Ten Tips to Improve Your Company’s Recruiting and Hiring

loan#1 Always be recruiting

Having a deep bench is more than just sports wisdom. It’s good business practice. Not only will regular recruiting yield quicker hires when an entry-level need arises, but keeping recruiting open allows you to always be on the lookout for quality upper-level talent.

Heather Parrot, writing for LinkedIn, explains, “Your mindset should switch from recruiting to fill an open position to thinking about who your company will want and should hire in the future. Talent pipelining isn’t a short-term strategy and takes time to develop and nurture, but in the long term the benefits are worth the investment.”

#2 Have multiple candidates to choose from when hiring

This follows logically after building your talent pipeline. Having multiple candidates will allow you to evaluate the needs of your company and hire the candidate who is the best fit. Hiring the first available body out of desperation is accepting the risk of time-consuming and expensive employee turnover.

#3 Get feedback from other hiring managers and team peers in the recruiting and interview

The benefit here is multifaceted; essentially, current team members appreciate the utilizing of their skills and experience, and future hires are helped by initiation into a company via a team of people. A larger portion of the company is invested in every new hire, and that makes the often-rocky process of new-employee assimilation run more smoothly and the whole company function more efficiently.

“The best teams and smartest leaders all tend to have some reflection of collaborative hiring,” writes William Vanderbloemen in Forbes. “By adding more voices and input to your interview process, you’ll get a higher level of involvement and a more thorough evaluation of potential candidates.”

#4 Use Topgrading interview techniques

Brad Smart developed the Topgrading technique to provide companies with a more comprehensive picture of potential candidates. Beginning with a well-defined job description, the interview process is characterized by an extensive examination of a candidate’s work history. Learning why a candidate has moved from one job to another for the past ten years provides greater insight into who the candidate is than a resume which provides only the highlights of a candidate’s history.

Topgrading was the topic of Michael Lorence’s dissertation for Georgia State University, and his deductions are noteworthy. Writes Lorence, “All case studies experienced a rather dramatic improvement in hiring success from their pre-to post-Topgrading environments…This improvement in hiring success came with a commensurate, precipitous drop in mis-hire rates.” Or, if you’d prefer a number, “The overall average reduction in mis-hire rate from pre-to post-Topgrading environment was 85.1%.”

#5 Utilize screening questions during the application process

Here’s an easy-to-implement time saver. Whether candidates are responding to an online job posting or through your applicant tracking system, make sure to include screening questions in the process to ensure candidates are qualified. For example, if you know you will not hire a candidate without at least five years of experience in sales, let “years of experience” be a determining factor in whether a resume makes it to your desk for evaluation.

#6 Know your target market when marketing open positions

A little research here can save you a lot of time. The goal is to increase the percentage of applicants who could be a good fit for the job. If your target market is unlikely to subscribe to a newspaper, it would be unwise to spend your job-advertising budget on newspaper ads. Know your target market, and find out what they are reading, where they are spending their time, and how you can most effectively convince them that your company is the right fit for them.

#7 Be strategic in your planning and process

Don’t just wing it. Besides being an enormous time waster, setting out to recruit with no plan can actually do harm to your company. Clear communication and follow-through –

even in the early stages of hiring – contribute to your company’s reputation.

Additionally, your hiring process requires regular evaluation, because what works for one company may not work as well for another.

Take Google, for example. The New York Times published an interview in 2013 with Google’s Laszlo Bock, a senior VP. In it, Laszlo surprisingly confesses, “One of the things we’ve seen from all our data crunching is that G.P.A.’s are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless — no correlation at all except for brand-new college grads, where there’s a slight correlation.” He continues, “Google famously used to ask everyone for a transcript and G.P.A.’s and test scores, but we don’t anymore, unless you’re just a few years out of school. We found that they don’t predict anything.”

#8 Remain open and flexible

Necessity is the mother of invention. Traditional techniques and business ideas may have been enough to get the company doors open, but it’s a business’s response to set-backs that determine its longevity. Closed doors require creativity – a forced flexibility that can ultimately make a company stronger.

Maybe it’s your list of absolute qualifications for potential candidates that could use a dose of flexibility (see #9); maybe the change needs to come in your employee compensation package, or in how you are marketing the job. Flexibility allows a company to adjust to and thrive amidst constant changes in technology and culture.

#9 Remember that unicorn candidates do not exist

A perfect employee would make our lives so much easier. Companies sometimes begin searching for the elusive unicorn candidate when exasperation over the lack of quality personnel takes over.

“Progressive employer seeks Harvard-trained neuroscientist and beauty pageant winner. Must be fluent in Mandarin and skilled at tribal basket weaving. Minimum of 10 years experience working for high-tech companies. Salary: mid-30’s.”

While obviously hyperbolic, the mock job description Nancy Collamer penned for Forbes stands as a warning. If frustration has set in, consider, instead, our final piece of advice.

#10 Use a professional recruiter for strategic planning, hard-to-fill positions, or when you have multiple roles open that you want filled quickly

No matter how well you plan, every company hits walls from time to time. When the pipeline isn’t flowing and the right candidates aren’t coming your way, when you have higher employee turnover than expected, when you need an updated business plan and don’t have time to fix the problem on your own, consider hiring a professional recruiter.  Whether you need help coming up with a new strategy or help finding qualified employees who are ready to close, we can help your business meet its goals.

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