Seven Hiring Tips for Great Team Members

Employee management can be an incredible drain on time, energy and resources. Getting it right is so important. The “right” hire depends on each situation. To make a hire, or ensure someone you have is operating at full capacity, here are my “Seven Hiring Tips”:

#1: Know the job

Too many advisors hire because “We’re overwhelmed! We just need help!” or “I’m doing things I don’t like to do.” Finding someone because you just don’t know what else to do does not work. Be clear about the role, where it fits within your construct, and be sure to put it in writing.

#2: Focus on cultural fit

Are your partners hard-driving, “get it done” types, or slow to act, planners who like to think about things? Is your culture a “work 18 hours a day” or a “work hard and play hard” environment? Be sure to describe the culture and make sure the person you are hiring will fit in well.

#3: Check in on values

Similar to culture, make sure you are clear what motivates the person you are bringing in or have put into a role. Money isn’t everything to your employees. Do they want recognition? Do they want the chance to change processes and make a difference? Do they enjoy client interaction or being behind the scenes and providing a support role? Know what motivates the person, and be sure you can give them what they need.

#4: Have an onboarding plan

For the fourth of our hiring tips, keep in mind that even if you are one person about to hire an admin for the first time, or a large practice with many cooks in your kitchen, having a plan right at the outset is so important. The plan ideally should cover the first year, but even if you just cover the first 90 days you will be increasing your new team member’s chances of success. How will they learn? What do they need to learn? Who will teach them? Get this all answered before they start.

#5: Know your strengths and weaknesses as a manager

Are you in a position to provide what the employee needs? Can you hold them accountable? Can you give them timely feedback? In far too many cases I see people who are probably reasonably good at their work fail because they just aren’t getting the clear direction, accountability and input they need to do the best job they can do. Feedback is key – clear, timely and consistent.

#6: Create a compensation plan that drives the behaviors you want

One advisor I spoke with, who works for a large organization, had his hands tied because the organization dictated the level of pay and bonus structure. And the bonus was “discretionary” so not tied to specific deliverables. Comp and bonus must make sense for the role and for the expectations. Look at your business objectives and make sure the compensation program is aligned with what you need to achieve.

#7: Communicate often and consistently

For the last of our hiring tips, remember no one works well in a vacuum. If you have laid out a plan and put accountabilities in place, you are one step closer to setting your team member up for success. Make it a point to check-in on a regular basis. Ask the person what they need to succeed, and what obstacles they might be facing. Have open conversations about the business and what you hope to accomplish. Bring them into decisions you might be making about market focus or investment strategy. Make them feel part of something. Belonging is a human need so help them to feel they belong alongside you, helping you to succeed.