Hiring the best employees is critical to your business’s long-term success. But how can you ensure that you’re hiring the right people? When broken down into its most basic components—creating a job listing, reviewing applications, interviewing candidates, then hiring the individual you like most—it might seem like hiring is fairly straightforward and difficult to get wrong. But there is actually a strategy to finding the most qualified people to bring onto your team.
Before you hire anyone else, implement these steps into your recruiting process so you can hire top-quality candidates who will be an asset to your business.
Step 1: Do Your Research
Before you create a job description, it is advisable that you set aside some time to research the duties, experience level, and expectations for the role. This will help you craft a detailed job description that clearly communicates what you will need a prospective candidate to be able to do and set a realistic standard in their mind. Even when you’re just hiring freelancers, this process is important because you want to have someone who you can trust with the tasks at hand—plus, you never know who could become a part of your full-time team in the long run. Having a clear and informational job listing will also help you remain competitive against other companies who are looking to fill this same position.
This step is especially important if you’re hiring for a brand-new type of position or it’s your first time hiring someone in general.
Step 2: Have a Vetting System in Place
One of the biggest mistakes a business can make when hiring is neglecting to vet candidates thoroughly. Why is this important? First and foremost, it can confirm that applicants are being truthful about who they are and their experience. Additionally, it serves as a safety measure. If candidates have a criminal record, especially one that involves violence or theft, it can put your employees and customers at unnecessary risk.
Criminal background checks for employment can provide reliable reports on prospective employees. If you are going to also search candidates online and review their social media profiles, tread carefully. The information found on these platforms can give you access to information (sexual orientation, religion, etc.) that might be considered a basis for discrimination if you turn them down for the job.
Another useful vetting measure is conducting phone interviews before bringing candidates into the office. During a phone interview you can ask a few key screening questions that can help you make a quick decision as to whether the applicant is worth investing sit-down interview time in, or if they are no longer in the running.
Step 3: Make a List of Must-Haves
When it comes to sifting through large stacks of applications, it can be difficult to narrow down your candidates to the few you’ll actually interview—especially if you posted a highly specific listing. One thing you should do before reviewing applications is create a succinct checklist of must-haves for each category.
For example, this could be two years’ experience, the ability to use a certain program, typing speed, etc. This will allow you to quickly go through and disqualify applicants who don’t meet your criteria. This can be done quickly with a search function. Then, you can do a more in-depth evaluation of those applications that made the initial cut. This method should help you cut down on time and effort.
Step 4: Ask the Right Questions
The one-on-one time you have with a candidate is limited, so make the most of this opportunity by asking direct questions that will yield useful information about them. Ask them about specifics like their experience with a program, to give examples of problem-solving skills in a certain situation, and what they believe their best asset is to bring to the table. Most importantly, make the questions you ask relevant to the qualities they need to possess to perform well at their job.
Keep in mind that personality is also an important factor to consider when comparing candidates. Someone who fits your company culture, takes criticism well, and is easy to collaborate and communicate with will likely transition into the position more easily and may even be more likely to remain onboard for longer.
With these four steps in mind, you can refine your hiring process to help you find highly qualified candidates who can help your company reach the next level.