When it comes to hiring new employees, the pressure mounts. HR recruiters search for someone with an outstanding work ethic, an infectious, positive attitude, and stellar attention to detail. The perfect candidate does exist, but it may take some time to find them.
While a smiling hard worker certainly adds value to your company, attention to detail separates the decent hire from the exceptional. Detail-orientation makes the difference between fantastic work completed early and average or unimpressive work completed on time.
We’ll discuss why maintaining keen attention to detail is crucial when hiring and some great ways to pick out potential employees who possess this coveted quality. One of the best ways to choose detail-oriented candidates is by using one of the Maki skill assessments, tailored to help you find the best person for the job.
What Do We Mean by Attention to Detail?
Attention to detail means what you think it does: finding someone who has the patience to pay attention to the small things, no matter how tiny or insignificant they might be. Sometimes, the parts we deem insignificant are the ones that make or break a project.
Attention to detail looks like many things, but all have the same outcome. Reading carefully and pausing to think and make a plan before rushing headlong into something often come to mind as examples. Some other examples include:
- Using a calendar or list
- Writing down pivotal details from phone calls or messages
- Following all safety and security measures when using equipment
While these examples differ based on profession and specific job description, utilizing attention to detail in these different ways leads to good quality work being produced on time or even early. Keep yourself ahead of the game by hiring these candidates out of the gate.
Be Sure to Assess Attention to Detail When Hiring
Attention to detail is a skill that takes time and practice. Keep candidates who exhibit those good attention-to-detail skills at the top of your hiring list. That said, it's a challenge to accurately judge how detail-oriented someone is solely from a resume or interview. Neither of these things really demonstrate how an employee would tackle a project, so how do you progress?
That’s where skill assessments come in.
Assessing New Hires
Skill assessments show your candidate’s competency in several areas, including their attention to detail. The type of detail-orientation you need depends on the job description. If you're looking for a data analyst or designer, you’ll want to test their visual attention to detail. If you need a bookkeeper or office assistant, test their textual attention to detail.
Maki creates tailored skill assessments that accurately test the skills and traits you want to see in new hires. Each test takes about 7-10 minutes to complete, and you can even try them for free.
Attention to Detail With Pre Existing Employees
While your new hires may bring this essential quality to the table, what do you do about your current staff members? Attention to detail is always a crucial skill, and thankfully you can help other team members hone it.
Using meditation to improve concentration, playing word games or puzzles, and cutting down on social media during the workday will help employees concentrate and notice the little things needed to produce the best quality work. You can set these habits as goals or rules in your workplace to improve production and work quality.
How Can Paying Attention to Detail Improve Your Organization's Performance?
Attention to detail is crucial to maintain outstanding performance by your department or organization. This skill helps stop mistakes before they occur and preserve and improve your reputation as a company.
Ensure Accuracy and Quality
If employees are catching small things, there is a reduced risk of mistakes and a way to get work done quickly. By doing it right the first time, you avoid redoing it later.
If you work in data entry, paying attention to every number ensures every entry is accurate. With design, attention to detail ensures the work produced is high quality.
Meet Deadlines and Avoid Mistakes
There’s nothing worse than having to extend a deadline for a team to redo their entire assignment.
If you train employees to recognize and catch errors on a small scale, it prevents those errors from compiling. For example, if your company does a lot of work with numbers, even one wrong entry can create chaos in the rest of the process. If you’re calculating costs and the baseline number is wrong, everything thereafter will be miscalculated.
This also reduces stress for your employees. They can feel more confident that the work they put in was good quality and can rely on other team members to have done their part the right way.
Deadlines won’t be a concern when they know revisions will be minimal.
Improve Your Customer Service and Build a Better Reputation
A reputation helps build a relationship of trust between the client and the company. A reputation can make or break you in the business world. Attention to detail builds your reputation as a company with little to no mistakes that makes every deadline.
Keep in mind that a glowing reputation is crucial in attracting new business and keeping existing clients. Positive testimonials from clients, as well as employees, will massively increase your chances of being selected by a consumer.
In a world where word of mouth through social media impacts everything, you want consumers and clients to post positive things about your company.
Helps You Save Time and Money in the Long Run
Time and money are extremely valuable to every business, and much of it is wasted when mistakes get made or projects have to be redone.
By paying attention to the small details, the chances of mistakes made are far smaller. In the long run, this will save your company money in more ways than one.
Continuing with the previous example, a monetary miscalculation at the start of a project will make the rest completely unreliable. If you use this project to calculate budgeting, profits, or sales, the miscalculation may end with your company short on funds.
On a positive note, keeping a keen eye results in more projects completed more quickly. Then, with more time and less corrections on your hands, your company can take on new clients, increasing your revenue.
