Hiring exemplary employees is one of the best things you can do for your business. When you have dedicated, enthusiastic employees working at all levels, the positive effects are many and far-reaching: work is done faster and better, employee morale is higher, challenging goals are accomplished, and more.
On the other hand, hiring employees who lack drive and motivation can hurt your business, both in the short and the long term. Employees who don’t pull their weight can delay projects, create a negative mood in the office and keep you from setting bigger and more aggressive goals. According to Forbes.com, it’s estimated that a bad hire can cost anywhere from $25,000 – $50,000!
Help yourself avoid potential bad hires by creating a diligent and thoughtful hiring process. We’ve compiled a number of excellent tips and ideas for recruiting the best employees below. There’s advice on posting job openings and interview guidelines to help you make the best decisions for your business along the way.
1. Craft a Thorough Job Description
The job description is a crucial element of finding a good employee. The way you describe the requirements, responsibilities and other aspects of the job can potentially drive away better-qualified candidates if you’re not careful. You’ll need to write a detailed but succinct description. Overly long descriptions with a seemingly endless list of responsibilities and requirements may come across as overbearing and alienate the very candidates you’re looking for.
If you’re not sure where to start, consider the following aspects of the role you’re hiring for:
- The tasks required.
- How those tasks will be completed (e.g. using Microsoft Office Suite).
- The specific goals associated with the role.
- The qualifications needed to fit the role (education, knowledge, experience and personality traits).
In addition to discussing these aspects, be sure to show the benefits of working at your business. It could be making important connections, working with a team of smart and talented co-workers or free outside training to boost skills — whatever your business has to offer. This lets candidates know that you’re willing to invest in their career, and doing so is sure to pull in smart and motivated workers.
2. Create a Recruiting Strategy
Where do you plan on looking for candidates? Where are the best places to post your job ad? Placing your ad in the right spots and talking to the right people can help lower the number of unqualified submissions and boost applications from the qualified candidates you’re seeking.
- Reach out to your personal and professional network: Talk to your friends and professional contacts and let them know that you have an open position. If they’re willing, ask them to share the job opening on their Facebook and Twitter accounts. Chances are at least one person will know of a great candidate.
- Use an employment agency: If you have the budget for it, an employment agency can help with the screening process. They will only send you qualified candidates, which will save you a good amount of time sifting through numerous applications on your own.
- Use popular online job sites: If you’re looking to cast the net far and wide, publish your ad on one of the many online job sites: Some of the most popular ones include Indeed, Monster and, of course, LinkedIn. But be ready to sort through a lot of applications — you’re likely to get a high number of submissions, not all of which will be what you’re looking for.
3. How to Review a Resume
Reviewing resumes can be tedious, especially when you have dozens or hundreds to sort through. Try the following steps for an efficient yet thorough way to find the top candidates.
- Review the cover letter, looking for style, clarity and correct grammar. If there’s no cover letter, consider moving on to a resume that has one. No cover letter means the candidate didn’t think the time and effort of writing one was worth it. Chances are, it’s an unqualified candidate who’s not the right fit for the position.
- Take a quick look over the resume and pick out qualifications that mean an automatic “yes” or “no.” For example, if the position requires a M.B., make that the first thing you look for. Resumes with a M.B. go to the yes pile, resumes without go to the no pile.
- Review for a second time, returning to all the resumes that made it into the yes pile from step two. This is the time to go over the resume a little more slowly— look at the most recent employers, years of experience and any listed accomplishments. If you’re seeing a decent amount of similarities between your job requirements and the candidate’s experience and roles, it’s time to set up an initial phone screen.
4. Have a Two-Part Interview
Phone screens are a quick and time-saving way of sorting through your initial group of qualified candidates. During the 15 – to 20-minute call, query the candidates on their experience, inquire about their workplace preferences and determine their salary needs. This will help give you a better idea of whether or not the candidate will be a good fit — what you see on paper is not always the full story. If everything checks out during the phone screen, schedule an in-person interview.
The in-person interview is the most important part of finding and hiring exemplary employees. Some of the most important questions you should ask yourself about the candidate are as follows:
- Do they have the capability to go above what’s asked of them? Do they have the motivation and desire for growth?
- Will they be a good fit with the team? Will they be able to work well with clients?
- Are they searching for a long-term, career-boosting role, or are they likely to move on after a year or two?
- Are they honest?
- Are they capable of working on their own? Are they also suited to being a team player?
- Will they fit in well with your business’s culture?
- Will they be satisfied with the salary and benefits your company can provide?
While talking to the candidate, carefully listen to their answers and take note of body language. This should give you a pretty clear feeling of whether or not the person could be a great employee. If you’re not 100% sure, follow up with references. They can provide an outside perspective and help validate any thoughts or feelings you had during the interview.
If all checks out well, it’s time to hire — you’ve done diligent work in ensuring the candidate is a one of the best workers you could be hiring.
Hall, Alan. June 19, 2012. The 7 C’s: How to find and hire great employees. Retrieved November 8, 2016 from http://www.forbes.com/sites/alanhall/2012/06/19/the-7-cs-how-to-find-and-hire-great-employees/2/#4be9aec10cde.
Heathfield, S. July 24, 2016. Top 10 tips for hiring the right employee. Retrieved November 8, 2016 from https://www.thebalance.com/top-tips-for-hiring-the-right-employee-1918964.
Martin, M. August 5, 2016. 9 ways to improve your hiring process. Retrieved November 8, 2016 from http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/7155-startup-hiring-tips.html
Williams, D. June 5, 2012. Dealing with a bad hire? The case to teach and adapt, rather than fire. Retrieved November 8, 2016 from http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidkwilliams/2012/06/05/dealing-with-a-bad-hire-the-case-to-teach-and-adapt-rather-than-fire/#443c4b73246d.