Before you advertise the position, make sure you know exactly what you are looking for. Having a well thought out role specification will help you focus on the right candidates and ultimately pick the best person for the job. This step is particularly important as the ideal staff profile might change depending on the type of role (customer facing, back of house, managerial, etc.). Make a list of all of the different responsibilities this person will have and have a think about they type of person that would be perfect for the role.
Look for personality traits
It's a lot easier to teach people skills than it is to change their personality! Now that you have built up a solid job specification, when you are interviewing candidates you should know exactly the kind of person you're looking for. As we've mentioned, they type of person you want might depend on the particular job, but here are some good things to look out for:
- Are they warm/approachable?
- Do they come across as empathetic?
- Do they seem collaborative / can they work well within a team?
- Are they conscientious / will they take their responsibilities seriously and work hard?
- Is their outlook and attitude positive / optimistic?
Be open-minded when it comes to experience
It's great when you find someone who has loads of relevant experience but as we all know, that's not always the case! Be open minded when it comes to judging candidates experience; if they haven't had experience working in a similar business before - have they had a customer facing role? What are the transferrable skills they've picked up in previous roles/endeavours that are applicable to your business?
Perhaps more important than specific experience is a potential staff member's enthusiasm and ability to learn new things quickly. In fact, sometimes it can be advantageous to hire someone with a little less experience - you can teach the how to do things your way!
Explore team compatibility
In order for your business to run as smoothly as possible, you need a cohesive team that enjoy working together. If possible, it's a great idea to have your top candidate meet a couple of your current staff members. This is beneficial for both sides as it gives the candidate a chance to meet their new potential colleagues and you will be able to gather feedback from your team as to how well they think the candidate will fit in (this is also great for team morale as it ensures your team feel part of the decision-making process).