You’ll also save time, as most of the work produced won’t need to be edited or sent back. The errors that do occur will be on a smaller scale and can be easily fixed.
What Are Some Simple Ways to Help Your Team Start Paying More Attention to Detail?
Even if you’re just now realizing the importance of attention to detail, you can take steps to ensure all team members have a chance to practice these skills.
Help Your Team Understand Why Attention to Detail Helps Your Organization
In order for your employees to succeed, you’ll need to provide them quality education. If people understand why they’re being asked to do something, they’re more likely to incorporate it themselves.
Show your team that while paying attention to every detail may seem tedious, the payoff is rewarding. No more redos, no more edits, and now your employees can relax since they know the quality of work they put in was excellent.
Piggybacking off of an improved reputation and more available time, explain to your employees how your new training will increase your organization’s client base. Show them how it will increase revenue and, by extension, their wages.
Break Down Tasks and Set Goals
One of the best ways to integrate attention to detail in your team during their day-to-day tasks begins by breaking down each task into chunks. This allows your team members to focus on each part without becoming overwhelmed.
Set a goal for each part of the project. Not only will your team members have a doable piece of work to focus on, but they will also have a standard to hold themselves accountable to.
Beginning with small tasks and attainable goals may seem trivial to some, but it helps your employees practice their attention to detail skills in a time and manner that matches their current skill set. As those skills improve, you can increase those chunks and set the bar higher each time.
This approach helps motivate your team members and allows them the time and space to practice. In time, that practice will pay off.
Create a Culture of Attention to Detail
Attention to detail shouldn’t simply be a goal in the office. For results, it needs to become the standard. The best way to achieve this is to continually push and challenge your employees to new heights.
Set goals with the team, but don’t forget the importance of the individual, either. Create an atmosphere where feedback is appreciated and people hold each accountable in a way that uplifts everyone.
Once team members begin the habit of attention to detail, the results will motivate them and push them to hone those skills. By sowing this culture, you will demonstrate the importance of attention to detail before your employees begin taking it upon themselves.
Of course, you will encounter people who could simply care less about these details and prefer things as they are. Some of these individuals may not stay with your team, and that’s okay. As you go forward, your new culture will lessen these kinds of employees.
Why Should You Have Systems and Processes in Place to Ensure Attention to Detail?
Install systems or processes to be sure attention to detail skills are used in every aspect of your organization.
To Avoid Making Mistakes
Mistakes cause production delays. Not only must someone fix these errors, but time and money are also wasted away as many of these mistakes are repeated over and over again.
Having systems and processes to ensure attention to detail, like goal setting and an accountability system, will prevent simple errors from repeatedly occurring and help catch the larger mistakes before they cause any trouble.
To Improve Efficiency
Having a system or routine in place as you introduce the importance of attention to detail to your company only increases the efficiency of your workflow.
Your employees will have fewer questions and something to reference when they do need assistance.
To Create a More Professional Image
Your reputation as a company influences both pre-existing and potential clients. Seeing that your company has a system in place to make sure only the highest quality of work is produced will attract new clients.
Your pre-existing clients will come to rely on you as they never have before. Once they see how much importance you place on attention to detail, they will realize how much importance you place on their business, increasing the trust in the client-organization relationship.
To Instill Confidence in Customers and Clients
Customers and clients alike trust you to produce the highest quality of work for them. There’s nothing more comforting than seeing the systems and processes in place to ensure only the best work is produced for them.
High-quality work produced on time strengthens their convictions that your organization is the one for them.
How Can Attention to Detail Help You Create a More Positive Work Environment?
One of the most common factors in positive work environments is a stress-free feeling. A feeling of stress causes unhappiness and low work quality in your team.
Attention to detail is key as it ensures that all work produced will be your employees’ very best. They have no reason to stress when they turn in their assignment or project, as they can be confident knowing they have a low chance of revising.
People will begin to take pride in their work. Holding each other accountable helps create relationships and team bonding occurs. With everyone bringing out each other’s best, a real sense of teamwork emerges.
Management breathes a sigh of relief as the number of edits decreases significantly as more people pay more attention to the details of their projects. The company benefits by having a reputation as a producer of good, honest work.
Attention to detail remains the most crucial skill in a potential candidate when applying for a position in your organization, and should be a key to look for when hiring. Attention to detail will:
- Create a positive work environment
- Increase the amount of high-quality work produced
- Ensure a solid reputation and relationships with clients
- Require very little actual training; only needs a commitment to a goal
Attention to detail aids every kind of organization. Create an environment that fosters attention to even the smallest details and your company will enjoy the results of such a commitment.