Hiring great staff

Create a search process and be patient when hunting for talent

One of the biggest challenges every business leader has is how to hire and then retain talented staff within his or her organization. Whether you are leading a division of a large company or a smaller company, finding the right people for the positions you have open, especially in our current economy, can be very difficult.

Since I joined our company several years ago, we have had to add different types of staff as our business has continued to grow. During that time, I have found that several key processes have helped to ensure that we are hiring great people. Those processes include:

■ Use a reputable recruiting firm to help you search for the right talent. Although you may think that you will save money by having your human resources staff conduct the search, my experience is that it will take you a lot longer and you may not be able to source the right field of candidates.

■ Ensure that the recruiting firm understands your business. Have they toured your facilities and met your staff? Do they truly understand your corporate culture? I have found that having the same firm work with our company for multiple searches has been an excellent way to help them understand what type of individual would work best at our company and in our industry.

■ Once your search is underway, be patient. Wait for the right candidate for your position. In one recent search, our candidate was sourced in four weeks, while in another case, our search took more than six months. In both situations, we employed excellent people who are making a positive impact at our company.

Once you have found that perfect candidate, a comprehensive onboarding program will help them settle in, learn and feel comfortable right away. In addition, assigning a formal or informal mentor to the new staff member can be extremely beneficial.

As the new employee settles in, particularly for non-direct reporting staff, check in with him or her on a regular basis. Do they have any questions or suggestions? Are there any issues or concerns that they have? Getting feedback on an ongoing basis from all staff, but most particularly new staff, is always extremely helpful.

Also, don’t forget to complete an assessment of the process as you wrap up with the recruiting firm. What learnings are you both taking away from the process? How will those learnings influence the next recruiting assignment?

Hiring the right talent for your organization is one of the most critical predictors of business success. A good recruiting partner can help ensure your success as you grow.

Anne Stewart is Vice President of North American Floral Operations at Smithers-Oasis Co.. Based in Kent, Smithers-Oasis is a leading global supplier of products for the floral industry.