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Hiring Basics: Tips to Help Find the Right People

December 27, 2017

Hiring is not an easy task, but if you have a good plan in place, you’ll be well on your way to finding the right people for your company. Read on for some tips and guidelines to keep in mind when you’re hiring your next team member.


Know the Position You’re Hiring For

Before you post a job ad, the first thing you should do is come up with a list of responsibilities for the position. This will serve as the basis for the rest of the hiring process. If you’re overseeing the hiring for a department that you’re not part of yourself, ask the department manager or supervisor for more details—they will have the best idea of their department’s specific needs. Beyond job responsibilities, some other basic factors to consider are: Is this a brand new position, or are you looking to fill an existing one? Is it full time, part time, or contract? What will the salary or hourly wage be? How many hours per week does the position require? Is it an entry-level position for which candidates do not need any previous experience, or is experience/schooling necessary? Knowing all of this information beforehand will help you find the most suitable candidates for the position, as well as help prevent you from inadvertently representing the position in a misleading or contradictory way.


Have a Plan

You’ve posted a great ad and interested candidates have sent in their resumes. Now you’ll need to prepare an order of operations for the selection process: Which staff members will be participating in the interviews? What will their roles be? Will there be one interview or two (or more)? Will the first interview be conducted via phone? Will you issue a personality/aptitude assessment, or a project? What is the expected timeline? When will you contact candidates for each stage of the process? Having a clear roadmap (and communicating it with your candidates) will help keep you on track, organized, and professional.


Consistency is Key

It is important to treat all candidates fairly throughout the selection process. Come up with a standard list of questions to ask everyone you interview for the position. If you plan to issue an assessment or project, ensure you use the same terms, timeline, and criteria for each candidate. Using consistent evaluation methods for everyone will go a long way in helping you to determine the successful candidate.


No Surprises

Make sure you and your candidates are on the same page from start to finish. If you’re hiring for a contract position that has a definite end date, clearly specify this in the job ad and reiterate it during the interview process. If the position requires specific experience, education, or equipment, be upfront about it; don’t wait until both you and your candidates have invested a significant amount of time in the selection process to find out you’re not going to be a good fit for each other.


Take Notes

Whether you’re meeting with three candidates or ten, it’s good practice to take thorough notes each time you sit down for an interview. With everything else that is going on in your busy day, remembering who said what will be one less thing you have to worry about. You’ll also have something tangible to refer back to for any follow-up interviews or contact, making it that much easier to navigate the selection process.


Consider the Culture of Your Workplace

Your company’s culture—which is continuously reshaped by everything from the unique personalities of your staff members, to the goals and values of your company, to the working environment itself—plays a large part in both hiring and retention. A thriving company culture attracts qualified applicants, and perhaps more importantly, gives them a good reason to stay! When hiring, look for candidates who have the potential to positively impact your company’s culture; our CEO Wilf Wikkerink wrote a fantastic blog post at the beginning of the year titled “The Right People on the Bus” that covers this topic in greater detail—we suggest you check it out.


Have any questions or tips of your own you’d like to share? Leave a comment below or email us directly at [email protected]—we’d love to hear from you.


Faeryn Genovese

Book Depot

Human Resources Coordinator


Spencer Jordan replied 3 years ago

I love that you touched on making a consistent process for interviewing people and looking for the right employees. My daughter is trying to build up a business right now and needs to find someone to run her HR department. I think it’s smart to take her time to find the best option available so that her company can thrive.

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