Hire slowly, fire quickly. This adage, often heard in the midst of personnel decisions, feels intuitive and provides sound advice for simplifying expensive and weighty decisions. Whether you’re bringing on a freelance or contract resource or making a permanent hire, the process should be deliberate and rigorous, but doesn’t need to be painful.
After 17 years in the staffing industry, I’ve concluded that successful hiring happens before you’ve even screened one candidate. To accelerate hiring and potentially mitigate the need to fire, I think it’s critical to create alignment between the organization’s needs and expectations as well as the candidate’s aspirations. I’ve failed to model this in my own organization a couple times and have seen it play out between my candidates and clients too. I understand the difficulty. The results of those hiring mis-fires and failures galvanize my conviction that more sustainable hires are the results of a thorough and repeatable process that incorporates the following elements:
Whenever possible, be candid and clear upfront (in job postings) about the salary range and benefits available for the role. I’ve been put in regrettable and avoidable situations when a candidate or employer invests time and resources into an interview process that breaks down during the offer/fee negotiation/estimate approval phase. It can feel personal to candidates who feel “low-balled” and can have negative ramifications for the employer’s brand if the candidate accepts or declines an offer they feel is unfair.
Do your research on market rate ranges. Over the years I’ve subscribed to a litany of credible industry market reports that detail salary and freelance rates for tech professionals, provide regional cost of living adjustments and offer example job descriptions for the role. Find a report that helps reinforce your salary or hourly rate decision and be prepared to reference it if asked.
The research into market salaries can reveal industry expectations for a role which can lead to more credible job descriptions, understanding of the dependencies of a role and, in some cases, identify the prior career steps/job titles that lay a solid foundation for success for the role.
Finally, determine and articulate clear expectations for the return on investment (ROI) expected of candidates for the compensation you’ve offered. To ensure you build a reasonable job description that provides a performance roadmap for the potential hire, explore and document the expectations of all internal and external stakeholders for the work produced by the individual in the role. Push back when needed to increase internal alignment on fair expectations from any individual hired.
Remember that list of stakeholder expectations? Getting grounded in reality and shared expectations from the team can influence every aspect of the hiring and onboarding process. When you invite the team to share their feelings and reflections on their own hiring experience with the organization, as well as their expectations around a new hire, you reveal opportunities for improvement and consistency in the process – from job posting to training.
Increasing access to and ownership of the process can also lead to more advocacy for candidates. Push for realistic and tangible hiring criteria to screen against. Encourage the team to articulate the unquantifiable and subjective characteristics they deem most advantageous and least acceptable in a candidate. Compare your research on market value and scope of the role to the team’s input to make sure there’s internal agreement.
A job posting is as much a marketing and sales tool as your website and social properties. A job description provides insight into your organization’s priorities and personality not only to job seekers but to the existing staff, vendors and clients. Reflect the brand voice and company culture/mission. You’ve got to get a lot done with this content; take your time and get it right – or at least close to right. When in doubt, let someone in marketing read it over.
Find out where your ideal candidates hang out. Explore niche job posting sites, post to meetup groups, professional membership organizations and industry Slack channels. Explore emerging communities on Twitch or Clubhouse to drive awareness of and traffic to your job opportunity.
Hiring diverse candidates demands expanding your network to include professionals and organizations that support underrepresented candidates. Explore groups like Blacks in Technology, Women in Technology, Techqueria, Lesbians Who Tech, etc., to reach desirable candidates who may bring a different experience or perspective to your team.
Informal surveys and formal research repeatedly prove the power of referrals. Internal team members intimately understand the company culture and expectations, let them do some of the selling by reaching out to their network to expand the organization’s reach.
A Trusted Business Partner, Like Talimer
Once you’ve done the background work, let Talimer share that fantastic project or job opportunity description with our network of diverse and well-vetted tech freelancers. Our team has a combined 100 years of senior-level corporate leadership and staffing knowledge. Pair that with our mission to grow and empower a diverse community of freelancers so that they can feel fulfilled, confident and secure while making it easier for companies to access and hire those in-demand professionals, and you’ll begin to appreciate the disruption Talimer brings to tech hiring.
Making the right hire requires an investment of time and resources. Putting processes in place to ensure quality, clarity and transparency upfront can often ensure long-term sustainable and successful hires. The energy spent building a process around your searches will ultimately lead to finding candidates that fit, faster.
Talimer is blowing up what’s wrong with the “gig economy.” By putting freelancers first in a unique marketplace, we’re growing and empowering a diverse community of tech professionals to feel fulfilled, confident and secure in their lives. We’re doing this by providing them access to jobs, benefits and more while making it easier for businesses to secure these highly skilled, hard-to-find, on-demand freelancers. To learn more about Talimer please visit www.talimer.com. To see Talimer’s available job opportunities, please visit www.talimer.com/job-opportunities.