The hiring process can be long and stressful, and finding the perfect new recruit is not an easy task. The more applications you receive, the harder it is to go through them all and find candidates who stand out. But if you're struggling to find employees who meet your requirements and fit your company's culture, there are ways to help you find the right recruit and make the hiring process go more smoothly.
Ready to revamp your recruitment process? Business News Daily asked business owners and CEOs for their best tips for hiring the right employees. Here are five simple ways to fix your hiring strategy.
Revamp your job postings
You won't find the right employees if your job advertisements don't detail what you're really looking for. Vladimir Gendelman, CEO of presentation folder printing business Company Folders, said the best way to attract good candidates to a position is to provide a thorough ad.
"Describe what the candidate will do, what they will not do and what they might be expected to do," Gendelman said. "List all skills that are mandatory for the position, as well as any skills you would prefer for them to have."
And if you're worried that being too thorough will deter potentially perfect candidates, be sure to rank the skills and qualities you're looking for so that interested job seekers can better determine whether they're a good fit.
"Good candidates typically won't apply for a job that doesn't match their skill set, so it's important for you to spell out which skills are a must-have and those for which you plan to offer training," Gendelman said.
Gendelman noted that being thorough in your job posting will show applicants that your company is strategic and well-prepared, which are exactly the kind of traits good candidates are looking for in an employer.
Give applicants specific instructions
Another good way to weed out applicants is to give them a specific task to complete in the application process.
"The trick is to create a very specific task — not complex, but specific — that the applicant must complete prior to being called for an interview, such as something in the résumé submission process," said Andrew Reich, founder and managing director of manufacturing company InTouch Manufacturing Services.
For example, Reich said his company asks candidates to limit their résumé to one page, use specific file names and a certain subject line (e.g., "Position Name – Candidate Name), and answer a set of five questions in the email text. Any applications that don't follow the instructions can be deleted automatically.
"Everyone should recognize when there are rules to be followed, and follow them, especially when they are applying for a position in a company," Reich said. However, you should still promote and foster creativity and open thought in the workplace, he added. [Recruiting Software: 10 Providers to Consider ]
Have top employees interview candidates
One of the best ways to get a good feel for a candidate's personality and work ethic is to get a second opinion. Cheri Spets Farmer, principal consultant at management consultancy Grace Bay Group, suggested asking your top employees to interview applicants.
"One of my best recruitment hacks is to have a promising candidate interviewed by one or two of my best employees," Spets Farmer said. "Managing is like herding cats, and team culture and chemistry [are] important."
This will give you not only another perspective on a candidate you're considering but also a better way to integrate new employees into your team when you hire them.
"If the candidate is hired and joins the team, inevitably, the team members that did the interviewing [will] feel some ownership of the hire," Farmer said. "As a result, they envelop the new person into the group, making onboarding the new hire easier and more successful."
Take strong candidates out to eat
It can also be helpful to see candidates in another setting outside the interview room. Rich Kahn, founder and CEO of digital advertising firm eZanga.com, said that a great way to really get to know candidates you're strongly considering is to take them out to eat.
"We check references and social media accounts to get a better grasp on what we can't see during the interviews," Kahn said. "But along with that, we take the candidate out to eat. It might sound odd, but after their final interview, the management team and the candidate break bread together."
Kahn said this strategy helps because people are more at ease during meals, and it becomes more about seeing a candidate's personality and less like an interview.
"[You] can see how they interact with the management team and get to know them better, without having to worry about them selling themselves in an interview situation," Kahn said. "Plus, if we make the candidate an offer, it makes their first day a little bit less daunting."
Look for candidates outside the workplace
Not every potentially great candidate will be looking for your job posting, so it's important to keep an eye out for new employees while you're going about your everyday life, too.
Deborah Sweeney, CEO of online incorporation and LLC filing company MyCorporation, said she's constantly on the lookout for candidates when she's out shopping, or at the coffee shop, fast food restaurants or even the gym.
"I look for great people who might be a fantastic fit at our business," Sweeney said. "I find that seeing how people interact in their current position, you can see the potential of them in your own company."
Sweeney noted that this is just a way to find potential recruits; it doesn't change the hiring process.
"I still go through the standard interview process to fully vet candidates," Sweeney said.