Hiring the right employees is crucial for the success of any business, but it’s a task that many entrepreneurs wrestle with daily. It’s not just about filling a vacant position; it’s also about finding the best fit for the job and the company culture. Many business owners have HR folks handle this for them. But in smaller companies, the owner is often left with this task — and everything else that needs to be done!

You know your company receives exponential benefits when you hire an employee who’s a perfect fit, but how do you find that person? Waiting for them to find you isn’t working. 

Hiring isn’t a one-time process; it’s continual. Successful entrepreneurs constantly search for top talent. That sounds overwhelming, but once you’re comfortable with the process, it gets easier. And when you’re staffed with a top-notch team, you’ll see immediate improvements in the workplace and your bottom line.

Prepare to Hire

Before interviewing candidates, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of the role and responsibilities of the position you’re hiring for. Knowing this upfront ensures that you attract the right candidates from the start and gives you a basis by which to evaluate them.

When defining roles and responsibilities, start by identifying the key tasks associated with the position. Think about how this position fits with others in the department and the organization. Also consider the skills and qualifications required for the job. Does the candidate need industry experience? How about a college degree? What other skills or knowledge would be beneficial in this position? Once you’re clear on what you’re looking for, you can create a job description that attracts the right kind of candidate.

Communicate Your Need

When creating a job description, using clear, concise language is critical. At a minimum, a good job description includes the job title, duties, responsibilities, qualifications, experience, and requirements specific to the open position. It also helps to include information about the company’s culture, values, and mission. Avoid industry jargon or technical terms that are difficult for candidates to decipher. If they don’t understand what you’re asking for, they’ll move on to another job posting.

Source Candidates

Once the job description is finished, you’re ready to start your search. There are several ways to find potential candidates that fit the bill.

Job postings. Job postings are a popular way to attract candidates. You can post job openings on job boards, social media platforms, and your company website. Many candidates use search aggregators, such as Indeed or CareerJet, to find and filter openings based on criteria that suit their needs. It helps to include keywords in the description that a candidate might use when searching for openings in companies like yours.

Referrals. Referrals are another way to find potential candidates. Current employees, colleagues, and professional contacts are often good resources for new employees. Ask around and see if you uncover anyone who might be a good fit.

Networking. Networking is also an effective way to find potential candidates. Industry events, conferences, and job fairs are all great places to meet people looking for new opportunities. Networking also helps you build relationships with other professionals in your industry or city.

Screen Candidates

Now it’s time to screen potential candidates. Review their resumes, skimming for relevant knowledge, skills, and qualifications. Look for candidates with experience in a similar role or industry. Weed out the ones without the skills and qualifications you’re looking for.

Cover letters provide additional information about a candidate’s qualifications. If you see a resume that looks interesting, take a look at the cover letter. Candidates who’ve taken the time to personalize their cover letter to the position you’re trying to fill show initiation and enthusiasm that should move them up on the list of possible new hires.

Interview Candidates

Once you’ve narrowed the candidates to a manageable list, you’re ready to start interviewing. Phone interviews are an excellent way to save time and effort and screen candidates before inviting them for an in-person interview. If someone stands you up for a phone appointment, they’re likely to be unreliable on the job as well. Video interviews are a good alternative to in-person interviews, especially for candidates who live in other cities.

You get the best sense of who you’re dealing with during the interview if you ask open-ended questions that require more than a yes or no answer. Open-ended questions force candidates to go into detail, providing more information that will help you better assess their knowledge and understanding of the position. 

Retain Top Talent

You just went through all that work to make the right hiring decision for your company. Now you need to hang on to that employee! Employee retention is crucial to the success of any business. To ensure your employees stay, create a work environment they won’t want to leave.

Employee engagement and recognition are key factors in retaining top talent. Provide plenty of opportunities for professional development, public recognition and reward for good performance, and a positive work environment, and your employees will stick around for the long haul!