Easy and Effective Steps to Hiring Great Team Members

business strategy hiring leadership Jun 12, 2019

Employers are often encouraged to “hire slow and fire fast,” but this can be difficult for loan officers working in small teams. Many professionals instead hire quickly in order to fill an empty position, only to realize a few months later that the employee isn’t a good fit for the company. The constant turnover rate of employees can end up draining your time and resources, and it does nothing to help your business in the long run.

The key to choosing the right employee, as Tim explains, is to take your time interviewing applicants. This involves recognizing the values that long-term employees can bring to the table, crafting the right types of interview questions, and interviewing candidates more than once in order to get a deeper insight about their strengths, weaknesses, and personality traits.

Hiring for Future Benefits

When you’re trying to find the perfect addition for your team, your ultimate goal should be hiring someone who is dedicated to staying in the business for years to come. If you hire someone who ends up staying with you for several years, they will become an incredibly valuable and insightful member of your team. Repeat clients will come to know and appreciate them, and you and your team will be able to trust them with complete confidence. Your workplace will feel like an efficient, well-oiled machine, and you can have the freedom to leave your team to their own devices without worrying about potential mistakes or issues. 

However, repeatedly hiring employees that simply aren’t a right fit can become a frustrating routine for you. You’ll have to put more time into searching for candidates, scheduling interviews, and training new employees instead of focusing on your regular business tasks. Your team will still have to do the majority of the work in the long run, and you will end up losing money due to ineffective hiring practices.

Tips and Tricks for Interviewing Applicants

If high employee turnover has negatively affected your business, you’re not alone. Loan officers often don’t have resources that larger enterprises may have when it comes to finding and accepting candidates, and it can be difficult to come up with the right questions to ask potential team members. For those who want to make sure their next hire is a great investment, Tim offers this advice:

  • Create a list of subjects to discuss. Before you even sit down to interview an applicant, take the time to jot down some topics that you would like to discuss with them. Even if the subject seems obvious, such as their experience in this industry, write it down anyway so you don’t miss any essential information.
  • Interview candidates more than once. If someone seems like they could be a good fit for your company, Tim suggests setting up another interview or two before you make your final decision. One interview is rarely enough to truly get to know someone, and the candidate will likely open up more after the initial interview.
  • Have another person interview the candidate. If possible, ask someone else to assist with interviewing applicants. This will give you additional insights about the candidate, and it will allow others from your team to have a say in the hiring process.
  • Avoid closed-ended questions. Try not to ask any questions that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no” response. Instead, focus on open-ended questions that will let the applicant’s personality shine through. Some examples of beneficial open-ended questions may include:
    • “Based on feedback from your past employers, what areas do you need to improve?”
    • “Tell me about a time you made a mistake at work. What was the mistake, and what steps did you take to rectify the situation?”
    • “How do you prioritize tasks when you feel overwhelmed with work?”
    • “Describe a time when you had to deal with a difficult client or boss. How did you handle the situation? Will you handle situations like these differently in the future?”
    • “What motivated you to apply for this position?”
  • Sell the position (to the right candidate). Imagine that you’ve had a few successful interviews with an outstanding applicant. They seem like they’d be a great team member, they’re knowledgeable, and they have all the qualifications you’re looking for. Now, your role is to make the position sound appealing to the candidate so they will want to work with your team. Highlight specific aspects of the job, such as:
    • Salary, vacation time, ways your company keeps employees motivated, etc.
    • How their role can affect the future success of the business.
    • The in-depth training process to ensure that the employee feels comfortable and confident in their position.
    • Unique ways your team members motivate each other and bond (having a monthly breakfast together, for instance).

Finding the ideal employee can take some extra time and effort, but having a valuable team member stick around for several years to come will definitely make the longer hiring process worthwhile!

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