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10 Hacks To Hire Your Next Best Talent

When scaling up your business, hiring the right people becomes more crucial than ever. But it isn’t easy. Here are ten hacks for recruiting people who can grow with your company.

GG van Rooyen

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Vital Stats

  • Player: Monique Chaitezvi
  • Company: 10X-e
  • Founded: 2015
  • Background: 10X-e was created by Vumela and Edge Growth. Its aim is to help talented entrepreneurs succeed by offering a high-growth support system.
  • Visit: 10x-e.com

One of the biggest challenges associated with scaling a business quickly is the hiring of new talent. Fast-growing businesses need highly-competent people who can grow with the business, but getting hold of these people isn’t easy. Statistically, only about 25% of hires work out, and the cost and impact of this can be catastrophic.

“When scaling your business quickly, you can’t afford to get a key hire wrong. Hire the wrong person, and your growth plans can be put back by a year or two,” says Monique Chaitezvi of 10X-e. “Research has shown us that hiring the wrong person can end up costing companies anywhere between four and 27 times the cost of an annual salary in wasted training, lost productivity, and so on.”

Related: Jason Goldberg Asks Are You (Realistically) Ready To Scale Your Business?

Here, according to 10X-e, are ten ways to improve your odds when hiring for growth.

1. Hire people you know and trust

“A good way to improve the odds of hiring the right person is to hire someone you know,” says Chaitezvi. “This means hiring people you’ve worked with personally, or people your best colleagues have worked with and can vouch for.”

Focus on organisations that you respect and know would be a source of excellent talent. Just consider, for example, how quickly companies in the US tend to hire engineers who have worked for Google.

2. Invest in talent

Talent isn’t cheap. As a scale-up you are competing for top talent with prestigious corporate organisations that can offer great salaries and excellent benefits.

“At 10X-e we advise companies to provide a value proposition aimed at potential employees that is just as great as that offered to customers. Scaling talent is as much a marketplace activity as scaling sales,” says Chaitezvi.

3. Treat every meeting like a recruitment meeting

Pay close attention when an employee from a supplier, customer or bank really impresses you. Could they be a good fit for your company? “Always be on the lookout for high performers who want to work for you one day,” says Chaitezvi.

“It’s not just about hiring somebody right now, but creating a ‘warm bench’ of prospective talent. Always keep an eye out for great employees.”

4. Screen interviewees over the phone

It’s a good idea to start any interview process with a five or ten-minute screening call. More often than not, a quick call can save you hours of interviews. It’s also a good idea to phone references to find out if the person will be a good fit for your organisation.

5. Find great recruiters

Recruiters can be an excellent source of good talent, provided they understand your company and aren’t incentivised to place as many people as quickly as possible. Sadly, only a tiny proportion of recruiters are really partners in building an A-team. Find them, and build lasting partnerships with them.

“There are recruiters who are driven by quality,” says Chaitezvi. “Find them and work with them. Identify the roles they are best at filling and focus on those areas.”

Related: 4 Steps to Hiring Killer Sales Staff

jason-goldberg-and-monique-10x-e6. Sample the goods

“Great interviewees are not necessarily great employees. In fact, interview performance isn’t a reliable predictor of job performance at all,” says Chaitezvi. “At 10X-e we often warn that hiring someone too soon is like getting married after the second date.”

But what is the alternative? 10X-e suggests internships or contract work. By commissioning someone to do some work for you before you hire them full-time, you’ll get a far better idea of their competence than you would from an interview or two. If this isn’t an option, work-sample interviews at the very least are a must.

7. Look for the achiever pattern

Of course, a scorecard on its own is not enough. Great employees have a certain X-factor that you should look out for. They are ambitious and goal-oriented, and they are self-aware — they know what their strengths and weaknesses are. Their employment history will also reveal their ‘high-achiever’ tendencies. They’ll boast an impressive list of tough positions, glowing recommendations and accolades.

8. Use a scorecard

Shopping when hungry is a great way to buy way more than you actually need. Similarly, an interview process can lead you astray by convincing you to hire someone you don’t actually need. Even great potential employees should be turned down if they don’t tick all of your boxes.

10X-e suggests a role scorecard to keep you focused on what you need. This way you won’t be charmed into making a wrong decision, but will be on the lookout for the skills you need.

You also want to try and take urgency off the table as much as possible. When you’re in desperate need of workers, the temptation is to hire whoever you can get your hands on right now. Make a conscious decision to not hire for the sake of hiring.

