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Tip #21: Employing People – Our Advice on Finding the Right Person

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Taking on a new employee is always a bit of a daunting prospect.

You can measure their suitability in terms of qualifications, but it’s important to get a feel for what they are like.

Indeed, if someone isn’t quite the ‘high-flyer’ they may more than make up for any academic shortcomings in their character and turn out to be the perfect fit and ready to train-up on the job.

You’ll get a sense of what someone’s like at interview, but interviews are brief and you need to make sure the person in front of you has the character traits you’re looking for.

Here are some qualities to look our for when you’re interviewing potential candidates:
A good first impression. Candidates who make a good first impression will set the right tone for the interview. Common sense is key: are they dressed appropriately and were they on time? This will give you a head-start in assessing their suitability.

Commitment. Training and investing in a new employee is expensive so can they show you that they have long-term potential?  Have they stuck at things in the past or do they give up easily?

Productivity. Ask them about things they’ve done in the past that they’re proud to have achieved.

Enthusiasm. Look for candidates that are passionate about what they do and are keen to learn more.  People who love what they do are more productive and likely to stay longer. Avoid anyone who’s there just for the paycheck!

Self-motivation. Try and find out how they work, do they have initiative? You might like to set them a task and see how they perform.

A good fit. The qualities examined above will show you whether they’re a good practical fit and able to undertake the work, but it’s just as important that they fit in with the culture of your company. Can you see them working happily with everyone else?

A team player. Although it’s important that the candidate is self-motivated, it’s also important that they can work well as part of a team as some tasks require collaboration with other employees. It might be worth arranging a group interview so that you can see how the candidate interacts with your other staff.

Ambition. Is the person willing to go beyond what is asked of them? Are they motivated to push themselves and your business forward to better things? It’s good to find someone with the imagination and drive to improve things and work more efficiently.

Honesty. You’ll be looking for someone who’s honest and reliable. It can be hard to assess if someone’s honest on face value, but use your gut instincts. Good references from previous employers will help.

Respectfulness.  Being responsive and polite to others is important as you want to feel confident that your employees are successfully reflecting the values your company holds.

If you find someone that ticks all the boxes above, but maybe doesn’t have all the right qualifications and experience, consider upskilling them; they’ll be grateful of the opportunity and you’ll be able to mold them to fit your businesses requirements. Our guide to training might help!

Employing someone for the first time? We’ve got a guide for that too!

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