7 Hiring Ideas Learned from Apple for Staffing

After a tumultuous beginning, Apple gained market traction through an innovative line up of Macintosh computers, and then after that it rolled out the iPad, iPod, and iPhone to make history.

Yet all these inventions were the work of entire teams dedicated to a single mission.

What you may never have considered as Apple achieved these world-changing milestones was the reason it did so well.

Apple knew how to hire the right people. It excelled at IT staffing and strategically hiring employees with knowledge of integrated technologies and information management.

What can you do to hire the right people for your company?

While you may not aspire to be a tech giant, change the course of civilization, or make a dent in the universe, you probably want to build a great company.

While most of the kudos will always go to the generals, it is the humble foot soldier who actually wins the battle. How, then, do you hire the best people for all levels of your organization?

Here are some tips to steer you in the right direction.

1. Question resumes.

Most savvy business owners and HR bosses have long since wised up to a simple fact about human nature. People may not always lie, but they certainly do exaggerate. Thus, resumes and social media profiles don’t show people as they are, but how they wish they were.

In fact, resumes are like dating sites. A naïve young lady may decide to go on a date with a man whose profile suggests that he is a reincarnation of Cary Grant. But when she meets him at Starbucks, she is often surprised to find Shrek.

The purpose of a resume is to glorify even the humblest of professions. It makes sanitation engineers out of garbage men and domestic engineers out of maids. Unless you read them with a dictionary of euphemisms, you will not crack the code.

2. Observe applicant behavior

After you place an ad for a technical position, you will receive a large volume of applications. Pay special attention to applicants who write a captivating cover letter, then remind you about their application a week later with either an email, or better yet, a phone call. These are the serious contenders.

3. Test attention span

One sly method of vetting candidates can be done through the job ad itself. At the end of the job description ask candidates to add a code word or phrase at the top of their application. It could be something simple like, “I’m the right person.” Those who skim the ad will not make it to the bottom sentence to read this unusual instruction.

4. Read body language when asking questions

While you may be confined to asking standard questions during an interview, people often give themselves away unconsciously when they are either lying or exaggerating.

Here are some common behaviors that signal deception:

·  A candidate may limit their physical expression. They may be stiff and awkward. They rarely move hands or arms. They appear to want to shrivel up, as if to take up less space.

·  They avoid making eye contact when they lie.

·  They have an irresistible urge to touch their mouth, throat, or face. They may want to scratch their nose or behind an ear.

These are just a few out of many characteristics that a human lie detector can pick up. If you want to learn more, do some research on forensic psychology.

5. Run a mini-skills test

You can test a candidate’s skill level with a small task. Developers can be asked to detect javascript embedded in HTML code. Salespeople can be asked to sell you on the merits of a pencil. Receptionists can be asked to answer a mock telephone call. One caveat: It’s important not to overdo it. It’s ridiculous, for example, to ask a content writer for a 500 word spec article when all you need are 100 words to get a good idea about their writing skills. You are asking for 2 hours of someone’s time when all you need are ten minutes to come to an intelligent conclusion.

6. Invite strong candidates to a company’s social event.

Usually, people are on their best behavior when on an interview. But the best way to understand if somebody will fit into your corporate culture is to invite them to a company’s social event. You will then be able to get a glimpse of their real personality.

7. Hire them for a gig

Before you bring someone on board, you could give them a freelance gig to see how well they do. Since this is a paid test, those who have the skillsets you’re looking won’t mind playing along. Pay should be fair, at the going market rate. It’s better to lose a few hundred dollars to run this test then tens of thousands to find out that you made a bad decision.

Hiring Right is A Learned Skill

Think of these 7 tips as idea joggers rather than proven hiring principles. So tweak them to suit your own particular business and the type of person you are looking to hire. In time, you will be able to develop an intuition for the right candidates. In addition, it’s important not to just review candidates for technical skills, but also to identify soft skills.


Tilly Kidman

Tilly is passionate blogger and writer, she loves blogging on business and finance, career, self-employment, and business-related topics.

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