9. Use chronological and structured interviews

“The top two predictive processes for interviewing strangers are structured interviews and psychometric tests. Use both, together. In particular, do chronological career review interviews to unpack their role, achievements, failings, and boss ratings for each role. Build a complete picture of the person and probe for a balanced view of strengths and weaknesses,” says Chaitezvi.

10. Institutionalise your process

You can only be personally involved in every hire for so long. So, as you scale, start institutionalising good hiring. Make it an integral part of management competency. Managers need to be scored on hiring success, and also trained in hiring.


Remember this

Hiring effectively while scaling is crucial. A bad hire can set back your scaling goals significantly.

GG van Rooyen is the deputy editor for Entrepreneur Magazine South Africa. Follow him on Twitter.

Hiring Employees

Looking For Talent? Here Are The Benefits Of Hiring A Graduate

Still not convinced? Below are just some of the benefits of hiring a graduate.

Amy Galbraith

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Finding the right talent for your company can be tricky. You have to meet and interview dozens of applicants, and in the end none of them are the right fit for your needs. But you can remedy this by hiring a graduate. Graduates might have little to no experience but they are able to bring value to the table.

In order to improve their skills, there are graduate training courses that can help them get up to speed with the corporate world, allowing them to learn about the latest trends in your industry. One of the major perks of hiring a graduate is that they will be in touch with the pulse of the generation. Still not convinced? Below are just some of the benefits of hiring a graduate.

They can offer a fresh perspective

Graduates have just recently been in touch with the younger generation and are part of the ever-evolving technological world. They also will have been raised in a world unlike yours and some of your older staff, and so will come with new and innovative ideas on how to solve business problems.

Another important fact to remember is that someone who is fresh out of university will come with a lot of “why do you do it like this” and “how does this work” questions. This will force your company to explain your inner workings to them but also to take a look at established practices with fresh eyes. This could cause you to bring about more efficient ways of working, which is beneficial to all of your employees and your bottom line.

Related: 21 SMEs Graduate From The Property Point Enterprise Development Programme

They are comfortable with new technology

If there is one thing that today’s generation is comfortable with, it is technology. And this is true of all graduates, which is a major benefit for your company. They will be able to navigate through new technology such as the innovations in computers and how these apply to your company.

Having employees who are able to operate and understand new software and technology is beneficial because they will be more comfortable with working online than some of your older employees. They can also teach other employees how to use this new technology successfully. Skills development training courses will equip graduates with the skills needed to function in the workplace but their own generational knowledge of computers and technology will enable them to learn quicker than others.

They are able to adapt

You will be giving a graduate their very first job, which means that they will be willing and able to adapt to your requirements. Not only this, but new graduates are more open-minded and can adapt to any situation easily and often are more willing to take on more work and opportunities.

This does not mean that you should be giving them 60 hour working weeks, simply that they will likely be more open to work extra hours and embrace opportunities to learn more in the company. Their adaptability is beneficial for industries such as technology and marketing, where everything is constantly in flux and businesses need to be able to change with the times. If they have been on any skills development training courses, adaptability will become second nature to any graduate.

They offer more potential

One of the benefits of hiring graduates is that they have more potential. This could be anything from a secondary skill that could benefit a department in your company to pure enthusiasm for their role which brings in new and creative thinking.

While experience is necessary for some sectors, a recent graduate offers potential in a unique way. They will be coming into your company without any preconceived notions about the industry and what their role should entail. And this means that they can learn and develop on the job while also bringing fresh and exciting ideas to the table. Their potential as your employee is only just beginning and you can help to shape their career trajectory and help them to reach their goals.

Related: The Pros And Cons Of Hiring Recent Graduates For Your Start-up

They already have soft skills

Because graduates spend so many years researching and writing, they will already have developed the soft skills that they need for the working world. These skills include effective communication, time-management, the ability to problem-solve and to analyse data.

This will save you both time and money because you will not have to train new employees. You could send them on courses so they become familiar with adapting to a business environment and to help them develop the skills they already have. Graduates are often highly organised and are used to taking direction, so you will be able to guide them to work in the right way to fit your company.

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Hiring Employees

The Pros And Cons Of Hiring Recent Graduates For Your Start-up

Here are the pros and cons of hiring graduates for your start-up.

Montash

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As a business owner, chances are you receive lots of applications from recent graduates, but you might be hesitant employing them due to a number of reasons: from lack of experience to their perceived unreliability and not having enough resources to train.

