The Ultimate Guide to Hiring the Right People for the Right Seats

Firing an employee who was the promise of a great fit, is emotionally and mentally exhausting for a business owner. It disrupts staff, business owners lose sleep over it, and it costs the company money.

How much money does firing an employee actually cost – especially one you’ve spent a year onboarding? 

“To replace an employee who was fired, costs the company 2 ½ times that person’s salary. If that hire was there for a year, in some cases it could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to replace that person.” – Wendy Dickinson

What Makes Hiring the Right People So Important?

When you hire an employee that is the right fit, you save yourself from the nightmare of hiring the wrong person. Hiring the wrong person for the role and your company culture can lead to early termination incurring time lost in onboarding, increased expenses, tension and conflict with existing employees, reduced operational efficiency, and misaligned values between the new hire and the company culture. Ultimately this leads to stress for the new hire, other employees, and management, reduced productivity, interrupted innovation, and lack of collaboration. Simply put, the really good work that could get produced, never happens. The worst of it is you have to start all over again with the interview and onboarding process to bring in a new person to fill the role. 

There is more to the hiring process than simply posting a position for hire, choosing a handful of interviewees, asking standard behavioral analysis questions, and picking the best candidate from the pool of candidates.

Let’s explore what it takes to hire the right person for your organization.

How to Evaluate & Select the Best Candidates For Your Needs

When you look to hire a new employee to join your company, you are first going to look at choosing a person for their cultural fit. What are their values, what do they prioritize in their work, and what motivates them?

You will then identify what technical skills are needed to get the job done. What does a potential hire already have that can help get the job done and what training will they need? How adaptive and agile are they to change? What amount of resources will you need to put in place for that new hire to fill the role, work with other staff and align with the company’s strategic plan?

Ask yourself, how can you support that new hire in the future, to be able to grow with the company and culture, and be an active participant in the sustainability and success of the business? Markets change, and companies need to adapt and be proactive, you will want to hire someone agile and committed to your company’s values and longevity.

Here are 4 key areas to address in hiring the best fit:

1. Identify great talent & create a buzz about working for your company

Creating a buzz about working for your company generates attention, creating a greater opportunity for top talent to pay attention and consider working at your company. It is not the number of applicants that matters, but the quality of talent your company attracts.

Top talent that will be forward-thinking, efficient, innovative, and have leadership growth capacity, will expect to have their reputation matched with the company they work for. These individuals will expect from a company a willingness, tactical readiness, a solid compensation package, and the opportunity to bring their talents to the table. 

“Great managers are also great talent agents.” – Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic and Jonathon Kirschner

In addition to cultural fit, you will want to hire for skillsets that fit the company’s long-term strategic plan. There is a balance between addressing short-term goals and keeping the future action plan engaged. Further, companies with access to a “diverse talent pipeline tend to have better financial results”.

2. Tips & Tricks for Interviewing & Assessing Job Applicants

Collecting data from multiple sources in hiring is what will set you up for the best success in interviewing and assessing job applicants. While owners need to observe the legal parameters of interviews, many mishandle the interview questions. Design questions that lead to conversations during which you can discover how well this candidate embodies the values your company has identified as key.

Customizing your questions and tactics as part of your interview process will give you the information you need to make the best decision. 

Here are a few tips:

  • Ask questions to discover capabilities rather than just experiences
  • Look for how people demonstrate creative problem-solving, innovation, authenticity, and agility in their work. Do they embrace change or avoid it?
  • Change adaptive, ongoing learning, and growth development are key to look for in candidates. 
  • When and how do they do their best work, and what resources do they need?
  • Are they willing to ask questions and go deeper for answers?
  • Consider emotional intelligence capability as this will help them adapt, be assertive, and integrate as a member of an existing team

3. Evaluate candidates for fit, not just skill

Be data-driven – “Before you nominate someone as a high-potential employee, arm yourself with solid data and evidence to ensure that your decision is fair and sensible, even if the future proves you wrong.” – Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic and Jonathan Kirschner

Gathering data will give you valuable information in the hiring process. For example, cultural fit evaluation can be in the form of values assessments. There are many forms of assessment available that will give you the metrics and data analytics to support better decision-making. 

Consider using an inexpensive, but straightforward assessment tool like The Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment, the Kolbe Index A, or DiSC.  Have your existing team take the assessment first which will allow you to look for candidates that will fill the skills gap.

In addition, having an internal advisory board can be very valuable in assessing candidates. They can provide input and perspective from additional sources that have the best interests of the company in place.

4. Onboarding: Set your new hire up for success in the first 90 days

The general norm for onboarding a new hire takes 90 days for the new hire to become integrated into the company. What is important to note is realistically, it takes up to a year for a new hire to feel comfortable and secure in the new role. 

When onboarding, you will need to consider, how are we setting up the new hire to succeed? New hires that feel supported and have access to resources to learn and do their job, are more successful and have increased retention early on. It doesn’t stop there though. Over the course of their employment, it is important to facilitate learning and growth for the new hire as both an employee and a person.


Developing a talent hiring process that is customized to your family business culture and needs is critical in finding and retaining top talent. Create a buzz about your company, develop tactics and interview strategies, evaluate candidates for skill and fit, then onboard the new hire with a process in place to ensure success in the present and future. What can you do to improve your hiring process?

Additional Resources

Fernandez-Araoz, C., Iqbal, S. & Nagel, G. (2022). How family businesses can compete for talent. Harvard Business Review.

Merchant, N. (2019). Stop eliminating perfectly good candidates by asking them the wrong questions. Harvard Business Review.

Sibisi, S. & Kappers, G. (2022). Onboarding can make or break a new hire’s experience. Harvard Business Review.

Need help preparing an interview process for assessing culture and skills? We can work together to access the Predictive Index, a talent optimization tool to better assess candidates. Trying to figure out what went wrong in the past and put corrective measures in place? This is only one of the ways I am trained to support family businesses build success.

Join us this month of May for our Lunch and Learn topic – to talk more about how to hire the right people for the right seats in your family business. Click the link here to join on Tuesday, May 30, 2023, @ 12 pm EST.

Next month’s topic:  Do your employees’ goals align with your company’s strategy for the future?  If not, why not?  Join us on Tuesday, June 27th at 12 pm EST as we look at tools to help your employees set goals that support the company’s vision for the future. 

Wendy Dickinson

About the Author

Wendy Dickinson is the founder of Ascend Coaching Solutions LLC, a coaching firm that specializes in working with business owners and executives who plan to expand their leadership capacity as their business grows.

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