How to Hire the Best People in California

By: First Union | Date:

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How to Hire the Best People in California

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How do I go about creating a seamless hiring process to seek the best people for my business in California? What steps do I need to take to do this? How can I find a credible candidate and someone I can trust? Are there certain legalities I need to pay close attention to?

Unemployment in California is at its lowest since 1989. The business, healthcare, and technology industries are booming, and you want to make sure you hire the best candidates in California. Hiring the right candidates for your business in California can be a long and stressful process, but with a well thought out plan in place, you’ll realize the process is smoother than you think. If you give yourself enough time and bring in other people from your business to assist, you’ll have a deeper understanding of who you are looking for.

Create a Detailed Job Description

Writing a detailed job description is crucial when your business is in the hiring process. Focus staying on-brand with your company when writing the job description and create a compelling first paragraph to capture the potential candidate’s attention. Highlight how the job intertwines with your business and who the candidate will report to. This helps candidates see the bigger picture and they can see what is required of them for a role. Ensure that the job title is clear and specific. Highlight the responsibilities and include the requirements needed such as education, years’ experience, and specific skills needed. The requirements can be concise and also include specific personality traits you are looking for. Try to avoid internal jargon. So your candidates better understand the description. If you have a writing or marketing team ask your colleagues to edit the job description before you post it online to avoid unintentional errors. The more people you can get on board to edit them better. Always include an exact location or specify if this will be remote work. You never want to confuse potential candidates especially if you are recruiting in different states.

Interview Process

Making a new hire decision in California requires time and effort and you must ask the right questions during the interview process. Before going into the interview, consider creating an interview outline that determines exactly what you are looking for. Reference back to the job description when creating questions and get other coworkers involved in the process, as well. Ask open-ended questions so the conversation is free-flowing. Sometimes, it’s helpful to kick off the interview with the question, “what do you know about us?” If they don’t say much, this is a red flag and they haven’t conducted any research on your business. Further, go into more detail about their skills, have them explain a difficult situation they handled, and when they disagreed with a colleague on a project. This will give you a better understanding of their work ethic and how they handle various scenarios. End the interview by allowing the candidate to ask questions and explain the next steps.

Assess the Culture of your Business

Organizational fit is a key component when going through the hiring process for your California business. You want to hire someone who is a good fit culturally. Think about it, do you want to work with someone who seems like a perfect fit during the interview but three months down the road, your colleague becomes lazy, calls in sick, and takes long breaks. When you focus on the culture of your business, it reduces turnover, and you don’t want to continually find yourself starting the hiring process over. People who fit in culturally increase the quality of your business and boosts productivity. Those who feel more comfortable at their place of work stay motivated and want to contribute more to your business. They get along with their colleagues and can mentor each other during stressful projects and tight deadlines. Also, this increases referral success within your business. Once you find a candidate who fits in, they can recommend others who have a similar work style. This process can build trust within your business since you’ll be willing to hire those who are already connected to your business.

Once you’ve narrowed down candidates for the role, there are ways to see if they are a good fit culturally. What does your business stand for? What are the core values, beliefs, vision, etc.? One thing to keep in mind is the culture of your business will evolve and hence, so should your assessment. Consider creating a pre-employment assessment that compares the candidates’ preference in culture to your current culture. There are a variety of tools and formats you can include which can be easily found online. Sometimes, businesses add video on their website which highlights the culture and interviews are conducted by current employees. This is another effective tactic that helps the candidate determine if they may or may not fit in with your business.

Conduct a Background Check and Ask for References

Reference checks are pivotal when choosing the right candidate for your California business. This will most likely be the final determination when you’ve picked your final candidates. Reference checks reveal important information that will determine who will be the right fit to join your business. Often, a business will underestimate the amount of information reference checks reveal about an individual. When you ask for a reference list, make sure you ask for references who have known the candidate for at least a year and should be a well-rounded list. You’ll receive a deeper understanding of each candidate because previous supervisors, professors, and coworkers will explain more in detail about their work ethic, and their personality. If possible, avoid yes and no questions when speaking with references. Ask them to give examples, describe accomplishments, and how well they got along with the management team. Remember, reference checking comes with legal issues and it’s important to always get permission from the candidate before checking references. When conducting background checks, it’s important to take the process seriously. You never know who could be lying on a resume. Background checks confirm track records as well as the role the candidate played within the organization. If the role involves lots of travel and driving, you’ll want to make sure the candidate has a clean driving record.

If you are using an outside vendor to complete background checks, your business will need to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act in California. California has numerous laws and undoubtedly has the most catalog of consumer protection laws in the country. There are various checklists online you can reference for the state of California to ensure your business does not run into any legal issues with this process. You will want to make sure you don’t miss any steps. Keep in mind some checklists differ if you are hiring in San Francisco and Los Angeles as these cities are covered by the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance or the Los Angeles Chance Initiative in Hiring Ordinance. There are strict rules that govern the use of background checks so make sure you are keeping open communication with your Human Resources department. It might be a good idea to hire a lawyer for your business in case you run into any issues.

Create an On-Boarding Process

Congratulations! You’ve hired the perfect candidate and you want to make sure they have all the tools necessary to succeed. The first few months can be a bit hectic for a new employee and this is where a well thought out on- boarding process can be beneficial. If you’re hiring someone during a busy season and you know ahead of time you won’t have time to train them planning out an onboarding process will save you stress down the road. During the first week, give the employee initial assignments and touch base each day to ensure they are settled in. Have your employee train with someone who is a senior level, so they have a better grasp on the duties of the role. Ask for feedback from your new employee and continue to provide regular feedback. It’s important to maintain open communication so everyone is on the same page.

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