Hiring talent for a scaling business is no longer just about filling roles. You can find talent anywhere (within reason), but finding the right talent to grow your business is the real challenge. Filling a position is one thing but filling the role with a quality candidate who will stay with you for a long time is the ultimate goal for any scaleup or startup. Rather than just looking for desired skills to complete the necessary tasks, recruitment is becoming more about finding people with the right attitude, mindset, and cultural fit to enhance your business. In addition, hiring is becoming much more personal. In a candidate-driven market, it needs to be. If you don’t connect with candidates emotionally, you risk recruiting twice as they’ll leave for new opportunities.
Therefore, recruitment is becoming more quality over quantity. It’s no good making lots of hires for your scaling tech business if they’re all going to leave you shortly after joining, or if they aren’t going to help you grow. Poor quality hires can hinder growth in many startups, especially if they take a long time to pick up the required skills and responsibilities.
However, it takes time to determine the actual quality of the hire and for each business. With different KPIs and business goals, the definition of a quality candidate will alter. Likewise, metrics that define success will be personal and can change. There is no one size fits all formula to determine whether hiring a particular candidate was a good move for your business. But, one thing is certain. The quality of hires you bring into your organisation directly reflects the quality of your recruitment process. Suppose you’re hiring people who are an excellent fit for your business. In that case, it shows that you are accurately showcasing your employer brand, using the proper recruitment marketing techniques to get in front of candidates, and having a great candidate experience that encourages applications. If you aren’t hiring the right people, then it’s likely that your recruitment process needs some work, whether that’s expanding your talent pools or working on your employer brand communications.
Remember, you can’t improve what you don’t measure. Therefore, if you do not consider the quality of candidates you’re bringing into your business, you will never be able to improve this. Taking the time to consider your recent hires and what they bring to the company will help you identify your weak points and adjust your strategies accordingly.
So, with many businesses recruiting at high volumes right now, one question remains. How do you evaluate whether you’re bringing the right talent into your business?
Talk to your team
In some businesses, it’s harder to attribute success to one individual directly. Especially when various teams are working on projects, the hire quality may not be based on statistics and figures but rather on the teammates’ attitudes. It could be that the quality of hire is determined by what they bring to your company culture and whether they enhance it or are not a fit. A new hire may be invaluable to your team, but it could be harder for you to see this from the outside looking in. Therefore, one way to determine the quality of a recent hire is to talk to current team members and line managers. Ask them how they hire fits in and what responsibilities they have taken in. This will give you an idea of what they bring to the business daily rather than at a top-level. If they fit in well with the team, take on their fair share of responsibilities and bring something extra to the table, then chances are you’ve made a good quality hire.
Look at the turnover rate
If employees are leaving (whether it’s new recruits not settling in well or existing team members handing in their notice as your team expands), it’s a sign that something isn’t right. If new hires are leaving you quickly, it means they weren’t the right hire for your business and could signify issues with the onboarding experience or even a mismatch in your employer brand communications. If new hires are leaving within the first few years of joining your company, it’s a red flag and means you need to start looking into your recruitment process in more detail. Similarly, if your existing team are beginning to move on as soon as you bring in new people, it could be a sign that the new hires you’re bringing in don’t quite match up to your original company culture and are changing the dynamic (not necessarily for the better). Finally, the turnover rate is linked to the quality of hires and how well they fit into your business. Therefore, it’s a key indicator of whether you’re hiring the right talent or simply hiring the available talent.
Consider performance metrics
Each business will measure performance differently, and the metrics which each role is working towards will differ. Therefore, it’s hard for us to specify which of these will separate an excellent quality hire from a poor one. However, taking the time to assess how a candidate is performing against the relevant performance metrics for your business will help you assess the hire quality. You cannot just hire a person to take on a role and leave them to it, as you’ll never be able to identify areas for improvement. Corporate enterprises often have these systems in place, but scaling businesses do not. However, it’s essential to keep evaluating the productivity and performance of your team as you grow. Regular performance reviews, catch ups and monitoring the role-specific metrics will help you assess how a new hire is performing.
Look at ramp up time and productivity
Ramp up time is defined as how long it takes a new hire to want more responsibility and really ramp up their efforts. This drive for more shows they’ve mastered their initial tasks and are ready to take things to the next level, proving they’re capable of more than what you initially hired them for. This is a reflection on the quality of candidates as it shows they have both the skills and the work ethic to succeed; it indicates ability and attitude.
Similarly, if a new hire is productive and manages to complete all tasks on time or even exceed what’s expected of them, chances are this means you’ve made a great hire. They’re more than capable of delivering and, therefore, must have the skills you require. Productivity is often used as an indicator of the quality of hire. Less passionate employees have less motivation and are often less productive.
Look for Diversity
Diversity is a crucial indicator of the success of your talent acquisition strategy. Of course, not every hire you make will be classed as diverse, and you should be looking for the right skills rather than trying to fill a quota. However, if you’re hiring from the same limited pool or, for example, only hiring white, middle-aged men, then your business will never benefit from a diverse range of viewpoints and perspectives. Diverse workplaces attract a more comprehensive range of talent and have often proven to be more successful. Therefore, looking at the diversity within your organisation will help you to determine the success of your recent hiring efforts. Don’t judge individuals on this but more your strategy and whether your job ads are reaching and resonating with a broad audience.
Talk to the candidate
Finally, a great way to know whether your candidate is right for your business is to speak to them. Find out whether a few months down the line they’re still excited about your company and what you offer them and if they’re still passionate about their role. Sometimes new hires can lose enthusiasm quite quickly, and that’s very apparent when you openly chat with them. By engaging hires in a conversation a few months after they start working with you, you’ll be able to establish whether they still have these qualities, which made them a great hire in the first place. This could be a probation review or simply an informal chat, but it is helpful to establish whether your employer brand communications with candidates live up to the reality of working with you and whether your new hires have maintained their passion for your business. You can also establish whether these new hires would recommend you to their friends, family and colleagues. If they would, then it’s a sign they’re a good hire as not only are they skilled and passionate, but they’re willing to act as an advocate for your organisation.
Talent Works help startups to scale by surrounding them with talent. Our recruitment services include executive search and a more flexible approach to RPO, which can be scaled up or down, making it perfect for the agile nature of startups. As a result, we’re trusted by some of the world’s most exciting startups to find crucial hires to help them grow their business successfully, and we take pride in finding people who share their vision and values.
Our team becomes an extension of yours, helping to build employer brands, run digital attraction campaigns, and directly recruit vital hires. We want your business to succeed as much as you do.
Contact us to learn more about our services and how we can help your business, even if it’s in the early stages.