Start-ups need talented, enthusiastic individuals to help drive the business to the forefront of their market. Often passion projects and personal labours of love, start-ups most of all need someone who can buy into the vision.

As much as this could be a seasoned professional with dreams of shaking up the industry, this could also be a fresh face looking for a challenge.

Here are the pros and cons of hiring graduates for your start-up.

1. Cost

One of the key considerations for start-ups is keeping costs sleek and streamlined. So, from a pragmatic perspective, it’s much cheaper to hire fresh graduates than experienced staff with high expectations. So, if you need people with specific skill sets who can learn on the job, graduates are a great option..

…But, they expect more than you think.

Maybe not from salary alone, but graduates on the cusp of Gen Z have clear expectations of their workplace. This includes training, opportunities for growth, flexible working etc. All of these things come at a cost.

To graduates looking for work, a lack of workplace perks and opportunities can tip the scales against you. A recent study from the Bright Network revealed that a company’s people and culture was the most important factor when choosing a graduate role.

Cultivating a workplace that is attractive to graduates may end up costing you more than what you save in reduced salaries.

Related: When To Hire A Consultant

2. Knowledge

Graduates are free from the mental baggage of corporate life, working in silos and having to navigate office politics. As such, they are feel much more comfortable with voicing ideas, opinions and points of view.

This makes graduates potentially key resources of ideas that your company can tap into. Sure, not every idea is going to be solid gold, but you can certainty get some unique perspectives from the graduate point of view.

…However, with fresh faces comes a lack of experience.

Most fresh graduates typically don’t have experience in the working world. As such, it takes time to train them. Beyond the usual training of getting them used to the company culture and protocol, you need to teach them about working life and work habits generally. You’d be amazed at how many things you take for granted about work that some people just don’t know.

That having been said, not all graduates are so green. Some will have experience having worked summer jobs and internships, while others will be mature graduates will a career of work experience behind them.

3. Motivation

If your start-up is a graduate’s first job, they are going to want to make a splash! Unlike people further in their careers that just want to come to work and do the job, graduates are energetic, with the drive and capacity to do more. Free from the family commitments of dependents, they’ll be more committed to work instead. This is particularly important for many start-ups where the driving attitude is to work to the job and not the clock.

…You need to keep them keen though, because that drive will push them to job-hop.

Related: Hiring Your First Employee? 5 Things You Need To Know

More fresh graduates are choosing freelance or part-time work instead of working full-time and keeping their options open. In fact, one in four graduates leave their job within the first 12 months. So, if you can’t maintain the momentum, you can expect to find an empty desk where a graduate once was.

The idea of a job for life has fallen out of favour. Rather than a ten year career, the average career is considered to be 6 years, and sometimes less. So when you hire a fresh graduate, it’s safe to assume that they might be using your company as a stepping stone.

But, if you can cultivate an attractive environment for graduates and help them achieve their personal career goals, while getting them to buy into your start-up vision, they could easily make your company their company.

Ultimately, it all boils down to the individual. Not all fresh graduates change their jobs in a matter of months, and not all experienced hires are uncreative, jaded people. The important thing to do is to ask the right questions during the interview and make sure that you hire the right people for your business.

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Hiring Employees

4 Lessons We Can Learn From The High-Profile Firings At Disney

Knowing how to handle a toxic personality is important, but it’s even better to avoid hiring the wrong person in the first place.

Per Bylund

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These days, The Walt Disney Co. has a relatively stellar reputation. Its movies are ridiculously popular, and its image has become increasingly squeaky-clean over the years. In many ways, Disney has come the closest of almost any company you could name to accomplishing the impossible: pleasing all of the people all of the time.

Over the past year, however, the House of Mouse’s pristine image has absorbed a few dings and dents. Most recently, the company dealt with roaring controversies surrounding two personalities: Comedian Roseanne Barr and director James Gunn.

Both situations involved offensive tweets, though the context and content of those tweets were vastly different. While Barr landed in hot water for sending out racist and outlandish tweets, Gunn made headlines after some rather questionable tweets – including jokes about pedophilia and rape – that surfaced from about a decade ago.

Regardless of the circumstances, both celebrities met a swift response from Disney: Immediate termination of their contracts with the company. In this way, Disney sent a clear and consistent message to its employees: that any negative attention from potential customers would result in the loss of a job.

