Hiring new employees is an important part of creating a vibrant and cohesive work culture, as each individual brings their own unique personality and temperament to a company. So when do you know that it’s time to hire someone, and what type of employee should you be looking for?
When to hire Deciding who to hire depends to a great extent on what your needs at the time being. Companies are organic entities whose human resource requirements evolve over time. Obviously, when it comes to your first hire, here’s what you need to give some thought to.
First, why do you want to hire someone? Some companies experience a spike in demand on a seasonal basis. If that’s the case, you might consider hiring someone on a temporary or a contract basis, instead of a full-time employee.
However, when you’re just starting out, you probably haven’t had enough time to gauge market cycles. Here are some tell-tale signs that indicate that it’s time to start expanding the company:
- You’re compromising on quality and/or quantity of output. If there aren’t enough hands on deck, then you need to get more hands-on deck.
- You have your eyes set on a new revenue stream, but don’t have sufficient manpower to branch out and test the waters.
- You’ve begun to realize that you need a more diverse skill-set than what you currently possess.
Who to hire
Range or depth of experience? Whether you’re hiring someone because you just need more people to pick up the slack, or because you want people with skills no one in your company possesses, you still have to ask yourself: what hiring procedures do I use, and what kind of experience do I want the individual to have?
Some individuals have a broad range of experience involving multiple skill-sets, while others have a deep understanding of a particular area or industry.
The former is a kind of a jack-of-all-trades, while the latter is a master of just one. So who do you pick? Startup company Uber has made it a priority to hire T-type people: individuals with a combination of depth and breadth of experience.
If you aim to hire people with in-depth knowledge of one stream, it is no guarantee that they are flexible enough to try their hand at others. Similarly, employees who have a cursory knowledge of multiple disciplines and practices may be congenitally incapable of the drive and commitment needed to master a particular skill-set.
Even if a potential hire’s work history doesn’t indicate that they have the qualities of a T-type person, it doesn’t mean they don’t possess them at all. Perhaps they haven’t had a chance to express this aptitude.
How to hire
The correct approach can go a long way towards hiring the best individual for your company. Design the interview process to capture aptitudes that resumes are sometimes unable to.
Have people with in-depth knowledge attempt tasks outside their comfort zone, and have individuals with a varied range of experience show you their command over one particular skill-set. If you want the correct answer, ask the right question. And if you want to know who to hire, also contemplate why and how you plan to go about this process.