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Build the Right Team: Hiring Tips for New Managers

January 7, 2020

Congratulations! If you’re reading this article, it’s because you’ve recently taken on a more prominent role within your company to help hire new talent for your team. As a hiring manager, you have a lot of important responsibilities to guarantee you recruit the top people available to you based on skills, location, and salary requirements. Here are a few things to think about while going through the hiring process.

In the beginning, a large portion of this work falls on you to clearly define the job title, responsibilities, and expectations. Eliminating any possible misconceptions from the start will get you that much closer to the perfect match as soon as the job is posted. Meet with colleagues who will work directly with this person (if that’s not you) and make a list of the personal traits and working style that will jive most with the team that person is joining, including both technical and non-technical skills along with minimum qualifications.

Next, have a set list of questions that you keep on your desk (or on your mobile device) so that you’re always prepared should a good candidate cross your path. Ask open-ended questions that get people talking and not just giving yes or no responses and always ask candidates the same questions so you can compare the answers later. Additionally, try not to ask hypothetical questions that allow people to make up the answer, ask for specific situations. Instead of asking, “What would you do if a customer gets angry on the phone?” Try asking, “Tell me about a time when someone at work got mad at you—how did you handle that situation?”

Create a file or new sheet of paper for each candidate, so you can jot down notes about his or her answers or demeanor during the interview that you might forget later when re-evaluating the top candidates. One small answer or an extra smile could be the deciding factor between two great applicants.

Be ready for the negotiations because that’s where a good interview is always headed. Enter the final talk with any candidate fully prepared to negotiate salary and benefits. Decide beforehand how much you’re able to offer and know when you have to walk away (even from someone who seems perfect). Also, have a list of the non-monetary perks you can offer, like company holidays or family leave policy, to sweeten the deal.

Remember that you are in control of this process.  A strong, confident hiring manager attracts the top talent over someone who seems unsure about the hiring procedure and what the company is looking for in new talent.

Finally, don’t be afraid to take your time with this search.  You will have wasted both time and company resources if you have to let go of your new hire because you did not properly vet the candidates. If you haven’t found the right person, keep looking!