The following 5 tips can help you avoid several pitfalls and fill your company with motivated workers who share a passion for your industry and the work you do.
1. Don’t wait for perfect. Technology changes incredibly fast, so holding out for the “perfect” candidate can hinder your hiring efforts. Instead, look for individuals who are bright enough to quickly learn the skills you need and who will not only fit into the company culture, but also change it for the better.
2. Keep an open mind about education. A college degree suggests someone is willing to stay the course to achieve a goal, but it isn’t necessary for every position. Many entrepreneurs have started tech companies without a degree and done very well. Hiring companies must be willing to consider things like certifications individuals have earned in their personal or professional life, indicating they are dedicated to gaining knowledge.
3. Prioritize experienced workers. Experienced people can teach other employees things they didn’t know, regardless of their formal education level. Remember that a college education wasn’t considered mandatory for the generation that is now 55 and older. In a company with enough experienced workers, the CEO’s role is providing the tools and support they need, not telling them how to do their jobs.
4. Invest in culture and work environment. Fostering a positive work culture that emphasizes freedom to learn, challenging work, open communications, and the opportunity to learn from mistakes is essential. Remember that not everyone is motivated by money and that very bright people can easily get jobs elsewhere. Strive to create a work environment that’s challenging enough to keep everyone invested but not so challenging that people can’t achieve their goals.
5. Focus on retention. Intelligent hiring starts with keeping the smart, knowledgeable people you have now. Seattle-based TINYpulse recently surveyed 5,000 tech workers and only 17% of respondents said they feel valued at work. Invest in your people, let them know they’re appreciated, and help them keep their skills up to date. This emphasis starts with the CEO and cascades down through the organization.
An excellent way to bring value to your employees is by working with industry groups and associations. It’s the best way for your leaders to understand where your industry is headed so they can let their team members know what customers expect.
Roger Franklin is president and CEO, Crystal.