Interestingly, the company didn’t base its firing decisions on any skittishness about money – the ratings for Roseanne probably still would have been fine, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 undoubtedly would have still made oodles of money at the box office. Instead, the firings were fueled by risk management, with the company attempting to shift the focus off online outrage so it could proceed with business as usual.

As a public company with a family friendly reputation it holds near and dear, Disney finds itself in an incredibly difficult position when it comes to hiring. In addition to worrying about whether someone can do the job he or she has been hired to do, the company must also consider whether that person has the potential to upset the public with past or present behaviour.

In the age of social media, a vocal minority is enough to create a major headache for any company.

Related: How I Rebooted My Career After Getting Fired — Twice

One wrong personality can result in big risk

No employer hires someone’s complete personality. The company hires someone who has the skills for the job in question. Barr was hired for the role she plays on television rather than for her political opinions or the content she posts on Twitter. Our personal and professional lives aren’t mutually exclusive, but sometimes the two simply don’t get along.

While most companies hopefully won’t have to handle armies of strangers dredging up old tweets, they will eventually have to contend with toxic personalities in the workplace. One bad hire can become a drain on the entire team’s energy, negatively affecting the performance of the organisation.

While knowing how to handle a toxic personality is an important part of risk management, it’s even better to avoid hiring the wrong person in the first place. This might sound easier said than done, but there are several ways organisations can navigate the hiring process without falling victim to the same pitfalls Disney did.

1. Codify and share the organisation’s goals

This should go without saying, but many companies seem to struggle when it comes to voicing clear rules for conduct and organisational goals. If there is no agreement or strong management, there is no way to solve disagreements or differing interpretations. Then, when a toxic personality comes into the mix, it can create a disastrous state of affairs.

CBS recently learned this lesson the hard way, succumbing to infighting and legal battles between corporate leaders and Shari Redstone, its controlling shareholder, over the direction of the company. Because there was no contingency plan or clear set of goals to guide the company, the next move for CBS is completely up in the air.

Related: Should You Fire an Employee Who Lies?

2. Formalise a chain of command

At the very least, an organisation should establish clear boundaries of responsibility. If there are no formal goals for each role, it’s impossible to evaluate the performance of any team member. That, in itself, is enough to cause conflict.

This type of delineation in a company can be difficult in the start-up world, where most people wear a variety of hats. Even if it isn’t possible to clearly state who is responsible for each task, it’s still possible – and necessary – to appoint an arbiter who can make decisions that end conflicts. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is a common solution for a variety of companies – there are an estimated 7,800 arbitrators or mediators in the United States performing these tasks.

3. Hire for attitude; train for skill

For new start-ups, sometimes one rotten apple truly can spoil the whole bunch. Because there are usually only a handful of employees in a variety of roles, a toxic individual has the opportunity to gum up the works of an otherwise functional team.

When hiring someone for a startup role, the hiring executive must take great care to ensure that each personality meshes well with other team members’. Skills can be taught, but mutual respect needs to be there from the start. This goes beyond start-ups, though. Daniel Schwartz, the CEO of Restaurant Brands International (which owns Burger King and Tim Horton’s), considers attitude when it comes to hiring, according to the New York Times. Bring in people who are willing to work hard and to leave their egos at the door.

4. Outsource tasks calling for specific expertise

Despite such precautions, hiring is a huge risk for any startup because personality fit is not always apparent at the outset. Labor contracts are often difficult or costly to set up – and just as difficult to cancel. As a result, a toxic personality becomes an anchor that is difficult to cut loose.

A contract with an external supplier, however, can be renegotiated, canceled and even revoked – at a much lower cost. This makes a start-up more flexible and helps it avoid the risk of toxicity. Entrepreneurs overestimate the benefits of in-house employees, not noticing that they’re better off delaying hiring full-time employees for as long as possible.

Related: “I Wish I’d Fired More People”

Deloitte’Global Outsourcing Survey tells the same story: 78 Percent of respondents said they were happy with their decisions to outsource tasks. The top reasons for outsourcing in the first place? Cutting costs, solving capacity issues and staying focused on the core business. Outsourcing allows a start-up to stay nimble, and it eliminates the potential for a newcomer to ruin your organisational morale.

In many ways, hiring has become a minefield: It’s impossible for companies to anticipate every single personality clash or PR nightmare. But by using these techniques – and hiring only when it’s absolutely necessary – your company can avoid major internal dramas akin to the public firestorms Disney has weathered.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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