By: Liz Barton and Alex Eichenberg
Employees can either make or break your business. Employee Benefit News reported that it costs employers $15,000 per employee (based on $45,000 median salary) to replace. We know that every business wants to improve its bottom line, and one way to do that is to better understand the different aspects of human resources.
A great first step is to create a job design for the position you are wanting to fill. You know you need somebody to fill a need, but what will they be doing? Use our Job Design template to ensure job duties are clear before you begin posting your available positions. This is a critical part of the hiring process.
When beginning the search for employees, it is helpful to create a plan on how you will find candidates. There are dozens of ways to publicize your job posting, from social media to the many job hunting sites online, but we encourage you to think outside the box.
Extraco Banks has a unique, but proven method of finding talent– employee referrals. If an employee refers an applicant and they are hired, the employee receives a monetary reward once they begin at Extraco as well as their one-year work anniversary. By going to your current employees first, you may find candidates that already have an idea of your company culture and that your current employees would want to work with. The incentive at the one-year mark helps to filter out referrals that are not looking for a long-term position. Nearly 35% of our hires come from employee referrals! If you are building a new team, think about asking your favorite customers for recommendations.
Once you have compiled your potential candidates, be sure to go back over your job design. Ensure that your job duties are clear and that the candidates receive a copy. Establishing an interview process is critical. The questions you ask should stay the same for each candidate so that you can easily compare the applicant. Questions should always be open-ended.
Ask questions that will provide insight on if your applicants’ personality, life-stage, and qualifications match what you are looking for. At Extraco, we love to ask questions about what they do outside of work. We want to see what our candidates do outside of the office. Whether it’s volunteer activities or hobbies, it’s a great way to see what your applicants value and enjoy.
When interviewing potential hires, it’s important to have other people in the interviews besides yourself. They may notice things that you don’t or can provide additional insight to the position. Consider inviting the people that the candidate would closely work with if hired. While you are looking for a match on qualifications, you should also be looking for a match to your team dynamic.
Once you have your job description and interview process established, it’s time to start sorting through completed applications and begin the interviews. Here are our main tips for selecting candidates:
- Hire hard and deselect fast. If you know a candidate is not a good fit, let them know right away. It’s always difficult to deliver bad news, but it’s important for your process as well as to the potential candidate. The faster you do it, the more time you’ll have to focus on your top applicants. Don’t leave large gaps of time between correspondence with your candidates and be sure to give them plenty of information along the way.
- Always ask for references and actually contact them. At Extraco, we ask candidates for ten references and we contact each one by phone. It is a great way to learn more about the applicant from previous employers and colleagues. The list of references alone is a great tool. Some red flags would be if their list contains only family members and no previous supervisors. When you call the references, take note of if the reference was aware they were listed by the applicant. Like in your interviews, be sure to ask references the same exact questions for each applicant.
- Have your candidate do a job shadow or simulation. Not sure which candidate to choose? Invite your top applicants to spend time at your business doing a job shadow or simulation. This is a great way to see them outside of an interview room and in the environment they’d be working in. If they have a certain expertise, you can have them show you their work through a simulation you design. Examine the finished products and assess their performance to help you make a final decision.
Finding and hiring awesome talent is difficult. Designing the processes, finding and interviewing candidates takes time and effort, but is sure to pay off in the long-term. There is no better asset to a company than reliable, qualified, and happy employees.
Information about Bank & Brews
Bank & Brews is designed for anybody who wants to learn more about starting or growing a business! These monthly events are free and hosted at Collaborate in Belton. Visit Extraco’s Facebook page to learn more about upcoming Bank & Brews!
About Extraco Banks®
Extraco Banks and its affiliate companies are dedicated to building people, businesses and communities. Since the Great Recession, Extraco has extended over $2.5 billion in loans to 25,000 customers, while financially supporting over 1,275 community organizations working to create economic vibrancy, job growth and overall quality of life to our communities across central Texas. Founded as a cotton warehousing company, Extraco, at $1.4 billion in assets, is the largest and most comprehensive locally owned bank between Dallas and Austin, serving over 120,000 customers’ banking, mortgage, insurance and wealth & trust needs with creative and innovative excellence. Learn more at: https://www.extracobanks.com/.