Here is our list of the best hiring tips and strategies.
Hiring tips and strategies are ways to ensure you find the absolute best fit for your team. For example, be precise and transparent in your job posting, and have a clear plan to find, interview, and hire a new team member. When you implement these strategies, you can narrow the applicant pool and find the perfect fit to take your team to the next level.
This list includes:
- hiring tips for small businesses
- hiring tips for large businesses
- tips for improving the hiring process
- hiring strategies
- hiring tips for managers
- virtual hiring tips
Here we go!
List of hiring tips and strategies
When it comes time to hire a new team member, follow these tips and strategies to ensure a smooth and efficient process.
1. Know What Role You Need to Fill
The first step in hiring a new team member is determining gaps in skills and duties. Just because a certain role is empty does not mean you should fill it as is. For example, consider transferring tasks to another team member. Or combine and restructure departmental roles for efficiency. One of the best ways to define the new role is to solicit feedback from current team members. After deciding what the new job should entail, it is time to create your job posting.
2. Use Varied and Creative Methods to Find Applicants
The abundance of ways to source new employees can get overwhelming. More traditional options include referrals, staffing firms, job fairs, and hiring websites. However, you can branch out and host mixers, post social media ads, proactively build online communities to source talent, or devise totally new tactics. For example, an agency searching for an innovative graphic designer might post a billboard that reads “your art here.” You can get creative within the listing as well. If you head to Team Building’s job page, you will find a Mad Libs-style mechanism that inserts job seekers’ names into the general text on the landing page. Be sure to tailor methods to fit your firm. For example, hosting large-scale events might not be possible for smaller companies, and a playful tone in a job add might not be appropriate for more regulated industries.
The best approach is often to mix methods, and use multiple channels. For instance, use more than one job website or talent hunting technique.
3. Take Your Time
One of the most important steps is to not rush the process. Finding the right fit can take time. It is better to take extra time finding the right candidate than to hire the wrong person and have to start back over with a new employee down the road. It helps to develop a time range for hiring rather than a strict timeline. Also, have a backup option in case hiring takes longer than anticipated. Using temp workers or cross training staff to cover open roles can ease the burden on existing staff and prevent you from having to replace an overworked peer.
4. Host a Virtual Hiring Event
While localized job fairs and events still happen, many hiring managers have turned to virtual events. This shift makes complete sense in a world where many employees are remote. One of the best hiring strategies is to host a virtual hiring event where team members get the chance to meet potential employees. As candidates interact on a medium that will make up most of the communication daily, the hiring manager will get a feel for fit. To host one of these events, choose a platform that can accommodate the number of attendees and include current team members along with the hiring managers. Then, be prepared to answer questions and encourage interaction among potential and current team members.
5. Be Specific in the Listing
When posting a job description, be hyper-specific about what the role entails. Then, during the interview process, be clear about your expectations. Future employees need to understand what their roles will be. Most candidates understand that job postings are wishlists rather than checklists of required qualifications, so you should clarify which skills and traits are absolute musts. It also helps to give a summary of daily duties and a preview of special projects. Be sure to mention departments and positions the team member will interact with most often. Also, be specific in your offerings and not just your demands. Providing a bulleted list of perks and benefits is more attention-grabbing and specific than alluding to a “generous compensation and benefits package.”
Being detailed in the listing is one of the best tips for improving the hiring process. The more efficient you can be, the better the outcome.
6. Know Your Company’s Value Proposition
Hiring a new employee is beginning a new relationship, and interviewing is a two-way process. Having a clear idea of your company’s value proposition helps you clearly communicate those benefits to potential team members. Examples include standing within the industry, company culture, compensation and benefits, working environment, and room fo growth.
You should prepare answers to potential questions from interviewees, and be ready to volunteer this information if candidates do not ask. If you can answer questions or concerns clearly, the interview will go smoothly, and both parties will leave with a clear idea of the possibilities.
