One of the most challenging aspects of developing and growing your team is hiring the right people at the right time. Luckily, there are simple ways to navigate those decisions. Here are three of our hiring hacks that will help you identify the right time to hire, understand who you have (and who you need) and find the right person who will help increase the team’s bandwidth and raise the bar.

When should you hire?

Hiring hack #1: Don’t leave your decision to recruit to the very last minute. The worst thing you can do is hire when you’re desperate. It leads to rushed decisions and compromises on quality because you end up settling for the best you could find at the time.

Think about what’s happening in the business over the next three, six, and twelve months. If things go to plan with your current operations, will the team be comfortable, working at capacity or too stretched? Ask yourself this same question for the timeframe of six and twelve months.

When your team is consistently working at capacity, and there are signs that more work is coming in that will push the team beyond capacity permanently, this is the perfect time to start hiring. Allow two to six weeks to find the right person, then potentially there is a four-week period before they can begin. This illustrates that you need to be starting the hiring process eight to ten weeks before you need someone on the team.

Who do you need?

Hiring hack #2: Before you begin hiring, understand the strengths, weaknesses, and personalities you already have. The strongest teams are diverse teams with qualities that complement each other. If you have a group of all introverted people, adding someone more extroverted who may bring them out of their shell and grow overall confidence and engagement, could be a winning combination.

Map out the skills you have within the team now and flag any training and development needs. Can you find these missing skills in the next person you hire so they can pass on their knowledge? Raise the bar with your new hire. Know what ‘good’ looks like and aim for ‘great’. As a new manager, you are judged by the performance of your team, so in the interview, focus on each candidate’s achievements over their experience as this will give you evidence of what they are capable of.

Source talent from the least visible places

Hiring hack #3: Don’t just rely on job board posting and the ‘active’ candidates that apply. They represent the smallest portion of the real job seeker market. The candidates best suited to your role and your business could out there but may not be actively looking. Ask around the team. Can they recommend a friend or former colleague? If your company has a referral program – share your opportunity far and wide.

Directly approaching candidates (headhunting) on LinkedIn can be daunting at first, but a very effective way to target and connect with particular people. There is an art to this type of approach. Never jump in tell them they would be great for your role. Take it slow. It’s just like dating. Build a relationship, then tell them about the job.

Don’t fall for the myth that the best job candidates will find you. Sometimes you need to go and find them. Rarely will a candidate also match every quality you’re asking for so, there will be inevitable trade-offs and compromises along the way. Hiring isn’t easy. But it’s so rewarding when you get it right!

Found the right candidate, but need help writing an employment contract? Check out our free Employment Contract Templates or contact one of our HR consultants & discuss how Employment Innovations can support your businesses Human Resources needs.