes to hiring. Always hire the most qualified people with the best attitude who will absolutely bring something of value to the company. Hire people who:
  • Will be happy with the work they do each day,
  • Enjoy their work and take pride in it,
  • Want to progress in their skills and knowledge levels, and
  • Demonstrate why they deserve salary increases or job promotions, but don’t work just for the money.
Hiring the right people will make all the difference in reducing your stress—and in the success and profitability of your business in the short term as well as in the long term.