Let’s face it: you have a lot of responsibilities. Along with finding and hiring the best candidates for your business, you probably have a lot more on your plate. Finding great candidates doesn’t need to be a pain; with a good system in place, you’ll have no trouble attracting potential employees, analyzing their compatibility, and making your decision easy with targeted, effective interview questions. Here’s a simple three-step process to finding your ideal future employee.
Before you can even begin finding the best candidate, you need to know what your business needs. Makes sense, right? Regardless of the size of your business, it’s important to be strategic when recruiting to avoid pitfalls that will cost you time and money down the road.
- Timing. If your business is having trouble keeping up with demand or you’re short-staffed, it’s probably time to hire. You should also think about how long your company can wait to hire someone. Can you afford the time to find the perfect candidate?
- Workflow. Take the time to assess your current workflow so you can hire strategically. Assess your on-going needs, what tasks can be handled by existing employees, and which areas require additional help.
- Outsourcing. Do you really need a full-time employee if you only need help occasionally or for a specific project? Hiring a freelancer or contractor may be a better solution.
Once you have a good understanding of your needs, you’ll be in a better position to create a clear job description that you can use to analyze the candidates. If you’re the one creating it, consider the questions you’d want answered as a job seeker about the position.
The next step is writing a concise, clear job listing—then knowing where to place it to draw in candidates. There are plenty of techniques you can use to attract and recruit great employees.
- Social media. Is your business making the best possible use of social media? The most active job seekers are on LinkedIn, although many passive job seekers are also on Facebook. Use your existing social media marketing to publish job opportunities. If you don’t have a social media presence, why not?
- Make the application easier. Do applicants need to jump through hoops and fill out a dozen pages of information to submit their application? You want to avoid creating a huge burden with a system that makes it as easy as possible for candidates to reach out to you.
- Run ads. Did you know you can run targeted and affordable ads on Facebook for your job listing? You can target ads based on users’ interests, education level, current job, where they attended school, and more.
- Get referrals from current employees.Your best asset is already your employees. If they love their job, they’ll be happy to tell friends and acquaintances about a job opening. This type of referral is one of the most common ways to get new hires.
As you receive applications, you’ll need a system in place to weed out candidates that just won’t work. The cover letter itself can give you a lot of clues about the candidate. Are there any spelling or grammatical mistakes? Does the letter talk specifically about the position or is it a generic cover letter? Did they take the time to find the hiring manager’s name or is the letter addressed “to whom it may concern?”
Interview with intent
The last step is often the most challenging to hiring managers and job seekers alike. Do everyone a favor and keep the interview focused with clear, concise questions that relate to the work. If you treat your interview subjects as if you’re trying to weed out the worst, you’ll be left with the “least undesirable” and not the “best of the best” candidate.
- What 3 things do you need to be successful in the job? Name some deal breakers. This question helps you understand if the candidate understands the job and it helps you understand how they’d do the job itself. It can also help assess expectations and their work style.
- What accomplishment(s) make you most proud and why? Asking a question specifically about an accomplishment from the candidate’s resume allows them to talk more in-depth about something they have done and are passionate about.
- If you could begin your career again, what would you change? This question will help the candidate highlight some of their major career decisions, both negative and positive, while sharing their ambition and future goals. You can also use it to analyze their past professional experiences.
Finally, be honest and upfront during the interview and remember the importance of follow-up. As you wrap up your interview, be clear on when and how you will follow-up. After all, not getting back to a candidate is bad manners and it reflects poorly on your business. There are many moving parts in the hiring process. The ideal employee will seek out the ideal job. Evaluate your priorities to find out the best way to let that person know your need. Search smart, because that person is looking for an employer that won’t waste time. Interview that person with the intent to hire the best and expect talent to rise to the occasion. Those three steps may seem simple, but sometimes, the best solutions are just that.