Last updated October 1, 2023

How to hire the best employees

Finding (and retaining) top talent is essential for any business to succeed, yet it can require considerable effort and expertise. It’s a competitive market and finding the best employees is a challenge.

Also, knowing what to look for and how to go about finding the best possible person for a role in your business is a skill and there are things you can do to make this process easier.

To help make this process easier, we’ve outlined 12 tips that might help with the hiring process.

1. Define Your Ideal Candidate Profile

Start the process by writing down and detailing exactly what the profile of your ideal candidate is.

You want to gain a clear profile in your mind of the ideal person for the role. You will need to consider the skills, qualifications, and attributes that best match the role you are looking to fill.

By having a solid understanding of the profile, you can begin to narrow down your search and target the right people for your job opening.

2. Leverage Employee Referrals

Getting recommendations from your existing employees can be an extremely good way to find high-quality employees to hire, and yet this method is often overlooked by many HR departments and managers.

Your current employees may be able to refer qualified people who fit your company culture, and they will also have a better understanding of what type of person is likely to excel in this particular role.

Consider offering incentives for successful referrals as an added motivation for your team members to participate.

3. Take Your Time

When it comes to hiring, it’s important to remember that you may not find the perfect candidate right away.

Don’t rush your decision making and be sure to take into account any potential red flags or issues that could arise from a particular candidate.

It will pay off, in the long run, to take some extra time and ensure that you have made a well-researched decision.

4. Consider Using or Including Video Interviews

These days, it is possible to hire employees to work on a remote basis, and the great advantage of this is that we are able to hire the right person, no matter what their geographical location.

Likewise, using video interviews and potentially hiring someone who lacks the mobility to easily get to an office is a great way to ensure that you are also acting as an inclusive organization that provides opportunities to people of differing physical dis/abilities.

Furthermore, by leveraging video platforms, you can save time and money by interviewing applicants without needing to meet them in person.

5. Don’t Forget About Soft Skills

When screening potential candidates, don’t forget about their soft skills. These include qualities such as empathy, problem-solving, and emotional intelligence.

By taking the time to evaluate soft skills during the hiring process, you can ensure that the person you eventually hire will fit well with your team and be an asset to the company.

By asking the right questions you can delve into their level of understanding of issues such as intercultural communication skills, listening skills, and leadership skills.

A classic example in terms of a question is to ask the candidate to provide an example of a situation where they have had to work with other people on a project (communication skills), or where they have been under time pressure and how they dealt with it (time management skills).

6. Consider Recruiting Platforms

With the rise of online recruiting platforms, it’s become easier than ever to find qualified candidates for open positions.

Platforms such as LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor can help you quickly source potential candidates and get a better sense of their skills and experience before inviting them in for an interview.

It’s important to note that while these platforms can be helpful for quickly finding qualified candidates, it is still essential to conduct thorough background checks and interviews before making a hiring decision.

By taking the extra time and utilizing the right tools, you can ensure that the person you eventually hire will be a great fit for your organization.

7. Ask the Right Questions During Interviews

The interviews you conduct are one of the most important steps in finding the right candidate for an open position.

To ensure that you get a good sense of each applicant’s qualifications, you should ask questions that focus on both their technical skills and soft skills

This will help you get a better understanding of whether the candidate will be a good fit for your team and how well they can meet your company’s needs.

Questions that you might want to consider asking include:

  • Can you tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult colleague, customer, or situation and how you dealt with it?
  • What career and work goals do you have for the future?
  • What do you know about our business and the ethos and mission of our business?

Ask probing questions to gather as much information as you can, to try and work out if this candidate will be a good match for the company, and also if you can provide what the person is looking for in their own career path and goals.

Remember, that is it a two-way thing in that if you can also satisfy the needs of the potential employee then you’ll have an employee who might stay long-term.

Try to understand their work ethic and ability to work both as part of a team and to work individually when needed.

8. Try to Validate the Applicant’s Experience

Do take the time to try and validate, where possible, the candidate’s experience and skills.

You should reach out to their previous employers or colleagues for more information on their performance.

Some good questions to ask those being used for references include:

  • What type of responsibilities did this person have in their role?
  • How well did they perform on tasks assigned to them?
  • Did they show a commitment to the company’s mission and team goals?
  • How did they handle difficult situations or disagreements with coworkers?

It is also beneficial to ask references how long they worked with the candidate, as this information can help you assess their skill level and experience related to the open position.

9. Consider Team Chemistry

No matter how qualified a candidate is, they should still fit the team’s culture and be able to work well with others.

Do they ask questions or provide constructive feedback in conversations? Are they patient and respectful when working with others?

An easy way to assess this is by having them complete an online personality test like DISC or Myers-Briggs and compare their results to those of current staff members.

10. Implement a Skills Assessment or Task-Based Evaluation

Consider incorporating a skills assessment or task-based evaluation as part of your hiring process.

Beyond traditional interviews, having candidates complete a relevant work-related task or project can provide valuable insights into their actual abilities and problem-solving skills.

This practical approach helps you gauge a candidate’s proficiency, creativity, and how they approach real work scenarios. It’s an effective way to assess their potential contribution to your team and organization.

Remember, the goal of this assessment is not just to evaluate technical skills, but also to observe how candidates think, plan, and execute tasks, providing a more comprehensive view of their capabilities.

11. Listen Carefully

Listen carefully as candidates answer questions during interviews and pay close attention to their body language.

Are they actively listening or do they seem distracted?

Do they appear nervous or confident? Are they prepared for the questions you’re asking?

12. Utilize Multiple Recruitment Channels

Once you have a profile defined, it’s time to start searching for potential candidates.

To be sure of casting the widest net and reaching a diverse pool of talent, consider utilizing job boards, social media platforms, industry-specific websites, and any other relevant recruitment channels that may apply.

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Dr Valeria Lo Iacono