Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Successful seasonal hiring

Summer is a time when many businesses, small and large alike, may be seeking to increase their staff. This could be out of a desire to capitalize on fresh, young minds that are otherwise not available during the academic season, or it could be owing to an actual increase in the volume of business a company may observe during the summer months depending on the nature of the goods and services they provide. At any rate, the summer usually presents employers with a “hirer's market” in that there tends to be an increase in the amount of labour available to you. The most important traits to be considering in your candidates are:

Their skill set. This is the primary consideration that any employer gives to potential employees. You want to ensure that the candidate's past experience and education has equipped them with the skills they will need to get the job done. Additionally, you want to ensure that the candidate is well prepared to fine tune and develop these skills in a way that is specific to your company.

Their attitude. There was a time when conventional wisdom dictated that ability trumped all when it came to hiring, but we now see the downfall of such a system: no matter how skilled a candidate may be, if their attitude prevents them from offering the fullness of that talent to your team, then that skill-set becomes inaccessible to you. You want to look for a candidate who both has much to offer, and will offer it.

Their narrative. Listen carefully to what your candidates say to you about their reasons for wanting to work for your company specifically. Their explanation needs to go well beyond parroting key phrases they may have found from your company objectives on your website. Prior to interviews, determine key ideas and actions you would like to hear brought up by your candidates, and then listen for them carefully. This will help to secure somebody who enters your team knowing exactly what they want to help you achieve, and how they will do this.

Their network. Between a candidate's education, internships, work experiences, and references, you should be able to glean how their network may have shaped them for better or for worse. Do you notice any common contacts you may have? This would certainly pose an advantage to you, as it increases the likelihood of commonalities, which in turn will make the candidate a better fit for your environment.

Their long-term commitment. Do you have returning applicants who worked for you in a previous season? If they performed well previously, their commitment should be rewarded—and that will be rewarding to you, since they will see themselves less as newcomers, and more as team members who take pride in the place they work for.