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Stop Plugging Holes with Holes

A familiar challenge of hiring managers is finding good talent to fill positions. Many companies struggle in this regard because of the pressure to meet a hiring demand before a qualified candidate is secured. They interview many candidates and settle on the best available rather than the best fit for the position. This is a lose-lose for any department. People hired in these circumstances will not provide value, loyalty, or commitment. Some candidates will leave the organization for a better opportunity before the ink has dried on their offer letter. The following are ways to hire top talent without wasting time and taking unnecessary losses.


  1. Know what you need. Before you post an opportunity, evaluate your depart for actual needs. Many hiring managers waste money without doing a thorough assessment. Some responsibilities can be consolidated with existing staff. Some part-time people are paid for full-time work. Determine what your team needs and then begin the process of recruiting.

  2. Make the money right. Good talent does not come cheap. Professionals know their value and market themselves to the highest bidder. If you want great talent be prepared to pay for it. Have deep pockets and remember you will get what you pay for. Make a respectable offer based on education, experience, and years given to their career craft.

  3. Value experience over education. A degree from the best university does not substitute for experience. Experienced workers can usually fill a void with minimal instruction or supervision. Education from a good school should be valued; however, paper alone does not get the job done. Look for people who leveraged their education with a good work history.

  4. Make sure your company is in "glow mode." Candidates have a list of criteria and money isn't always at the top. Make sure your team is on their best behavior and shows signs of greatness. Make sure your team has a willingness to grow. If candidates do not see a team worth buying into, they will move onto other opportunities. If your company does not glow it will not grow.

  5. Write a good job description. Make sure the qualifications are spelled out completely. "Most" candidates will comply with the requirements before applying. A complete job description will prevent you interviewing people don't meet the minimum qualifications. Help candidates understand their fit so you won't; have to reject them in the interview process.

  6. Don't sell swamp land. Be transparent about the current strength of your company. You don't want to hire someone only for them to say later, "this ain't what I signed up for." They will leave quickly and you will be back at the drawing board. Let candidates know your strengths and weaknesses so they can make an informed decision about joining your team.

  7. Put your aces in their places. You may have internal candidates looking for a move or promotion. They may not have the skillsets needed to bring value to your team. Look outside the company if necessary. Direct internal candidates to teams who can benefit from their skillsets. You do not have time to waste training people who do not have capacity to get the job done. You want the right person, for the right job, with the right fit.

Follow these steps in recruiting and you are sure to get the right candidate for your needs every time. Be patient. They are out there. If you want to catch fish use the right bait.



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