Howard Lewinter is a business strategist and adviser to CEOs, presidents and business owners throughout the United States. For more than 25 years, Lewinter has advised businesses from startups to privately-held corporations coast to coast. Businesspeople seek Lewinter’s advice to solve business problems—from daily decisions to once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. He helps business leaders define their own personal management style, solve business challenges and issues, improve business results and experience less worry or stress while achieving more success. Visit talkbusinesswithhoward.com.
Throughout your business life, especially as a chief executive officer (CEO), president or business owner of a company in the construction industry, you will be hiring people to work for you. In fact, you may sometimes observe you are in a constant cycle of hiring people to properly staff and grow your company. There are many factors to think about when hiring, depending on the circumstance and the job position to be filled. This article will focus on five points to consider when hiring at your company. These five points are not necessarily the basic or obvious hiring issues to consider, but they are are important to hiring the right employee.
Let’s look briefly at each of the five points CEOs, presidents and business owners need to consider when hiring:
1. What Does this Person Bring to the Company?
Whether you are looking at a candidate’s resume or you are conducting an interview, by phone, on screen or in person, at every stage of the hiring process, you should constantly ask yourself:
- What does this person potentially bring to the company?
- What will they add to the company that is needed; and where is there now a void?
- How will this job candidate fit in with the company culture?
2. Do You Desperately Need to Hire Someone?
One of the worst phrases in business often echoed by CEOs, presidents and business owners is, "…desperate to fill that position." One of the worst decisions you or your management team can do is to hire when there is a feeling of desperation. Often, it can lead to incorrect hiring choices and outcomes, which can prove costly on many levels. Of course, the economy, the national unemployment rate and completing major work projects all play into times when the word “desperate” is often used. Take the word “desperate” very seriously. Ask yourself:
- Am I desperate to fill this job?
If you don’t need to fill this position immediately, then step back, take a deep breath and ask yourself:
- Is this the absolute best candidate?
- Are the right candidates being found and interviewed in a timely way?
- How is the company in a desperate situation to hire? What happened, and why?
If the company is not desperate to fill a job and your hiring team is not finding the absolute best candidate(s), then ask yourself:
- Should the search continue? If so, how should we modify and improve the search process?
There are times when you just must fill a job position. It may not be the exact candidate you had in mind, but someone has got to do the job. Someone’s got to get the work out. For whatever reason you don’t have someone in that particular job, you may choose someone not exactly perfect; but you do so because you must. There’s the broader spectrum of consequences if you don’t hire. But if the company is not desperate, consider putting the position on hold, or taking a step back to determine why the right candidate is not being found in an expedient manner. Sometimes, leaving a job open is a wise business move in the long term, rather than creating unintended business consequences.
Remember: Never be so desperate to fill a job opening that it may have a negative impact on the longevity of your company.
3. How Does this Person Affect the Company?
If a job candidate …
- Doesn’t fit into the company culture or can’t accept the company mission statement
- Articulates that aspects of the job seem to be a problem; for example: hours, responsibilities, skills, etc.
- Doesn’t exactly understand what the position is
- Doesn’t appear to be a good fit with the rest of the team or department
…then that’s a problem before even being officially hired for the job. Yet it happens every day in companies. It inflates turnover rates and lowers worker productivity.
As the CEO, president or business owner, you don’t want to put someone in a position that’s going to turn everyone already working for the company upside down and interrupt the flow of daily work. Nor do you want to set someone up to fail in a job. It just doesn’t make sense.
Remember: Always hire for attitude first. Then hire for work experience, skills and education. Without the right attitude, an employee brings nothing beneficial to your company. Everything else is secondary. This is extremely important to consider when hiring.
4. Is the Job Opening an Easy Position to Fill?
If it’s not an easy to fill position at your company, then ask yourself:
- What will it take to find the right employee?
- What am I willing to do to make this hire happen?
- Where can the hiring requirements be more flexible, if necessary?
As you already know, within the construction industry, many jobs are in high demand. You need to make certain your company remains competitive with staffing and hiring practices. Sometimes, that may mean weighing the pros and cons of hiring someone who may not be exactly the best fit. When there is a high demand for a specific job skill, you may not have a choice. Keep your hiring options flexible when necessary, without compromising the company’s standards or reputation.
5. Always Be on the Lookout for a Great Candidate
The hiring process isn’t just about one specific job opening. There will always be jobs that will need to be filled due to people leaving the company or being promoted from within. There will also be newly created jobs as your company continues to grow and prosper. That’s why it is important to always be looking for talented, motivated candidates that may be a good fit with your business. If your company is in the position to spontaneously add a person, and it makes sense with the overall business plan, do it! Don’t miss an opportunity that may otherwise go to the competition.
Remember: Never stop looking for new business. Never stop looking for the next great employee hire.
Consider specifically what your company requires when it comes to hiring. Always hire the very best qualified people, with the very best attitude, that will absolutely bring something of value to the company. Hire people who are going to:
- Be happy with the work they do each day
- Enjoy their work and take pride in it
- Want to progress in their skills and knowledge levels
- Willingly demonstrate why they deserve salary increases or job promotions, but don’t work just for the money
Hiring the right people will make all the difference in reducing your stress—and in the success and profitability of your business in the short term as well as in the long term. Here's to your success!