Don’t Let an Ineffective Hiring Process Keep You From Top Talent

Entrepreneurs and small business owners need to understand that it’s a candidate’s job market out there. Competition for highly skilled tech talent is fierce, and if you’re not quick to attract and vet candidates, you could lose out on the perfect fit.

Attracting the best candidates starts with crafting a compelling job description that speaks to the right people. It should clearly communicate your company’s needs and expectations for the role and allude to the benefits of working for your company. But to create a job description that works for you, you need to enlist the help of your entire team.

Here are four tips that will help your company draw in and hire the best people for the job:

1.   Open communication lines with the hiring manager.

The hiring manager is typically the one down in the trenches who best understands the needs of the role. But this knowledge can get lost in translation when there’s poor communication between him and the person writing the job description. This miscommunication often results in:

  • Too many skills or irrelevant skills in the description.
  • A salary that isn’t competitive or in line with current market conditions.
  • A description that focuses on the needs of the company rather than the opportunity for the candidate.

It’s crucial that your job descriptions are more than just dry, generic templates. To accurately communicate the hiring manager’s needs, identify three to five skills necessary for success in the role — any more, and you risk scope creep or muddying the waters.

2.   Consider your company’s long-term goals.

Hiring teams often make the mistake of overlooking the company’s evolving needs and advertising skills that only address the company’s immediate requirements. This can lead to unclear or vague job descriptions that don’t accurately depict the required skills or convey why a candidate would want to work there.

Instead, envision what the role will look like throughout its lifecycle. It’s much wiser to hire someone who possesses more skills and experience than you need and offer a commensurate salary than to hire a cheap, barely qualified candidate who will max out his skills sooner.

3.   Uncover your company’s value add, and advertise it.

To attract coveted industry talent, you need to communicate what differentiates your company. Why should someone working for a competitor come work for you instead? By offering a compelling reason to work for your company, you can position it as a desirable place to work and stay top-of-mind with potential candidates.

But to do this, your entire team needs to be on the same page about what makes your company so great, what problems it solves, why it will succeed, and what impact the particular job will have on the overall company.

Before you interview any candidates, hold a job description meeting to go over these three points, and make sure the explanation reflects your team’s opinions.

4.   Explore candidates’ skill levels and culture fit in the interview.

If you’ve created an effective job description and sourced the most qualified candidates, then the first interview phase shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes. During this time, you should reconfirm their experience, skill fit, and motives for the job change.

Finding a good personality and cultural fit is just as important as finding someone with the skills to do the job. You don’t want to hire a technical genius if he’s awful to work with or otherwise doesn’t align with your company’s values. Spending time assessing his personality and communication style makes sense at the second phase in the interview process.

Most importantly, you want to get the candidate excited to work at your company. The interview is your chance to impress the person and make him feel confident that by joining your company, he will grow, improve his career, and be part of a winning team.

To compete for the best industry talent, you need to build a top-level hiring team and get everyone on the same page about the needs for the role and how to market the position. If you accomplish this, you will not only expedite the hiring process, but also align every employee with the founders’ vision and ease the internal decision-making process.