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By: Helios on August 26th, 2013

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How to Hire Right… The First Time

Best Practices | Employee Relations | Talent Acquisition

Hiring qualified employees is critical to an organization’s success.  Business owners and CEO’s agree that their employees are the organization’s most valuable asset.  Deciding who to hire is one of the most important decisions that an organization will make.  Hiring the right people with the right skills– those who can improve performance, drive sustainable growth, and strengthen the competitive advantage is an organizational goldmine.  However, in contrast, hiring the wrong employee is not only time consuming, but is also bad for company moral by frustrating the high performers and quite costly to the work environment.  There is nothing more limiting and damaging to an organization than having the wrong members on its team.Business Handshake

Here are a few steps to ensure that you hire the right candidate…the first time:

Think And Be Clear About What You’re Looking For: More often than not, the hiring process is reactive instead of proactive, and hurried instead of well thought out.  In doing so, shortcuts are taken and organizations often settle because the current need outweighs the desired longevity. In an ideal hiring situation- one conducive to hiring right the first time, the hiring team should all be in agreement and able to clearly articulate not only what the ideal candidates’ technical or professional qualifications are, but also based on the company culture, the ever important “soft-skills” that the successful candidate should also possess.   Are you clear on what success looks like for someone in this role? Are you clear on your non-negotiables?

Plan Your Recruiting Strategy: The Recruiter, along with the hiring team, should give considerable thought and input on how the word will get out, what avenues will be approached, and how many resources will be utilized.  A successful hiring team should never rely on the old “post and pray” scheme. Be proactive! Passive job seekers will not be reading your postings. How will you ensure you capture the attention of those you desire to target?

Ask The Right Questions: Once candidates are identified, recognize that while a candidate may appear to be perfect on paper, a prescreening interview will be a telltale sign if the candidates’ qualifications and soft-skills are truly a fit for your job. Try to uncover a path of demonstrated history of achievement. Leverage behavioral questions where they share how they actually did accomplish a critical task, not how they would do so.

Check References: Go beyond the myth that if it is written, it must be true. Technology and professional sites like LinkedIn have made it very easy for us all to utilize the six degrees of separation theory.  When in doubt check it out. Reach out to a friend of a friend and ensure that the candidate is who they claim to be and have done what they claim.   Listen for the red flags and do NOT ignore them. When asking “how can I help ensure John Doe will be successful in this role?” you may hear potential red flags. Then decide whether you can live with them.

Keep Communication Open: Few things discourage potential employees more than not hearing back from the company they are interviewing with.  Welcome the opportunity for your candidate(s) to contact you and proactively reach out to him/her over the course of the entire hiring process.

Be Honest: Giving open and honest feedback is essential to an efficient and effective hiring process. Do not put off contacting your candidates with either good or bad news.  Avoid the fluff, if the answer is no, tell them and close the loop so that you can better focus your time on the right candidate. This approach will go a long way in establishing goodwill in the community, which you may need to draw upon in the future.

Do Not Delay: If you find a qualified candidate that you like, move forward with them quickly.  The hiring market is moving rapidly with more demand than supply of amazing candidates. It is imperative to ensure that the right candidate does not take another job offer while your team is still trying to huddle to share feedback.

Now while there are no guarantees in this world that we live in, but by following these steps the odds are sure to increase that you'll be viewed as thought leaders who are intentional in your hiring practices, making big things happen by hiring right… the first time.