Many businesses are having a tough time finding the right people to fill open positions within their companies, but with some best practices in mind, finding the best people doesn't have to be an impossibility. Here are some hiring tips to consider.

1. Know Exactly What You're Looking For

Before you post a job description, or certainly before you hire a new worker, make sure you understand the position yourself. Know exactly what you need from a candidate so that you can be as specific as possible when communicating those needs. Leave room for flexibility, but if a candidate knows what you're looking for, they'll have a better idea if the job is really for them or if they should look elsewhere rather than waste your time and theirs.

2. Have a Solid Recruiting Strategy in Place

Don't just post on job boards and see what happens. Take time to develop a meaningful recruiting strategy.

"With the job description in hand, set up a recruiting planning meeting that involves the key employees who are hiring the new employee," suggests Susan Heathfield at The Balance Careers.1 "The hiring manager is crucial to the planning. At this meeting, your recruiting strategy is planned, and the execution begins. Teams that have worked together frequently in hiring an employee can often complete this step via email."

3. Be Creative with Interviews

When it comes time for the interview, don't just stick to the basics. Sure, it's a good idea to have a checklist for yourself to make sure a candidate meets certain criteria, but you can learn more about a person with the right questions. Consider adding a few unconventional questions that they probably aren't expecting. This is a good way to honest answers and get a glimpse of how they might handle a curveball.

4. Offer a Competitive Wage

Probably the best way to attract top-tier talent is to provide a top-tier wage, along with attractive benefits and perks. This isn't the be-all, end-all factor in hiring, but if a candidate knows they can make more working for a different company, it's going to be hard to lure them using other means. If you can afford it, be willing to pay for a candidate you are highly confident about, particularly in a harder-to-fill position.

5. Utilize Background Checks

You don’t want to find out about problems with your applicant’s past after you’ve already hired them. Background checks can help weed out problematic hires, but it's important that you're fair and transparent in how you implement them. Be consistent in your process and be upfront that you use background checks in your hiring process. Ensure you are compliant with any related laws and use a recognized company for the background checks. To ensure you are being fair, allow candidates to offer explanations if you discover troubling issues.

6. Make Sure Applicants Really Understand the Position

Far too often, people are hired for job duties they don't fully grasp. It's one thing if training is needed, but sometimes there is simply a miscommunication about what is expected. Ensure the job description is as clear as possible and get specific during the hiring process so that when a candidate comes in on the first day, they have a good understanding of what they will be doing.

7. Match Personality to Position

Don't be afraid to factor in a candidate's personality. Even if the qualifications are there, they may not be the right person for the job.

"Although the right skill set may seem like the most important factor in whether a candidate is a good fit, the truth is that skills can be acquired, but personalities cannot," says Sammi Caramela at Business News Daily.2 "During the selection process, consider how a candidate's personality traits align with the daily job tasks. For instance, a trait such as empathy would likely be much more important for a nurse or a social worker than it would be for a tax attorney or a computer programmer."

8. Utilize Meaningful References

When a candidate gives you references on their application, figure out which ones are likely to be more meaningful. For example, if one is from a former manager, that might carry more weight than someone who is just a friend. Also, as you look to hire, ask around the office to see if any of your employees know of good candidates for certain positions. They might be valuable resources. 

Hiring the wrong people can be costly, so businesses need to be thoughtful in their approach. Know what you need and do your best to ensure candidates know what to expect, and you can find the right people for the spots you have open.



The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank. Nevada State Bank is a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Member FDIC