Judging a Resume by Its Cover

April Showers (Foundation) Bring May Flowers (Results)

April Showers (Foundation) Bring May Flowers (Results)

By MarkD

“Without a solid foundation, you’ll have trouble creating anything of value.” Erika Oppenheimer

Have you ever heard of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Tacoma, Washington?    It was completed July 1, 1940.  Described as slender, elegant, and graceful, it was the third longest suspension span in the world.   This architectural wonder now rests at the bottom of the Narrows as one of the largest man-made reefs in the world.  That’s right, the bridge collapsed just four months after it opened due to high winds.  On the plus side, the failure of the first bridge led to the safer suspension spans that are in use today.  The point of all this is that without a great foundation (plan), you won’t like the results you get.  So, in this article, we will talk about the Four Foundational Pillars for finding and keeping the right employees: The Position, Hiring, Onboarding / Training, Culture.  Putting the work into your April Showers (Foundation) with Bring May Flowers (Results).

The Position

We posted an article in November talking about the key things you need in your Job Description. We covered everything from the Job Title, to the Job Summary and Responsibilities, to your pre-qualifier Requirements, and the Compensation and Benefits.  You need to compose a clear, concise, and enticing Job Description.

If you are not clear in what position you are hiring for, if you cannot clearly define what the duties and responsibilities will be for the position, you won’t find the right candidates.  Job seekers need to be able to read your Job Description and understand exactly what the demands of the job will be to determine if they are qualified and interested.

Keep it brief.  Job seekers have too many options right now.  They aren’t going to sit and read a book about your open position when other companies have spent the time and effort to make their Job Description concise and bite size.  The idea is to give them everything they need to know in order to know they want to know more.

Which leads us to enticing.  Think of it this way: all other factors being equal, why should a job seeker choose you?  If salary, benefits, hours, responsibilities are all the same as another job posting, why should someone pick you?  What makes you excited to get up every morning and do the work you do for your company?

And I cannot stress enough the importance of knowing what the fair market salary is for the position you are hiring for.  Every year, Recruiting companies put a lot of time and effort into compiling annual Salary Guides.  These guides take into account current salary trends as well as predictive analysis for the year to come.  

Hiring

Now that you have a clear, concise, enticing Job Description, what do you do when qualified candidates come to your inbox?  Before you put your shiny new Job Description out to job seekers, you need to have a plan in place for interviewing and hiring.  Who are applications submitted to?  Who does the initial screening?  When it comes to the first interview, who is conducting the interview and what method is used?  Is it a phone call, Zoom, Team Meetings?  If that interview goes on to a second and third, who are those interviews with and what is their meeting medium?  

You’re not the only ones looking at this candidate.  If you don’t have your ducks in a row, you’ll lose them before they even come on board.  According to Talent Board 2021, candidates leave the interview process for 3 reasons:

  1. Their time was disrespected
  2. The recruiting process took too long (having a long interview process with no communication with the candidate can be a sign of disrespect, a lack of interest, or give the impression of disorganization)
  3. Salary didn’t meet their expectations

Onboarding / Training

Congratulations!  You just hired a great new candidate.  But, you’re only halfway there.  You have two more foundational pillars that need to be addressed.  Before you engage in the interview process, what’s the plan for when someone gets hired?  When is their start date?  Who does their onboarding?  What does their training look like?  

Their training should be scheduled, intentional, but flexible.  We have a sample onboarding schedule if you don’t already have one in play.  This should be given to your new hire and to everyone at your company who will be involved in this person’s training.  Make sure it makes sense.  This will be the best look the new hire has to see their coworkers and supervisors in action.  Have the right people training the right things.  Set aside time daily for feedback from the new hire and from their trainers.  You also want to make the new hire feel comfortable and valued.  If they require extra training in a certain area, the schedule should be flexible enough to accommodate that.  If they excel quickly, acknowledge their achievements and adjust their schedule accordingly.  

Culture

We talked briefly about culture already, and you might not even realize it.  Remember when I asked what motivates you to get up every morning and work for your company?  That’s culture.  Now that your new hire has been onboarded and trained, it’s time for them to really feel a part of the team.  Workplace culture is the sum of your company’s values, traditions, beliefs, interactions, behaviors, and attitudes.  Your culture dictates how you interact with your employees, how they interact with each other, and how they interact with your clients.  

One of the most overlooked aspects of workplace culture is the impact it has on an employee’s work / life balance.  Have you ever had a job where you stayed up at night dreading work the next day?  Did you spend your time complaining about workloads, bosses who ignore you, feeling insignificant?  Creating a culture of inclusion, celebrating new ideas and questions, rewarding accomplishments, making your business a place your employees enjoy working for goes a long way to helping achieve a healthy work / life balance.

So there you have it.  The Four Foundational Pillars for finding and keeping your employees.  If you put some real effort into these pillars, you’ll be in great shape to reap the benefits of your labor.  Remember, your April Showers (Foundation) bring May Flowers (Results).

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