7. Use Current Team Members
One of the best hiring tips for managers is to use current employees throughout the process. For example, you can ask a team member in the department where the new job is to conduct an interview. This step is beneficial because the applicant gets a chance to ask day-to-day questions and gets a clear feel for company culture. This interview also benefits the current team because employees can give feedback about possible future teammates.
Another great use for current employees is leveraging referral programs. Your staff is intimately aware of the company culture and job demands and can identify professionals within their networks that would be good fits for the organization. Worker referrals can be one of the most effective hiring tips for small businesses.
Here is a list of employee referral program ideas.
8. Research and Vet Applicants
In the age of social media, it should not be hard to research potential applicants. Just because a candidate looks and sounds great does not mean you have enough data to make an informed choice. Be sure to follow up on references, run a background check, and look into their social media. It is important to be sure that the candidate you saw during interviews is the team member that shows up on day one.
9. Do a Test Run
If you have remote employees, you will likely perform virtual interviews. One of the best virtual hiring tips is to do a test run of the process beforehand. For example, have a current team member walk through the application. Be sure all of the questions make sense and the links work. Then, do a trial run with the hiring manager on a virtual platform. Hosting a remote interview is quite different from an in-person conversation, so practice is key. You might have to frame your questions differently or learn to read body language through a screen.
Here is a list of virtual interview tips.
10. Be Flexible with Applicants’ Needs
In the current climate, applicant priorities are shifting. When looking for jobs, employees desire a place where they have some freedom. If you can offer remote or hybrid work options, then publicize that information. It is essential to be willing to listen to applicants and make accommodations if they have the right qualifications. For example, if a candidate seems perfect in every way but needs to leave by 3:00 daily to get her kids from school, try to devise a solution that ensures team members can maintain a good work-life balance. It is better to be flexible than lose the best applicant.
11. Develop an End-to-end Plan for the Process
Organization and planning are critical parts of the hiring process. For example, consider what information you will ask for on the applications, such as references, examples of work, degrees or transcripts, or certifications, and create a sorting system for supporting documents. Then, decide how to perform interviews at different stages. In many cases, the first round could easily be a phone interview to save time and energy. Then, conduct in-person interviews when you narrow the applicant pool.
12. Remain Open-minded about Applicants
Being open during the hiring process can take many forms. First, be open to potential candidates that might not check every traditional box. For example, applicants may not have a degree in your preferred field, but former work experience prepares them for the job. It is also beneficial to be open to diverse and equitable hiring practices. The right candidate does not have one look or background, and it is important to be aware of potential bias and consider candidates that add new depth to the team.
13. Keep a Running List from Start to Finish
One of the best hiring tips for managers is to make a comprehensive list of all the potential candidates. This process can take place in stages. The first list can be of the first round of applicants. Here, you can rank them by several qualifications. Then, as you work through the hiring process, you can rank candidates based on their performance during interviews and first impressions. Ultimately, you should be able to see a clear picture of how applicants performed throughout the process, making the decision easier.
14. Be Transparent with Applicants
One of the most critical tips for improving the hiring process is to be transparent with applicants. Applying for jobs can be daunting, and many applicants may be on the defensive. It is essential to be open and honest with applicants about the process. For example, tell a candidate how long the interview process should take and when they can expect to hear from you. It is considerate to let applicants know updates on stages, and be sure to let applicants know if you have moved on. It is easy to email rejected candidates with a quick line saying you are going in another direction.
15. Be Gracious with Rejection
It is no secret that not every applicant will make the cut. Even if hiring more than one employee, you will likely get more applications than you need. However, just because you do not hire a candidate now does not mean you will not have a place for them in the future. Be sure to be considerate when you reject an applicant. Even a simple email saying thank you for your time goes a long way. Also, your effort in conveying the unfavorable news should be commiserate with the employee’s effort in interviewing. It is common courtesy to write a personalized note to final round candidates, especially ones that have undergone multiple rounds or traveled on-site to interview, rather than ghosting or sending form rejections.
