Best Practices for Hiring New Employees

By Sean Gordon

Regardless of your company’s industry or niche, hiring the right employees is essential for its success. No two people have the same skill set, so it’s important to choose the best possible candidate for the position. Hiring the wrong employees forces you to exert additional time and resources to training — and even then, the employee may still lack the necessary skills for the job.

Furthermore, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) suggests that hiring a bad employee costs companies 30% of the employee’s first-year earnings. If a “bad apple” earns $50,000 during his or her first year, it will cost your company $15,000 in lost productivity, fixing mistakes and other associated expenses. To avoid headaches such as these, follow these best practices when hiring new employees.

Go Paperless

Ask candidates to submit their resume in digital format, such as Microsoft Word or PDF. If you accept paper resumes, there’s always a chance that you’ll lose the “one.” Digital resumes are also easier to manage. You can make copies, transfer them to other devices, and categorize them by various criteria.

Use Social Media

Being that 76% of the United States population has a social media profile, it should come as no surprise to learn that employers are now using social media to find candidates. According to the Recruiter Nation Survey conducted by Jobvite, 92% of companies use social media to find candidates. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, social networks such as these offer a treasure trove of information for recruiters. Using social media, you can find candidates with the right skill sets and work history to match your company’s needs.

Improve Your Job Descriptions

Creating a generic, ambiguous job description will only dilute your pool of candidates. At the same time, however, you should avoid making long, drawn-out job descriptions. Instead, keep them short and to the point, including information such as the job title; summary of the job; description of the position; list of duties; functional responsibilities; and qualifications needed.

Check References

Don’t just scan a candidate’s listed references, but actually follow up with those references. Asking the reference what he or she thinks about the candidate’s work ethics provides invaluable insight into their character. While employment laws may prevent employers from communicating with a candidate’s past employer, there are other ways to check references. For instance, you can follow up with managers listed as a reference, as well personal references.

Interview Lots of Candidates

One all-too-common mistake employers make is hiring the first candidate whom they interview. Even if the candidate seems like the perfect fit, you should keep interviewing others. The more candidates whom you interview, the more options you’ll have to choose from.

After conducting enough interviews, you can begin to narrow down your selection. First, discard all candidates who lack the necessary skills. Next, discard all candidates whose attitude and personality doesn’t match the culture of your company.

Ask the Right Questions

Of course, asking the right questions is essentially when conducting interviews. This includes both direct questions, as well as “probing” questions that force the candidate to open up.

Here are a few questions to ask:

  • Why do you feel like you’d be a good choice for the position?
  • Assuming you are hired, for how long do you plan to work with our company?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • Why do you want to work for our company?
  • Who is your role model and why?
  • What’s your greatest strength?
  • What’s your greatest weakness?
  • What are your short-term and long-term goals?

Following these best practices will help you find the right employees. For more hiring tips to help you choose the best talent for your respective organization, contact us today.

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