11 Hiring Tips To Help You Choose the Right Employee

Updated February 3, 2023

When a position opens up on your team, it’s crucial to ensure that a candidate with the proper skill set, experience and enthusiasm has the opportunity to fill it. You can implement various strategies into your hiring process to help support this goal. If you’re interested in pursuing or are already occupying a management role at your workplace, understanding how the hiring process works can help you attract the right candidates and assess whether they fit your team's needs or culture.

In this article, we provide 11 hiring tips to make the hiring process efficient and successful so that you can find the best possible employees to fill open roles.

How can hiring tips help you find the best employees?

The right employee represents an individual who meets all the requirements of their role. They typically have both technical ability and soft skills to navigate situations and interactions effectively. By following basic hiring tips, you can increase your chances of finding someone who can fulfill their job duties and can offer numerous benefits for managers. Their skills can help make them more productive and support reaching team goals. If they fit in well with their colleagues and are passionate about the job, it can also boost team morale. As a result, you may see less turnover on your team due to a lack of qualifications or passion.

How To Hire the Right Person (And Why It's Important)

11 hiring tips for choosing the best candidates

You can use the following list as guidance for finding and hiring the right employees for your team:

1. Define the job

A thorough job description can help ensure that the right candidates apply for the position. A generic post with little information may not excite candidates, and it also does not help narrow your candidate pool. Meanwhile, a job posting with detailed information about the day-to-day tasks or unique challenges associated with this position at your organization can help set expectations. This technique can help narrow your candidate list, as the applicants typically will apply when they believe they have the qualifications needed to meet your expectations.

Before publishing a job posting, you can perform a job analysis to identify specific responsibilities and requirements. As a manager, you likely already know the typical tasks associated with the role. To gain more insights, you can interview employees in similar or adjacent positions about additional responsibilities the role entails and the skills or traits needed to succeed in it. You can also incorporate information about the team culture or environment to help identify necessary soft skills. These details can help potential candidates gain a clear understanding of the role and whether they fit.

Related: How To Conduct a Job Analysis

2. Develop a recruitment strategy

Creating a recruiting strategy can help you identify and attract your ideal job candidates. You can collaborate with anyone else participating in the hiring process, such as human resources professionals or members of your team. There are various components to a recruitment strategy, including deciding where to post job openings, who will conduct the interviews and the types of interview questions to ask. Setting these strategies and establishing candidates on the type of candidates you want to attract can help keep everyone involved with the hiring process focused and on track.

Related: 13 Recruiting Strategies To Help You Find the Best Candidates

3. Use a pre-screening process

Interviewing candidates can be a lengthy process, but performing pre-screening interviews can help narrow your candidate list. Typically conducted over the phone, these calls evaluate whether candidates meet the role's requirements. Often, an organization's human resources or recruitment professionals handle this task. You can use the information gained through your job analysis to define the most important qualifications to ask about during this call.

These questions may seek information regarding candidates' relevant experience, interest in the role or organization, preferred work environment and salary expectations. The candidates whose responses meet your requirements can then move on to the interview process. Pre-screening candidates can help ensure that you spend your time efficiently by only interviewing the most qualified individuals.

Related: Guide To Pre-Screening Interview Questions

4. Test your candidates

When hiring for a role that requires specific skills, you can assign tests or assignments to job candidates to ensure they meet your standards. These tests offer evidence of the skills candidates mention in their resumes, cover letters and other application materials. For example, a manager hiring a web developer may give candidates an assignment that tests their coding skills or comfort with a specific programming language. If you test candidates on a routine task they would perform, it can offer you insights into their potential job performance.

If culture is important to your team, you may consider giving candidates a personality test. These tests can help you understand candidates' typical behaviors, including their work and communication styles. They may also offer insights into how candidates respond to situations, such as conflict. You could learn something about your candidates through these assessments that they may not display during interviews. Understanding their personalities more deeply can help you determine whether they would fit well with your existing team members.

