It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to hire someone for accounting, engineering, sales, or marketing; finding and retaining top talent isn’t about filling a position. You want to hire an unquestionably qualified professional who will thrive within your organization. Here are a few tips for avoiding costly hiring mistakes.

1. Compose Detailed Position Descriptions AND Candidate Profiles

It’s key to observe the distinction between these two assets. A position description describes the skillset a new hire will need and what they will do. The job description should include job title, education/experience requirements, measurement of job performance, and salary range. The candidate profile pinpoints who they need to be. What characteristics are essential to your team, mission, and core values? Is it built for extroverts or introverts? When looking to fill a role at your company, be as specific as possible. Including this specific information can narrow down those candidates with not just the right qualifications, but also key performance indicators. The more clear you are, the easier it will be for candidates to self-screen and apply only if they’re qualified and well-aligned.

2. Consider Transferable Skills

Many small and mid-sized companies default to searching for candidates within a specific industry niche. That’s definitely a good place to start, but expect niche markets to be competitive. To find overlooked talent, explore soft skills related to the context of your business. Many in-demand professional skillsets can be very effectively applied across industries.

3. Embrace Employer Branding

It’s ubiquitous. Any worthy candidate seriously considering joining your organization is going to Google you. To get results from your talent acquisition efforts, it is mission-critical that your company attends to your employer brand — its perception in the digital marketplace. This includes showcasing your team, culture, and corporate citizenship on your website. It also means addressing your reviews on Google, Glassdoor, and any other online platform that’s relevant to your industry. Opting out of direct participation in social media doesn’t mean you’re invisible there; it only means you’ll have less power to impact brand perception when a problem arises.

4. Ask Open-Ended Screening Questions

To go beyond the job description, ask potential candidates the following questions during the application process. By doing this, you’re eliciting a genuine response and getting a glimpse into their professional interests too.

  • In what type of work environment do you thrive?
  • What podcasts do you listen to?
  • What’s something from your personal life that adds value to your professional life?
  • How would this position move you toward your goals?
  • What makes you want to work for us instead of our competitors?
  • How do you prioritize your work?
  • What accomplishments are you most proud of?

5. Conduct a Paid Trial Assignment

It’s difficult to assess the skills of a candidate by simply reviewing their resume. A short, paid assignment can demonstrate your interest in the candidate and give you a deeper understanding of their working style while also providing them a direct benefit. Short tests at the end of the hiring process can reveal the best candidate for the position.

6. Observe Candidates Interacting with Others

Before making your final decision, invite the shortlist of candidates to your company to meet several staff members and observe how they interact with the team. How’s the chemistry? Follow up with those staff members and ask them how they felt about each candidate.

The war for talent is on, and finding, recruiting, and retaining top talent is more challenging than ever. Take your time and use these tips to narrow your search. For even greater efficiency and confidence, engage a trusted talent acquisition partner.

The CCY Advantage

At CCY, we help you clearly define your talent acquisition challenges, develop solutions, and provide value by defining quantifiable skills, personality traits, and cultural aspects necessary for an executive hire to fit seamlessly within your organization. We find top talent based on your needs and present candidates in a straightforward fashion by providing deep performance insights about each qualified candidate. If you’re concerned about Post-COVID talent acquisition, contact us today.