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Tips to Hiring Top Talent

Jul 16, 2019 8:02:00 AM

Have you ever heard the saying, “one bad apple spoils the barrel?” Hiring the wrong employee to your team can not only have negative monetary costs for your business, but also create a toxic environment that can actually lower the productivity of the team members around them. The US Department of Labor suggests that hiring a bad employee can cost up to 30% of the employees annual earnings, but it doesn’t stop there. When you take into account on-boarding expenses, the cost of recruiting, the lost productivity after the hire, and eventually replacing the bad hire (and starting the hiring process all over again), the actual cost of making a wrong hire can be significant.

Hiring the right talent is much more than throwing a simple post on one of the many job boards and letting the applications pile in. The importance of really understanding what you are looking for in an employee, having tailored job descriptions for the open positions, and improving your interview process will greatly benefit your company in a variety of ways.

How Do I Hire The Right Candidate?

This starts with understanding the skills and qualities you are looking for from your candidates, and really knowing the role you are trying to fill. With this understanding, you can get new recruits excited to work for your company, sift through unqualified candidates more easily, and reduce the overall time it takes to make the hire (this doesn’t have to be a long, treacherous process).

Job Descriptions


The job description is usually the first thing a candidate sees, and will get the ball rolling on a candidate ultimately deciding whether or not to apply. Some of the best practices for writing job descriptions are:

  • Make sure the job title is clear – If your job description is hiring for a “sales wizard,” but you are really looking for an entry level call agent, you’ll probably get overqualified candidates turning down your job in the next stage.
  • Clearly describe job tasks – Saying “we are looking for an Excel savant who can meticulously put together reports for outer department use,” is convoluted and doesn’t explain the tasks you are asking of the candidate. List out specific tasks the employee will be performing.
  • Sell the position and company – Especially if you are trying to pull talent from another company, you need to display why your company is awesome. Be detailed with the benefits that are offered.
  • Don’t ask for too much – Terms like, “10+ years of marketing experience,” can negate really talented individuals from even applying for the job. Express what is needed beforehand and what you are willing to teach the new employee.

Having a clear job description is the first step to funneling the best talent towards the position. You can save yourself and your company a lot of time in the hiring process with this simple step.

Improve Your Interview Process

The first step is usually a phone interview conducted by the recruiter. Your recruiter should ask simple questions to weed out any potential unqualified candidates. Some of the questions should include:

  • Why are they pursuing the new job opportunity?
  • What were the responsibilities of the last position(s) they held?
  • How did they hear about the company?
  • Why do they want to work for this company?
  • What are their career goals?
  • What is the salary compensation they are looking for?

In a ten-minute phone conversation, the recruiter can get a good sense if the candidate is ready for an on-site interview with the hiring manager.

On-site Interview

Conducting a poor interview can eliminate top talent from being hired. Getting a candidate to feel comfortable and going outside of the structured norm for an interview is a great way to find out more about your candidate’s personality. A few ways to conduct an effective interview include:

  • Make enough time for your candidates – Having multiple 10-15 minute interviews back-to-back in a single day doesn’t allow you to learn about each candidate and their personality. Set aside enough time to get to know each candidate.
  • Give them a tour of the company – By doing this, you can get a first hand look on how your candidate interacts with others.
  • Focus more on personality than skills – That’s not to say skill aren’t important, but a person can learn or improve on skills. It is much more difficult to match the personality to the job. Ask questions to find out what makes a candidate tick and if they would really be a good match for your team.
  • Interview your candidates over lunch – Again, this is a good way to find out how your candidate interacts with others. Are they polite? Do they get irritated easily? Can they hold a conversation? You can find out a lot about a candidate's personality over a meal.

Nobody likes going to job interviews. It’s a high-tension conversation that feels like the weight of the world is on the line with your first impression. Being creative and making your candidate feel more relaxed will let them lower their guard so you can see more of their personality and how they will interact with your team. A positive and welcoming job interview can help a candidate think that the company and job opportunity is worth pursuing.

Provide a Streamlined Hiring Process

The hiring process does take time, but it is best to assume that a candidate is interviewing at more places than just your company. You can potentially lose a candidate simply because it takes too much time between a recruiter interview and on-site interview, or from the on-site interview to extending an offer. Take your time in evaluating the candidate, but don’t let hiring someone sit on the backburner.

Finally, track your recruiting statistics. After the hiring process is complete take a look at the statistics to see if your recruiting process is working or where there is room for improvement. Some of the things you should be evaluating are:

  • What job sources are candidates finding your job openings at?
  • How long did it take from first contact to hire?
  • What is the retention rate?

When you clearly define what the position is, make your recruits feel welcome and track your recruiting statistics, you provide your company with the best chance of hiring and retaining the best talent.

AvantGuard applies these recruiting concepts to find the best operators. AG understands what qualities that makes a good operator and the importance of the role they play in the company.

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