Related: Employment Tests: What They Are and How To Prepare

5. Ask creative interview questions

Candidates often prepare for interviews by studying common questions and practicing their responses. These prepared answers may not offer as many insights into the candidate as you would like. Therefore, you can consider developing or researching unique questions to learn something new or interesting about them. These questions may not be work-related, but can help you understand their personality or the way they think. Some quirky questions can also help bring a more fun tone to the interview, making the candidates more comfortable. Examples of unique questions may include:

  • If you could be an animal, what would you be and why?

  • What did you admire most about your last supervisor?

  • If you could invite three people from history to dinner, dead or alive, who would you choose?

  • What do you believe is a common misconception of you?

  • Tell me about your most recent adventure.

Related: 33 Creative Interview Questions To Ask

6. Take candidates outside the workplace

In-person job interviews typically take place in the workplace, whether in your office or a conference room. You can try to get to know your candidates and their personalities a bit better by taking them to new settings. For example, if you want to assess a candidate's interest in your organization and how they interact with your team, you may take them on an office tour. This tour offers candidates to ask questions about the things they see or people they meet. Someone who does not show much interest may demonstrate that they are not the right candidate.

You may also consider taking candidates outside the office entirely by inviting them to a meal. This technique may not work for all organizations, and you might only use it when you are down to your final selections. However, this setting can help display candidates' abilities to connect with you and have constructive conversations. Being in a restaurant setting can also help you assess their professionalism, such as their manners and whether they show consideration for others. Going outside the office can create a more casual experience that showcases candidates' personalities and whether they fit your team.

Related: Interviewing Applicants at a Restaurant: Examples and Tips

7. Try group interviews

If your new hire will work closely with particular people at your organization, you can implement panel interviews. In these interviews, several members of your team or colleagues interview the candidates. Typically, you might use these types of interviews during the later stages of the interview process with serious candidates due to the additional scheduling considerations. You can work with these colleagues to determine what types of questions they should ask candidates and how to assess their performance.

These interviews allow candidates to meet the people they may work alongside if hired. You can use these conversations to understand how the candidates interact with them and whether they can collaborate effectively. Further, your interviewers get to know their potential new colleagues and can help you assess their suitability for the role. They may have different requirements or expectations than yours, so they can offer a different perspective when making your decision.

Related: How To Conduct a Group Interview To Find the Right Employee

8. Perform background and reference checks

During the hiring process, you learn about candidates' relevant experience and background via resumes and interviews. However, you need to verify this information to make your final decision. You can conduct a background check to ensure that they have the educational and professional background they described. Often, candidates must pass this background check to be hired for the position. Depending on your organization or role, you may also have to implement additional factors, such as credit history.

You can also ask your candidates for a list of references to contact. Develop a list of questions to ask these references that can help you assess the candidates' performance and how they can fulfill this role on your team. These conversations can help reassure you about whether a candidate is the right choice for your team, and can also give you more insights into their performance as an employee.

Related: What Can Be Revealed in a Background Check?

9. Consider hiring interns

If possible, you may try to incorporate interns into your team. Internships can be formal programs or informal and either paid or unpaid. Interns work on your team for a set period, gaining hands-on professional experience. If a permanent position opens up on your team, you may consider hiring an intern full-time. You already have an established relationship and understand their skills, knowledge, personality and performance. With this information, you can evaluate them as candidates and determine whether they are the right choice for your team. This method can also help you avoid the sometimes costly or lengthy recruitment process.

Related: 7 Ways To Find Qualified Interns for Your Team

10. Notice warning signs

During the interview process, most candidates ensure that they showcase their best selves. However, you can still keep a close watch on their behaviors or other signals of their work performance. For example, consistent tardiness to interviews or poor preparedness may represent bad habits. You may also flag certain behaviors during interviews, such as speaking negatively about former employers or being vague about their prior experience. The signals can vary based on your preferences or workplace culture, but try to trust your instincts when possible. You want to avoid rushing yourself into a decision that does not feel right.

11. Ask for others' opinions

If you involve other colleagues throughout the interviewing process, use them as a resource when making your final decision. They may have different requirements or preferences regarding candidates, so they can offer another perspective or point out something you may have missed. You can potentially gain a more well-rounded view of these candidates by going through and discussing their pros and cons together. Including these colleagues in your decision can help assure you about your decision. With their input, you know that the final choice meets everyone's standards sufficiently and serves as a welcome addition to the team.

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