Employees are every company’s most valuable assets. It costs a lot to hire them, onboard them, and in unfortunate cases, lose them. Most companies devote somewhere between 15 and 20 percent of weekly budget to payroll alone. Considering the size of that investment, you ought to make sure your hiring strategies are up to par, and that you’re attracting the right talent. Hiring the wrong employee can cost up to $840,000, including severance and lost business opportunity.
Thankfully, if you use sound hiring strategies that prepare your employees for growth, you’re already ahead of the game. We’ve pulled together 11 of the best hiring strategies to help you find amazing employees.
Recruiting isn’t just about posting on job boards and getting the word out. Finding the right fit for your company takes a long-term effort to define your company’s values and then attract the best talent.
1. Employment branding
We spend a lot of time thinking about how our company brands for selling, but not a whole lot about our brand as a workplace. Define your company’s employment brand through your careers page, your social media, conferences, and other outlets where talent will likely find you. Some of the best employees start out as users and advocates of your brand. If you make your company a great place to work, it won’t be hard to attract great talent.
When you build a community surrounding your company, you have an opportunity to reinforce your employer brand and gain insight into a relevant talent pool. Talking to similarly positioned professionals and those in the same field increases your chances of filling the position through referrals, which can be highly rewarding.
3. Build a Future-oriented Job Description
Eventually, you’re going to have to build a job description for an open position. Instead of focusing on day-to-day responsibilities, make that description about growth and advancement; you’ll attract candidates interested in growing. Include what the position will do immediately, but also where that fits into the company’s plan for the next couple of years.
4. Job Boards
The best hires gravitate toward reputable job boards — the ones with a track record of quality job leads. Do your research on which job boards and career sites other high-quality companies use to recruit, and get your job description on those sites. Recruiting software often includes integrations to major job boards like Monster, CareerBuilder, and Indeed, but can also provide you with connections to premium boards.
5. Use Blind Assessment Tools
During those early stages of the hiring process, you need to be hyper-vigilant about the ways you might accidentally impede a diverse group of candidates from succeeding. Applicant tracking software that includes automated resume assessment with text parsing and data matching affords greater opportunities to every applicant, regardless of background or job title (where human eyes are prone to bias).
Once you’ve built a sizable applicant pool, you have to start interviewing and talking to these candidates. A carefully constructed interview process will help you comb through the potential hires that look good on paper and find the types of employees that are a good fit for your company.
6. Use Behavior-Based Interview Questions
Build questions into your interview process that require the job seeker to describe specific examples of when they used the skills you’re looking for. Try to avoid leading the candidate by preparing open-ended questions that require critical thinking.
7. Get Your Team Involved
Pick a representative group from the team, and have them sit in on the interview (or listen to a recording afterward). Ask the team to look for the types of values and experiences that best match the position. Of course, you’ll need to be on the same page about what these values and experiences are.
8. Hire for Attitude
According to a study by Leadership IQ, only 11 percent of new hire failures lose their jobs due to technical incompetence. Skills can be taught, but attitude comes standard. So many job descriptions require experience with specific skills or systems, but this can cripple your ability to find the right candidate, and it doesn’t account for work ethic. Evaluate what your applicants are willing and able to do based on their work history and attitude, instead of their certifications/experience with a specific system. Do they care about what your company is doing in the marketplace? Are the truly interested in joining the team?
Skills assessments can tell you much more than what a candidate knows. These tests can tell you their attitude under pressure, how they handle easy and difficult tasks, and even how they think. Spend time building useful skills tests on the front end, and the results will be much more illuminating.
Build at least one test based on the specific skills used in the job. These tests show you how the applicant goes about solving problems, how they think, and how much they know about the work coming in. A skills assessment that ramps up from easy to difficult tasks will also show you how the job seeker deals with problems. You might also use time limits to assess agility under pressure.
10. Watch for Compliance
Like all parts of the hiring process, the assessment phase is subject to government oversight and auditing. The US Department of Labor has several resources around tracking your assessments and how your recruiting department can stay compliant while also finding the best fit.
What happens after the interview ends is just as important as what happens during. Pay special attention to how candidates handle communication. How quickly do they follow up, or do they send a thank-you note at all? Gauge the applicant’s interest, engagement, and how they communicate with others in the position. Depending on the job, you may find it helpful to measure the candidate’s written communication skills as a reflection of their competency. Do they take time to proofread and call you by the right name (that’s always a good idea)? Or did they send a sloppy, one-sentence note addressed to “hiring manager.”
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Just as preparing to hire requires careful planning , your onboarding and training period should promote growth and opportunity. Be open with your new hires about shortcomings and areas that need improvement. While you may not find the perfect fit for every position, you can build your team with the expectation that employees adapt to their role and eventually achieve autonomy.
Of course, having the right recruiting and talent management software makes it much easier to recruit and hire great candidates. Check out our Product Selection Tool to browse solutions, or call one of our Technology Advisors for help.