If you’re a solo or small firm looking to hire a new associate, there’s little margin for error.
The right choice can take your practice to the next level, while the wrong choice can be a step backwards.
And even if you land a stellar hire with loads of potential, the investment it’ll take to bring them up to speed will be lost if you can’t retain them and they end up leaving for greener pastures.
“Small businesses usually run on limited resources,” says this article from the Forbes Dallas Business Council. “Each employee who a small business hires needs to count, so how does a business know that they’re getting the best potential candidate for the job?”
The goal: talented, motivated employees who really desire to be a part of your team and will make a positive impact when they get there.
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Hiring the Right Talent: Six Pro Tips
Here are hiring tips from members of the Forbes Dallas Business Council:
1. Know what you want.
Do you want someone who will bring business with them? Someone who can help launch a new practice area? Someone just to handle your work overflow? “Go into the recruitment process knowing exactly what you are looking for. Make a list of all the requirements that you have. This clarity regarding your ideal hires will help you avoid settling for something that doesn’t work for you.” (Sabeer Nelliparamban, Tyler Petroleum)
2. Choose a good fit for your firm’s culture.
“I am a big believer in ensuring that the people you hire are good cultural fits. Someone who believes in your company’s mission will put in the extra effort that it takes to make something move from good to great.” (Alex Doubet, Door)
3. Focus on core value alignment.
One way to do this is by asking job candidates open-ended questions related to your firm’s values. “For example, if your core value is collaboration, ask them to tell you about a time when they found collaborating on a project slowed a project to a crawl. A great match candidate will tell you why the output was actually better, or how they’ve mastered timeliness in collaboration. Only proceed on value matches.” (Betsi Bixby, Meridian Associates)
4. Hire for future potential.
“I don’t hire based on past experience. I hire based on future potential. This means that we evaluate people’s capabilities for future work in new areas and new fields rather than just look at what they have done. This allows us to find people who will grow with our company while remaining happy in their role because they are learning new skills, taking on new challenges and growing with us.” (Ben Lamm, Hypergiant)
5. It’s all about attitude.
“We focus on attitude, values and smarts for all our team members. For technical staff, we also get them tested through third-party online tools for skill proficiency.” (Safir Adeni, Ineda Group)
6. Ask for referrals from sources inside and outside your firm.
“If you’re looking to grow your team with local talent, leverage both employee and external referrals.” (Daniel Black, Glass-Media Inc.)
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