How to set up a hiring process that values culture-fit and performance
Hiring the right people is always a challenge. Many businesses end up making bad hires because they rush the hiring process when there is a pressing opening, or because they don't know exactly what they are looking for.
Another common mistake is hiring people simply because they come in cheap, instead of hiring them because they are a good company fit and are qualified for the job. What seems to be cheap at the beginning ends up being quite costly, because these below-average employees end up hurting the overall performance of the company and are barely contributing in any way.
Buffer has focused on designing a process that ensures the hiring of employees who not only are good performers, but also fit the company culture. In order to not make mistakes due to time constraints, it is crucial to take the necessary time to make an in-depth analysis of the job requirements and write a detailed job description. It takes 4 to 6 weeks on average for Buffer to complete the hiring process for one opening.
The candidate should be the one that fits the job description, and not the other way around.
Specify with your team the new mission and perfect job description
The process starts by asking yourself some key questions:
- What are the skills, personality traits and qualifications needed for the job?
- What are its goals?
- What does the new employee need to accomplish in a year for it to be considered a good hire?
- What would an excellent candidate get done during his or her first 45 days on the job?
- Who is going to be involved in the hiring process?
Everyone in the team should answer these questions independently, and after a team meeting takes place to get everyone involved in the hire on the same page. Then, it's time to write a job description. When everything is clear beforehand, it makes for a more impartial process and it's easier to only focus on the candidates that tick all the boxes.
Share the job offer internally before doing so externally
Whenever a new position opens up, Buffer lets other employees have the opportunity to apply for the position if it suits them. At Buffer, many employees have switched positions before and having this advantage is justified because they have been trained at the company to develop their skills and competences. They have at least a full week to consider whether they are interested in the new opening or not. If one or more current employees want to apply, they'll go through a special interview process. In addition, Buffer offers them the possibility of working in the new role for a trial period: if after 45 days they decide that they want to go back to their previous role, they can do so.
If nobody inside the company is interested in the job, the offer will be made public.