How to Hire and Keep Amazing Employees

June 28, 2015 Derek Distenfield

In the early stages of your business, amazing employees are indispensable to the growth of your company. They contribute more than a few hours of their lives each day – they’re always eager to offer up talent beyond their job descriptions.

What’s an Amazing Employee, anyway?

Not sure how to hire good employees? Every business owner has a unique idea of an amazing employee. Define your own set of standards to look for when you’re recruiting. That way, you’ll know “the one” when you see them.

Ben Horowitz wrote a legendary blog post titled Good Product Manager/ Bad Product Manager. This is a great place to start.

Most importantly, start with a principle. Regardless of the position we are filling, “NextGenJustice seeks people that are fired up about an opportunity to do irreplaceable work, serving a unique problem in the legal space, alongside great people.”

Brian Chesky from Airbnb famously would ask people, if they only had a year to live, if they would still take the position.

You Are Always Searching!

Your organization will only excel if you have the passionate people that are motivated to solve your customer’s problems. It’s not easy, but it’s vital that you allocate at least 25 percent of your time to finding outstanding people!

NextGenJustice has successfully utilized Indeed.com to find qualified applicants. It has great sorting and human resources features that make it attractive and easy to use.

More ways to find quality candidates:

  • Ask your network and your existing employees for referrals. Folks you respect are bound to know someone exceptional.

  • Tweet to recruit. Over 8 million Americans connected with their current job on Twitter. It’s the best place to find employees who know how to leverage their connections and navigate online communications – skills that will come in handy.

  • Use LinkedIn. It’s easy to keep track of prospects by adding them to your profile, and you can learn more about someone in a well-drafted bio than in a generic resume.

Ask the Right Questions

Employers can be clueless about interview questions – there’s a very small sweet spot to hit. You don’t want to boggle your candidates with meaningless and difficult queries, but you also don’t want to feed them the right answers with softball questions.

  • Questions about previous positions. CEO of Tesla Elon Musk recommends that you ask candidates about the greatest challenge they incurred in their last position. This answer is important. It will help you determine how involved they were at their last company and also how they think and solve problems.

  • Multiple interviews & settings. Mark Zuckerberg popularized the “airport test." You need to imagine that you spent an entire day with your candidate in an airport. If that sounds miserable you should not hire them.

Keeping Your Amazing Employees

 When you find an excellent match, keep them close. NextGenJustice is built by people, customers and profit – in that order! We highly recommend you deploy the same employee retention strategies that encompass these values.

  • Go ROWE – a Results Only Work Environment is a results-based working philosophy where employees typically work from home, get unlimited vacation time and dictate their entire working schedules. If you can’t offer the highest salary, you may be able to make up for it by offering up freedom and happiness.

  • Build a company culture. Bring your employees together with shared values and goals. According to Ryan Smith, founder of Qualtrics, great company culture is more than just “unlimited snacks and an on-site gym” – it’s good management, a fluid structure and opportunities for career growth.

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This blog post is brought to you by Derek Distenfield, CEO and Founder of NextGenJustice - a partner you can trust for your business forms and documents, including incorporations, non-compete agreements, HR documents and more. 

About the Author

Derek Distenfield

Derek Distenfield is CEO and Co-founder of NextGenJustice, which offers legal and tax solutions without lawyers in four main areas: family, business, estate, and tax preparation. Derek lives with his wife Lisa and enjoys spending time with his new son Duke.

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