How to Add the Right People to Your Team, Pt. 2—The Interview and Beyond

Adding people to your advisory team can be daunting, but the benefits of having additional assistance with your business will be worth it if you hire correctly. In part one of a two-part blog series on how to add the right people to your team, we discussed how to write a job description and attract qualified candidates for that job. In this posting, the second in the series, we cover how you should proceed during the interview process.

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Beginning the Interview Process 

Once you’ve narrowed down your pool of candidates, it’s time to begin the interview process. First determine who will be conducting  the interviews. Will it be a specific team or an individual? Who will make the final hiring decision? Be sure to design your interview questions around the job requirements (which you developed as part of the description for the job) and consider using the same list of questions and a candidate evaluation matrix so all interviewers are rating the applicant by the same set of pre-determined standards.

When managing an interview, set the tone from the beginning and keep to a strict schedule. Your objective is to gain information about the candidate regarding the fit of his or her knowledge, skills and abilities to do the job. Make sure all the questions are job related, and stick to asking only open-ended questions that are not leading. Be sure to listen to the candidate. Pause and wait for responses and do not give too much feedback. You want to hear what the candidate truly believes, not get a regurgitation of your own thoughts.

To keep the interview questions job relevant, focus on the applicant’s work background and educational experiences. Encourage the applicant to be as specific as possible about the duties of his or her previous jobs, and avoid biases which can lead to discrimination. 

Hiring processes are legal processes where applicants are protected by certain laws. Don’t ask an applicant about marital status, child care, disabilities, pregnancies or citizenship. Instead ask about work ethic, ability to be on time, to perform essential job functions with or without accommodation, career goals and, if hired, can the candidate supply proof of eligibility to work within the U.S. 

The Crucial Step After the Hiring 

The final step of the hiring process actually comes after the applicant is officially an employee, but it is the most crucial component. Training and development for the new employee is essential to adding the right people to your team. In the short term, provide the basic fundamentals to your new hire so he or she can be successful in the current position. This step usually tends to focus on tasks and behaviors you expect on a regular basis. In the long term you will focus more on development, providing training and support to the new hire to develop skills to be successful both in current and future roles. This step focuses more on skills and abilities. 

Having a set training and development plan for new hires before they even begin will save you a lot of time and potential frustration later. Training plans set clear expectations for employees so they know what knowledge, skills and abilities are required for the job, both in the beginning and in the future, and what training support tools are available to them so there is room for growth. You can reinforce the point that training and development are valued by: 

  • allowing paid time for training
  • budgeting for employee training sessions
  • providing incentives for skill developments
  • following up with employees to show interest in their growth and
  • requesting  feedback from what they learned that can be implemented into your business. 

In order to meet expectations, employees need to know exactly what those expectations are from the start, beginning with the job description of a help-wanted advertisement. From there you build the entire hiring process around what is required, from interview questions to training and development, to help your employees develop the skills needed to meet all expectations. 

You are responsible for achieving results through your staff. Careful planning of hires to meet your business goals will help you hire the best candidate available, and an effective hiring process will reinforce your business’s goals and strategy, and reinforcement of those goals through training and development will leave you with a valued office team member, ready to assist you in growing your business.

See part one of this blog series on the right way to find and hire good employees for your team.

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