6 Steps for Hiring the Best Candidates

Few things are more costly to a business than a poor hire.  Several weeks, or months, of research, interviewing, and data analysis may go right down the drain.  To top it off, the employee may stay around several months, or even a year, before it finally becomes clear it’s time to part ways.

How much is the average cost of hire at your firm?

Imagine what you could do with the financial and time resources you could save by hiring the right person the first time!  Read these tips to help you during your next hiring process:

  1. Focus on a good culture fit first and skills second.  If research has shown anything, it’s that having someone who fits your company culture is more important than the skills they have.  Good culture fits will be willing to learn to do whatever it takes to succeed at the job.  If you hire the individual with exceptional skills and a selfish attitude, your company will spend more resources monitoring and working with the individual than the individual contributes to your company.
  2. Clearly define the skills needed to succeed.  Even though culture is of primary importance, skills are important too.  Make sure you, or the hiring manager in place, knows the exact skills a candidate will need to succeed in the position.  Very often, managers end up hiring those that match their own personal style, not the most qualified and best culture fit.
  3. Be patient.  Many HR managers fall victim to the trap of hiring someone who’s “good enough” because they lack the patience to find the person who is truly a great fit.  Unfortunately, this short-sighted perspective costs a business more time and financial resources than leaving the position open until a great fit is found.  It can be tempting to save time now by cutting corners, but it’s more harmful than anything else in the long run.
  4. Benchmark performance and test candidates.  If your company benchmarks the performance of the typical candidate, you also have the right information necessary for making a good hire.  When you test candidates to see how likely they are to succeed at the job, you can determine if they will become top performers so you can improve the quality of your team, or you can help your team increase its performance even further.
  5. Separate must-have traits from nice-to-have traits.  Make a specific checklist of exactly what you need to have in your candidate, and what you can live without.  Even the ideal candidate won’t perfectly match all of your needs.  In that case, however, a “willingness to learn” may be one of your must-have traits.
  6. Get out of your own way.  Watch out for your own limiting beliefs and judgments about hiring the right employee.  You and the employee both hold an equal level of responsibility for honestly evaluating one another to see if you are a good fit.  Some limiting beliefs include, “I can’t hire the first candidate interviewed, I won’t settle for anything less than the best, and how can I be sure I’m hiring the right guy?”

If you follow these 6 tips during your next hiring process, you give your company, and yourself, the best chances of hiring a great candidate right from the start.