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It’s not uncommon for business owners to re-evaluate goals at the start of a new year, especially as it relates to hiring employees. After all, it’s a huge investment of time and resources to advertise an open position, interview candidates, verify information from the leading candidates, make an offer, and onboard a new employee. Getting it right saves a great deal of money and frustration as well as makes for a happier workplace. If 2018 is the year for a new hiring strategy, we have some tips for you below.


Hire to Intangibles


Even if a candidate doesn’t have every skill that you would prefer, you can always teach him or her things like operating a specific software program or best practices for project management. However, you can’t necessarily teach things like flexibility, leadership skills, the ability to stay calm under pressure, and strong problem-solving skills. Skills like these are inborn or learned much earlier in life.

The problem with conducting a skills-based interview is that you might not see these types of intangibles in action. This makes a good argument for conducting a behavioral interview instead. This interview style requires the candidate to describe how he or she handled a specific issue in a past job to give you an idea of the person’s thought process and soft skills. The rationale behind behavioral interviewing is that past behavior is the best possible indicator of future behavior.


Train to Competence


Employees who feel they received adequate training as newcomers are much more likely to remain with the job and seek career advancement. As a business owner, it’s in your best interest for new workers to reach a point of competency as quickly as possible. While there’s no sure-fire strategy to accomplish this, we recommend that managers follow these steps:

  • List each task that a new employee needs to learn
  • Break individual tasks down into manageable steps
  • Ask a co-worker of similar rank to review the tasks for clarity
  • List the equipment, supplies, and workspace needed for the employee to accomplish each task
  • Ask the employee to perform each task immediately after learning it
  • Provide feedback on any errors right away
  • Review the employee’s competence on individual tasks periodically
  • Continuously review and improve training based on results and feedback from employees


New Year, New Plan


If your company doesn’t already have a strategic hiring plan in place, the new year is a great time to create one. Ask every manager to create new job descriptions for each role on their team. You should then take an inventory of each existing team to identify skill gaps. As you interview new candidates throughout the year, remember these gaps and look towards new employees to fill them.

It’s also important to consider major upcoming events such as the launch of a new product or closing on a contract. You can then hire those with technical skills and soft skills that can help your company be most successful with the changes.


Whatever your strategy for successful hiring in 2018, we’re here to help every step of the way.  Lowcountry Business Advisors in Greater Charleston, SC strives to use our experience and passion to help business people achieve their goals.  Let’s meet for coffee and see how we can work together.