7 Strategies for Making the Right Hire

Statistics show that in most cases, it is less expensive for companies to retain good employees than it is to replace them.

An analysis by the Center for American Progress of 30 employee turnover case studies conducted from 1992-2007 found that the typical price tag for replacing an employee who quit or was fired is 20% of the person’s annual salary.

The price increases significantly for senior specialists and executives, whose replacement can cost more than 200% of the annual salary.

Clearly, it’s in a firm’s best financial interest to retain productive, content employees. For continuity to be truly beneficial, it’s up to the human resources department to find and hire the right people – employees who contribute to the culture, as well as to the bottom line.

Who Are the Right People?

Answer this question before the talent search begins, or you might as well be searching in the dark. Employers seek employees who:

  • Have the experience and skillset to fill an immediate and long-term need
  • Possess the personality and work ethic that make them a good cultural fit
  • Have a history of settling in at a company, rather than bouncing from job to job
  • Seek opportunities to learn and grow professionally
  • Are curious about their industry and want to help the company succeed

    Where and how do hiring agents discover the right employees?

    Here are seven tips and strategies to help ensure that a new hire turns out to be the right hire:

    1. Know Where to Look

    Start the search online with job boards such as LinkedIn, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Career Builder, Monster and others. The more platforms, the more likely the right candidate will emerge. Be sure to construct a precise, dynamic job description.

    Employee referrals can generate a wealth of promising candidates. Current employees know as well as anyone what kind of worker would make the best fit.

    Candidates also can be unearthed through professional recruiting firms, college recruiting fairs, networking junkets, industry conferences, local meet-ups and other face-to-face events.

    2. Stay Alert for Resume Warning Signs

    Avoid potential headaches by “weeding out” candidates whose resumes don’t meet minimum standards. Misspellings and grammatical errors are big warning signs. Untruths or embellishments also are a potential concern – 58% of applicants lie on their resumes, according to a
    2014 Career Builder survey of hiring managers.

    3. Ask the Right Questions

    Make every interview question count. Focus on learning as much as possible in the limited time allotted. Try not to fall into the trap of drawing conclusions from the initial impression, then using the rest of the interview to try to confirm those conclusions.

    End the interview with an off-beat question, such as “What are your plans if things don’t work out here?” The answer will provide insight into how the candidate responds to an unexpected inquiry, and it will reveal much about his or her ability to think beyond the moment.

    4.Consider the Intangibles

    Through thoughtful interview questions and conversations with references provided by the candidate, focus on learning about intangible qualities that are not necessarily reflected on the resume. Accomplishments and awards are nothing unless an employee has the right temperament, resourcefulness, intelligence, sense of humor, creativity and motivation.

    5. Observe Energy, Engagement

    From the first phone call through to the end of the in-person interview, observe the candidate’s level of enthusiasm. Does she have a friendly tone of voice? Does he smile? How about the posture? Are they engaged in the moment and energetic?

    Also, have they done their homework about the company? If they don’t care enough to do the research, they probably won’t be right for the job.

    6. Be Flexible with the Candidate’s Potential Role

    If a candidate has made a good impression but is not quite a good fit for the current opening, be alert for the opportunity to steer the candidate toward a role that could be a better fit. Don’t let a potentially great cultural fit slip away by staying locked into a job description.

    7. Put Them to Work

    Many employers ask candidates to complete work-related tasks, such as a written report, either as a pre-interview screening mechanism or as part of the in-person interview. An in-person work simulation should focus on problem-solving abilities to provide a feel for how the candidate might handle job pressure.

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