Find the Right Hire With These 5 Steps

Joe Weinlick
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Hire the right people to bring lasting value to your employer and drive financial growth over time. When you take a short-range view, you overlook key traits, values and skills that make an employee worth a long-term investment. Overhauling the hiring process and asking better interview questions can help you identify candidates with the most potential to improve the company. Use these five steps to weed out ineffective methods that lead to bad hiring decisions.

1. Analyze and Define the Position

Finding the best candidates is impossible if you don't understand how a position impacts the company. You should have a clear definition of the job to understand what type of employee and qualifications make sense for the role. What are the daily responsibilities? Who does the employee answer to? Which managers or employees have the most insight about the job? Why did the last employee in the role succeed or fail to meet expectations? Thoroughly analyze the role to come up with attributes to look for in potential candidates. Otherwise, your hiring process is a guessing game at best.

2. Create Target Candidate Profiles

Too often, employers dismiss candidates for flimsy reasons, such as their alma mater or job titles. Superficial factors aren't a good judge of performance or growth potential, and you're likely to dilute the talent pool early in the hiring process if you rely on them.

Encourage fair, productive hiring decisions by defining your ideal candidate. Past job titles don't tell you how well someone can handle your employer's specific challenges, so focus on a candidate's previous tasks, results and environmental conditions. Your position analysis should yield a clear breakdown of the competencies a new hire must have to be successful in the role from day one.

3. Prepare Effective Questions

Using cliché questions is a surefire way to get rehearsed answers that don't provide enough actionable information. Instead, get candidates talking about their past bosses and teammates to see how they relate to others. Ask interviewees how they can improve the company, how they can develop professionally and what they intend to prioritize on the job. Developing insightful interview questions can help you figure out which candidates researched the company well and truly understand how to solve problems for your employer.

4. Conduct Phone Screenings

Don't waste time holding in-person interviews with incompatible candidates. Use phone interviews to pick out applicants with the relevant knowledge to back up their credentials. Keep phone interviews brief but try to find out what candidates are looking for in an employer. Getting rid of candidates with unrealistic expectations is an easy way to make the hiring process more efficient.

5. Thoroughly Plan In-Person Interviews

Take interviews seriously and avoid showing up unprepared. Smart candidates value themselves and don't settle for employers who waste their time. Make sure you use consistent criteria to compare candidates and limit how much you control the conversation. You can reduce bias in the hiring process and mine more information by setting interview goals and letting candidates talk without constant interruption.

Be open to managing flaws in your hiring process. Great credentials don't matter if a candidate lacks the right experience or temperament for your work environment. Use interviews to gain genuine insight about a candidate's potential and make profitable hires for the company.

Photo courtesy of GT AMSA at


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