1. Know who you want, then pursue them quickly.
Ultimately, it comes down to this: What does the role require? And who is best suited for it?
Even if the open position is identical or similar to others in your company, remember that no two people are exactly alike — even if they share similar backgrounds, values, traits, qualifications, and job duties.
Therefore, you’ll need to determine whether the candidate can capably perform the required job responsibilities, and you’ll need to try to get a sense of his or her personality. This is important, because having substantial related experience, a degree in the field, and an amazing professional track record does not necessarily make that person the right fit. You’ll also need to consider whether this person is likely to gel with your company’s culture.
Once you find your most likely candidate, be sure to act quickly, as that candidate is probably being pursued by your competitors. In fact, according to Office Vibe, “the best candidates are off the market within 10 days.”
2. Don’t put yourself in a box. Broaden your search.
If you’re going to seek the best, you must put your best foot forward. This includes not restricting your efforts, such as by posting job openings in just one place or by ignoring passive candidates.
You’ll need to expand your search, as the right fit could be anywhere. For example:
- Place job postings on various job boards so that they will be found by many potential candidates. To deter unqualified candidates, be specific about who should apply.
- Utilize social media to engage passive candidates. These candidates aren’t actively “looking,” but they’re usually open to better opportunities.
- Ask your top-performing employees to refer potential candidates.
- Look — and be willing to promote from — within. The ideal person could be inside your walls.
- Tap into the hidden talent pool. Better employees may come in untraditional packages — such as in the form of veterans, students, people with disabilities and parents returning to the workforce.
3. Avoid bad hires by partnering with a third-party recruiting firm.
Knowing whom you want and broadening your search is only half of the recruiting battle. You must also thoroughly screen and interview potential candidates and conduct background investigations to ensure everything checks out. Any flaws in these processes can make you vulnerable to hiring the wrong people.
A reputable third party, such as a staffing or recruiting agency, can help you find the right fit, reduce time to hire and lower your turnover rate. Another option is to partner with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO), which can help you improve your hiring practices and manage your HR, benefits and payroll functions.