If you haven’t learnt it yet, you soon will. Employees are your greatest asset!

They decide the direction of your company’s future and are the building blocks of company culture. You should make all hiring decisions with care, but this is especially true for decisions when working in high-volume.

 
If you’re looking to expand rapidly in 2021, follow these tips to ensure you’re full to the brim with the right people for your business.
 

Attitude and Soft Skills > Technical Skills


Seek out great attitudes first, then focus on skills. Employees can learn technical skills on the job, but teaching soft skills is far more challenging.
 
Companies who are experiencing rapid growth require hires with an attitude of helpfulness, grit and agility to capitalise on the growth. 
Soft skills are arguably the most difficult to assess in a candidate. Here are a few creative ways to screen for soft skills:
  • Ask current employees to list the soft skills that would need to succeed at your company. Ask for detailed responses and their reasoning
  • Ask candidates scenario-focused questions
  • Have candidates to rank themselves in a list of your company’s most valued soft skills
  • Have references rank the candidate in a list of your company’s most valued soft skills
  • Administer online tests that validate these soft skills
  • Ask a candidate where they feel they could improve their soft skills
 

Don’t Lower Your Standards


It can be tempting to lower your standards to fill a position quickly. When your current team is pulled in multiple directions and drowning in work, you might feel you have no choice but to fill the position as fast as possible to keep your team happy and meet customer expectations. As difficult as it might be, resist this temptation.
 
Filling a position with a candidate who isn’t a good fit and crossing your fingers that they’ll thrive in your business is risky, wishful thinking. You may end up wasting thousands of dollars recruiting and onboarding an employee who’ll only stay a few months and add little value.
 
It pays to take your time when hiring — even during times of rapid growth. 
 

Acknowledge Your Biases


It’s important that company leaders and anyone involved in hiring be honest with themselves about their unconscious biases. While often not malicious, everyone has some degree of bias. The sooner you recognise it, the sooner you can take intentional actions to overcome it and make sure you’re being checked on it. 
 
Unconscious biases within the hiring process can destroy your company’s chances of finding a valuable employee by turning off certain candidates, reducing your candidate pool, and limiting your talent pipeline. Check your biases with these practical steps:
  • Do not include gender-specific language in job descriptions
    • Example: Certain words are labelled as masculine or feminine-coded. Assertive is a masculine-coded word while nurturing is a feminine-code word
  • Do not include unnecessary qualifications
    • Example: Is it absolutely necessary that the candidate has a bachelor’s degree? Consider accepting relevant experience in place of a degree
  • Use blind screening software. This software allows recruiters to review applications without demographic data. This process will improve your chances of including the most relevant candidates in your interview pool 
Don’t allow unconscious biases to prevent you from hiring a great employee. Start by acknowledging your biases. 
 

Summary


2021 will be a challenging year for most businesses whilst the remarkable ability to adapt and pivot that we learnt in 2020 has helped both leaders and their businesses evolve and thus survive. We know the rate of change is not going to slow. Plan and prepare for the year ahead.




 

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