Recruiting the right people to work for you can be the difference between having the dream team and a motley crew that are more likely to burn down the office than work together. A 2014 survey by The Australian
found a bad hire can cost a business approximately two and a half times the employee’s salary. This is because employees are a company’s greatest asset: mistakes are expensive in terms of the effort and money that is paid and lost, the time that could have been invested with a better candidate, as well as the demoralisation that occurs in a business with high employee turnover.
With such high stakes, it’s important to ensure you get the hiring process right. One of the best strategies to use when interviewing candidates is the SWAN formula
. Named after John Swan, an expert recruiter, the SWAN formula involves hiring people that are SMART, keen to WORK hard, AMBITIOUS and NICE. This might sound like a scout jamboree but it’s a solid practical prescription for hiring. Let’s break it down further:
1. Good hires are SMART
Especially when it comes to the key knowledge, skills and techniques for their specific job. Intelligent people who have a knack for their job tend to work faster, make fewer mistakes and are more productive. But how do you tell if someone is smart? Simple! Smart people are able to think through problems and come up with solutions, and when they can’t, they have no qualms asking questions. They never stop learning.
2. Good hires are keen to WORK hard
In today’s corporate world, the average employee is working upwards of 40 hours a week. Hard workers are willing and able to give the job their all for this time, and go beyond the call of duty where necessary. The effort applicants put into their job application and previous employment is a good indicator of how much effort they’ll put into your business.
3. Good hires are AMBITIOUS
They aren’t content doing the same old job day in, day out, and are keen to move up the ranks. However, they must be able pull back and concentrate on their current assignments, giving their very best. If they are able to view the potential job as an opportunity to perform well and then move ahead, they will excel from day one.
4. Good hires are NICE
They are cheerful, positive, easy to get along with and supportive of others. They fit within your business culture and align with its values. They’re trustworthy and a pleasure to have in the office.
Awesome teams are made of diverse, impassioned people who may only have a few things in common: SWAN. They are smart, hardworking, ambitious and nice in a constructive way that value adds to the business.