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Hire The Right Way One bad hire can dampen overall productivity and can hinder the ability of a company to scale up

By Chaitanya V Cotha

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Thomas Edison had a rather distinct way of recruiting his team of engineers. He would hold up a light-bulb and ask the candidate the capacity of water it would hold. Some candidates deployed gauges, measurements, and took to scientific calculations in order to arrive at the appropriate answer. Others just plainly filled the bulb with water and then poured the fillings into a measuring cup. Guess which candidates landed the job? The ones who adopted the simple methodology—filling the bulb with water. It is possible to architect an "Edison Test" for your business too.

The ultimate success of any company depends on how motivated and skilled its employees are. However, it is easier said than done to find a candidate who is an ideal fit for your company. Hiring in a hurry can impact a company's long-term prospects to grow and more so, in the case of small businesses. One bad hire can dampen overall productivity and can hinder the ability of a company to scale up.

Often, hiring processes are hastily and conveniently delegated to an external recruitment agency, which doesn't necessarily understand a company's organizational culture in a way the founders do. Great external agencies are difficult to find and have multiple clients to cater to. Below are some pointers that help save you efforts on this time-consuming process.

The Hiring Procedure

Upon carefully deciding and defining the type of individual you would like to add to your team, having written the job description, and having finalized the salary range, you start out with the search. Where and how do you go about finding the right partners to help you realize your business vision?

While hiring a candidate for your organisation, look beyond the traditional job sites. These websites might be the conventional way to find a candidate but they might not be so effective anymore as you are competing with many companies for a limited number of candidates.

Quality doesn't equal quantity

This quick fix approach might give you many candidates to choose from but keep in mind that quality doesn't equal quantity.

The best place to start is within your own business and professional circles. Do not hesitate in reaching out to others whom you respect and trust and inform them that you are searching for a meritorious candidate. A lot of business owners and managers are in the dilemma of parting ways with good and worthy employees, due to unavoidable business reasons, and they would openly welcome the chance to refer those people to other companies, whenever possible. At the same time, be sure to appreciate the importance of identifying a candidate who is equipped with an entrepreneurial experience or mindset.

Discerning between the Best Candidate and the Best Job Seeker

In their pursuit to find the most talented employees, many business owners end up finding the most talented job seekers instead. Choosing the wrong candidate will prove to be an expensive mistake. While there is no time-tested method of hiring that assures you'll get the right choice always, there are measures you can implement to minimize mistakes:

Devise and use an evaluation sheet. If you are planning to interview multiple candidates, systematically note down your impressions on an evaluation sheet. This will help you in assessing each candidate by the same set of criteria, and it will also serve the purpose of keeping in mind the individuals straight in perspective.

Make conscious efforts to go beyond the résumé. You already have it handy and can authenticate any of the information stated by the candidates. What you need to find out is what set of attributes makes the job applicant tick positively, and whether or not she or he is going to be the right answer for your business needs.

It is not a mere cliché when you hear people saying, "Hire employees who fit naturally into your company's culture."When it comes to choosing between someone with the right skill sets or the right attitude, an employer should always opt for somebody with the right attitude. It is easier to impart the right skill sets, rather than shortlisting an employee who does not fit into your organizational vision and ethics. People who believe in your vision will travel a mile to make sure the company achieves success.

In terms of overall policy, the Human Resources and the top management teams should act as partners and be proactive in their recruitment efforts, even after the required position is filled. Building a talent pipeline should be a consistent and long-term effort and should not be stopped when positions are filled up. When the right position opens up in the future, having a bank of profiles of right candidates will save you time and money. An employer is sure to benefit with rich dividends when the quality of the talent pool is given utmost importance. Diligently hired employees, irrespective of the organizational hierarchy they represent, play the pivotal role of strategic business partners and stakeholders in the company's growth. Malcolm Stevenson Forbes rightly said, "Never hire someone who knows less than you do about what he's hired to do."

Chaitanya V Cotha

Visionary Entrepreneur and Investor

Currently holds the position of Director at C Krishniah Chetty Group of Companies. He handles the online business, overall expansions, marketing, stores operations and HNI sales of the company. He also serves as Managing Director of The 1869 Guild, an innovative B2B venture of the CKC Group that has successfully started and scaled up a business, which now supplies product to 280 stores across four states with a team of just nine people (including himself). What is even more commendable is he achieved all this in the span of
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