16. Come Up with a Clickable Job Title
If you browse through job posting sites, you will see hundreds, if not thousands, of postings in every category. It is essential your job posting stands out among the masses. For example, if you have a unique job title at your company, also include a more common term for the role to give applicants a better idea of what the job entails. If the job is part-time or remote, then be sure to include those qualifiers. You should also mention the general field, for example, the food industry. If the site allows for a blurb within the search results, maximize the potential of this space by placing the most appealing information in this area. Also, be sure to start the ad with a hook that entices seekers to keep reading. The clearer and more enticing the job posting is, the more likely you get qualified candidates to click.
17. Be Relatable in the Job Description
Many applicants will click past super vague or overly descriptive job descriptions. When writing these listings, include the necessary information, but avoid wordy or excessive descriptions. It is important to consider the details you would need if you were looking for a new job. For example, hours required, salary, daily and weekly responsibilities, and application requirements. For easier reading, put this information into a scannable bullet list, and bold the most important pieces of information. Rather than overwhelm applicants with walls of text, include call to action buttons or links where interested talent can click to read more. If this necessary information is not readily available, then you might miss out on some highly qualified applicants.
18. Ask Thought-Provoking Questions
When it comes time for the interview, try to come up with open-ended questions. When you ask a question that requires deeper thought, you get a better impression of the applicant. This method also allows you to see how a candidate thinks on their feet. Every interviewee comes ready with answers to specific questions. If you have a few questions up your sleeve the applicant is not prepared for, then you can see how they handle difficult situations.
A few example questions include:
- What is the most innovative idea you have implemented in the past?
- Have you ever had to challenge the opinion or ideas of a supervisor? What did you do and how did you handle it?
- Tell me about a specific time you had to demonstrate creative thinking at work or school.
- How do you motivate folks on your team to think creatively?
- What is one thing you would change to make our company better?
- If you had the chance to do one thing in life differently, what would it be and why?
- How do you handle ambiguous commands or requests?
When you are ready with real questions, you should get good responses.
Here is a list of interview questions.
19. Track Applicants through the System
Many job listings can receive hundreds of applications. Tracking multiple candidates through various stages can be overwhelming. One of the best hiring tips for large businesses is to create an easily followable system that different departments can track. This process becomes even more important when hiring for multiple roles in different departments. It is best to utilize a productivity tracker or other tool to track candidates through the journey, for example, New, Reviewed, Phone Interview, Rejected, and Call Back. You can even have a section for different team members to leave notes based on their impressions and interactions.
Check out this list of applicant tracking systems.
20. Refine Your Process
This tip might be one of the most important hiring strategies. After you have completed the hiring process and found the perfect candidate to complement your team, take some time to complete an AAR, or after-action report. This step ensures that future hirings go smoother, increasing your chances of finding the best applicants in the shortest time. If possible, schedule a meeting with all the teammates involved in the process. During the meeting, go over what aspects of the process went smoothly, what parts could be improved, and a few tangible ways to make the next round of hirings more efficient. Record your findings and save them to a drive the entire hiring team can access.
21. Measure Your Success
If you spent money on recruitment tools, then it is essential to analyze the results to understand the return on investment. Most online platforms give you the option to run a performance report. These reports should include statistics like the number of views and clicks and the number of viewers who sent in applications. If you used more than one platform, then compare the quality and number of candidates from each hub. You might find one recruitment tool is better suited to your niche than others. In the future, you will have better insight into which platforms to use.
Hiring a new employee is no small task. If you find the right candidate, then work life is better because productivity increases along with team satisfaction. Hiring the wrong candidate costs both time and resources. When you are consistent and thorough throughout the hiring process, you are more likely to find the best candidate the first time around. To increase the chances of success, follow up on references, get to know the applicant beyond their work, and thoroughly track candidates throughout the process.