At some point in your great entrepreneurial journey, you’re going to have to hire new employees. Hiring employees is great. You get to see your team grow, and finally take some of the workload off yourself. The problem is many founders or managers aren’t thorough enough in their hiring process. They end up with employees who aren’t fit for the job, or the company all together.
Luckily for you, there are plenty of ways you can avoid hiring the wrong candidate. First and foremost, you need to ask the right questions. That said, here are four questions you need to ask when hiring employees.
When was the last time you were tasked with something and were short on answers? How did you find a solution?
This question is very open ended on purpose. In startups, or any size company, there will be plenty of situations where you get stuck.
This gives the candidate two opportunities to shine. First off, you’ll get to understand the caliber of tasks they were required to handle at their last job. Second, you get to understand how they execute.
Ultimately you want employees who are motivated by problems, not afraid of them. You want them to face the challenge with open arms and refine their strategies until they’ve found a solution.
Has your workday ever ended before you’ve been able to finish all your tasks?
The answer to this question should be yes. Everyone has days where they aren’t able to finish their work. Whether they managed their time poorly, or just had too much on their plate, it’s very common.
This question is great to gauge the candidates level of commitment. You want employees who go above and beyond to finish the job. If they stayed late at work to finish the job, that’s great. But you also want to know if they communicated this with their team. It’s okay to be late on deadlines, but your team needs to know. Failure to communicate will lead to bigger issues down the line.
When was the last time your manager gave you feedback? How did you react?
Nobody in this world is perfect. Everyone can improve, and it usually takes a third party to tell you how you can make those improvements. That said, the ability to handle and evaluate constructive feedback is imperative.
Constructive feedback is often harsh. You want employees who can put their egos aside and listen attentively. Most of all, you want them to be able to accept responsibility and take actions to improve. If your employees are constantly pushing blame onto others, it will create a toxic and unproductive work environment.
What kinds of things do you do for fun?
Last but not least, you want to work with people you enjoy being around. This question lightens the mood a bit and is typically best at the end of the interview. Maintaining a proper work life balance is key for your employee’s happiness.
If the employee is a total workaholic, and can’t provide any examples of activities they do in their free time, it may be a sign that they struggle to maintain a proper balance.
Hiring employees is something every business owner needs to do in order to truly scale their business. If you hire the wrong personnel, things can go south real quick. That said, make sure you ask the four questions above when evaluating your next candidate.