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Hints for Hiring the Perfect People Operations Professional

The Betts Team
September 3, 2019

Looking to hire your first or next People Operations professional? You aren’t alone. According to Workable, many employers are springing for People Operations professionals and Human Resources hires to protect their businesses while supporting growth.


Any U.S.-based business with more than 15 employees must comply with the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, ensuring employers don’t discriminate against protected classes, whether intentionally or by accident. American employers over 50 employees must also comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act—requiring you to grant leave to sick employees or team members who are caretakers of family members. And that’s just the beginning of important legal obligations that can keep your company positioned for greatness with low turnover and legal havoc.


Protecting the company and keeping employers in compliance with regulations and employee benefits is a full-time job. People Operations roles not only help you do that – they also keep the focus on building out a more positive working experience. Human Resources roles once solely based on building the right benefits package, recruiting, and keeping all employees and new hires aligned with the company mission are now evolving.


People Operations Professionals are a must for supporting company growth and the professional growth of your team members.

So, what exactly is People Operations?

Glad you asked. It’s the perfect cocktail of monitoring team and individual professional growth, building and facilitating leadership training and development, and empowering managers and their teams to grow, connect, and collaborate more. People Operations Professionals go beyond looking out for the employer legally to help create the most positive working environment possible. They are also strategic, building out takeaways in the form of actionable data that goes straight to your leadership team to continually build a more engaging working environment and company culture.


Whether you’re looking to hire a Human Resources Manager or a People Operations Director, you’ll need the right candidate to lead, inspire, and ignite a constant discussion around your culture and employee experience. 


Think of the competitive edge you’ll gain with employees dedicated to making your company the best place to work with talent that’s constantly raising the bar higher. These roles are wide-sweeping, so even when you’re perusing through Executive Assistant resumes, Office Manager LinkedIn profiles, or looking in your budget to shape out a Human Resources Manager salary, think about the long-term impact.


Here are 3 helpful hints to making the right Human Resources hires:

1. Align job descriptions with strategic, visionary company goals

Again, these People Operations roles have long-term impact and support some of the most important goals to building a great employment brand and culture while fueling retention and company growth. It’s crucial to be strategic about what you’re looking for in each role and to be specific when it comes to job descriptions. Flesh out your job description with concrete specifics on what you’re looking for roles to support. 


Even for an Office Manager job description, you might consider taking it further and looking up standard job description templates for Operations Managers to see where the role can make more of a difference. Because while the titles may be different, the tasks and day-to-day are often the same. Don’t limit your goals for the position.


You’ll also want to include the right mix of desired soft skills, including communication, organization, diplomacy, and confidentiality. These should all be front and center.

Choose your interview questions wisely

Whether you’re building out Executive Assistant interview questions or must-asks for a Human Resources Manager, asking the right questions is mission-critical. There’s been a lot of buzz about EQ lately, and it’s a must for your People Operations candidates. Make sure you are asking questions that highlight their ability to take accountability, mediate conflict, and empower. Try some of these:


  • When was the last time you owned a mistake? What was it and how did you make things right for all team members involved?
  • How can you promote positive conflict resolution? Tell us about a time you did in your current or most recent role.
  • How do you motivate other team members while pushing them to up their job performance?

3. Keep company culture top-of-mind at every part of the hiring process

That means asking candidates during initial phone screens what a good culture looks like and keeping your company culture front and center on your website and job description. Remember, this role will be instrumental in keeping the culture positive and evolving with changing market dynamics, changes in leadership, and an evolving, mostly-millennial workforce.