How fast should you go on the hire-o-meter

Questions to Consider Before Hiring Your Next Employee

Last week we went into some of the questions we recommend asking if you’re thinking about quitting. This week, we want to similarly help employers ask the right questions around hiring. Given the last year of unemployment, furloughs, and layoffs, companies might be tempted to jump in full steam ahead to hire ASAP. But as a result of this “hurry up and hire” mentality, we’re also seeing an unprecedented amount of ghosting and slow-moving hiring processes on the employer side. Truly, these bad habits don't lead to hiring the creative unicorn you're likely looking for. So, we’re taking a minute to lay out a couple of strategic questions to really ask yourself if you’re thinking of hiring right now. 

What level of experience and time dedication do I really need?

It can be tempting to resort to a quick-bid, low-pay contractor site like Fiverr, but hold up for a minute. First, reflect on your business. Do you need to move mountains fast while building your future team of superheroes? If so, you’re going to need senior talent. Too often companies want to pay less for junior talent when they fail to realize that hires with advanced skills can manage themselves, generate new ideas, and lead a full team of juniors when the time is right. AKA, a full-time, speedy team of one. Scaling up starts with getting these workers in place, so seek them out! And, PSA, don’t discount older workers. The best teams are diverse in experience and skill. On the other hand, maybe you’d rather be very prescriptive with your vision and are okay with starting off at a slower pace with rounds of edits. If so, hiring junior talent is probably where you’re at. Somewhere in between? You guessed it—seek out the mid-level types.

Next, examine the job at hand. Is it a project a freelancer can do part-time? Or do you need someone permanent, who is comfortable with making their own decisions and working on a team every day? If so, a full-timer sounds right for you. 

What will we do to ensure our job posting is clear and enticing?

While we know honesty is the best policy, right now it’s hard enough to get people to just apply, let alone follow through with multiple interviews. It can be tempting to be vague with your job descriptions and forgo publishing salary rates (more on that in a bit). We get it, but here’s why improving your job postings will attract the right person for the job. Given the last year of pandemic-related anxieties and larger societal change, people need to know they’re working with human beings, not robots. Talk to your employees closest to the job and ask them to help write the job description. Together, organize skills based on must-haves and like-to-haves. Have a balance of interpersonal skills as well as job-based skills. You’ll get the utmost clarity and honesty from your employees as well as a morale boost, knowing you’re making it a priority to hire a great team. In addition to the job posting, take a little time to make sure your hiring portal is simple to navigate and totally ADA-compliant. And if you haven't already, remove any gender-biased language, okay? Not only will these steps make your job more appealing, they're just the right thing to do. Don’t limit your reach just because you rushed past these important steps to ensure inclusivity.

What type of hybrid work model will you offer?

There’s no way around it—people want to know WHERE they'll be working (and they're quick to dismiss jobs that don't fit their remote/hybrid desires). Decide on what amount of work needs to be done physically in-house, but also think about how you can stay flexible. You want to be honest with potential candidates and be able to tell them your expectations and needs to do the job well. Otherwise, you run the risk of disappointing incoming talent, harming workplace culture, and experiencing high turnover. Strategize and consult with your current employees on what’s the best hybrid work model for your company. 


How will you compensate your new hire?

The last year has completely changed what workers will expect in the way of benefits. Before you have that first interview, get clear on all the benefits you currently offer and which ones are currently in the works. If you can add great benefits like 401k matching, a totally remote office, or child and senior care for families, definitely include them. And, new(ish) trend alert, consider putting salary ranges in your job descriptions. Small range or large, it doesn’t matter; a ballpark salary posting shows that you know what the appropriate rate is for the job in question and you won’t waste the time of an overqualified candidate (or your own reviewing unfit resumes). At the same time, you’re also being transparent about pay rates and striving for fair pay within your company. It’s a win-win for everyone involved. 

Is now the right time to start this process?

This question all depends on the projects and season at hand. Is your project manager at their wits end? Then, yeah, you probably need to hire like one or five people ASAP. But if you already have a talented team managing the current workload and can afford a little more time, take it and be transparent with everyone. Once you put that posting up, the ball can roll very fast. You’ll amass candidates faster than you can interview and you’ll need to spend time notifying those who didn’t qualify. Another thing not to do? Don’t publish a job description just to gain interest or to hoard resumes. This is a waste of everyone’s time, including yours. As we said, people want to know there are humans at the other end of this process. Kindness is the way forward and a surefire way to ensure you’re doing right by both the applicants and your company.

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