Securing the right employees today is more important than ever. No company wants to hire candidates that turn out not to be a good fit for the company, losing the organization time and money.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average cost of a bad hire is around 30% percent of the employee’s first-year earnings. So if you hire a bad candidate and give them a $60,000 salary, they’ll probably cost your company $12,000.
To avoid mishires and ensure that you hire the best possible candidates, you’ll need to look into some of the best hiring practices from across industries. So we compiled a list of 13 best hiring practices that’ll help you win the war for talent.
13 best hiring practices
The following 13 best hiring practices will help you get the best possible talent from the current employee talent pools.
1. Write the ‘right’ job description
When thinking about a job opening, focus on the specific functions the candidate will do. Now, write down all the necessary skills the person needs to do the job. Then, add specific value sets and behavioral traits the candidate needs and you’ll have the right job description.
Writing the right job description is about properly describing the skills, attitudes and behaviors the person will need to have in order to fit in the company. You can put in the good-to-have skills but understand they’re not a necessity for the person to do the job.
2. Be realistic
If you need to lift a couch to the second floor, you don’t actually need Superman for the job – you could simply have two strong guys do it.
Realizing that you don’t need “Superman” for every single position in your organization will give you a more realistic approach toward hiring. Realistic doesn’t mean that you need to lower your standards, but that you need to match the job requirements with the candidate’s skills.
3. Get fewer applications
One of the most famous job ads was the following:
“Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in event of success.”
This was the job ad Ernest Shackleton published in the paper to get people for his Trans-Antarctic expedition in 1914. Publishing this job ad meant that Shackleton would definitely get fewer applications.
But he wanted applications from the right type of people – those who didn’t mind harsh conditions and those that wanted recognition more than they wanted the comfort of warm beds.
When publishing your job ads, remember to write them so you attract the right type of people, not the largest volume of applications.
4. Remember you’re hiring humans
When hiring candidates, it’s important to remember that you’re actually talking, communicating and interacting with other human beings. So all “human” rules apply:
- Be respectful
- Be considerate of other people’s time, and
- Treat others the way that you want to be treated.
Communicate often with your candidates and keep them informed about the process. If for some reason they’re not right for the job, don’t let them guess what happened with their application. Tell them why they weren’t selected.
If you treat your candidates as human beings, they will come back to the hiring process with an improved skill set and apply again.
5. Keep the process as short as possible … but not shorter than that
Did you know that it takes between 35 and 45 days to fill a position? So when hiring a candidate, make sure you properly assess them to help guarantee you’re hiring the right candidate.
The shorter the hiring process, the more satisfied the candidate will be and the faster they will start contributing to your company’s bottom line. Try to keep the hiring process as short as possible. But don’t ignore the fundamental assessments in the hiring process because of speed – you still want to spend enough time to ensure that you properly vetted the candidate.
6. Don’t reinvent the wheel
When hiring candidates, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Simply look at what’s working in other companies and industries, and see how it can be used in your own hiring process.
If a structured interview works in one company, find out why it works and see how you can adapt that process to your recruitment. The same applies to other elements of hiring processes such as pre-employment tests, group assessments, etc.
7. Onboard like your life depends on it
The hiring process doesn’t end when you “hire” the candidate. It ends when you complete the onboarding process. The first 90 days are essential when hiring a new employee.
They need to feel welcome in the company, and you need to do everything you can to integrate the new employee into the organization. On top of work integration and showing them what they’ll be working on, it’s important you also find ways to socially integrate your new employees.
8. Hire for attitude first
When hiring candidates, it’s important that you hire for attitude first. Hard, technical skills can be taught, but training for attitude is almost impossible. That’s why companies look into the character and personality of candidates, wanting to see drive, ambition and purpose in their employees.
So when hiring candidates, look at their attitude first and then look at their technical skills.
9. Culture beats strategy for breakfast
This best practice connects to hiring for attitude first. Culture eats strategy for breakfast is an old, but true adage from one of the biggest management minds, Peter Drucker.
When hiring candidates, you should look into their value system and see how they will contribute to your company culture.
A lot of hiring managers think hiring for culture means you need to hire people who are the same as other employees in the organization. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
You want to hire people who have the same value set as your organization, but that doesn’t mean they think the same way or have the same background. Honesty, integrity and courage are values people from all across the globe can have. So when hiring for culture, look for values in your candidates and make sure they match.
10. What got you here, won’t get you there
What worked for a small company with only a handful of employees might not work for the same company that grew to more than 150 people. Over time, companies will have to adapt their hiring practices so they ensure they’re getting quality people, no matter their size or industry.
Just because something always worked, doesn’t mean it will continue working in the future.
11. Do background checks
When hiring candidates, you should still do background and reference checks. Some companies have included social media checks as well, going over the public profiles of their candidates to see their attitudes and behavior.
Background checks will help you properly assess candidates by talking to their previous peers, managers and subordinates. Having a great resume or great impression on an interview doesn’t mean the candidate really is like that when they start working in the company.
So make sure that you do your background and reference checks.
12. Good processes don’t always have a good outcome – trust the process
A process-result matrix is a two-by-two box that has outcomes on its X-axis and processes on its Y-axis. This creates four separate boxes:
- Box 1. This box is a bad outcome and a bad process. If your hiring process is in this box, you will need to revamp it to start getting better results.
- Box 2. This box is a good outcome and a bad process. This box is the “lucky” box, which means that your hiring process isn’t created to find the best possible candidates, but that you simply had good luck when hiring candidates and managed to hire a great employee by accident. You should work on your hiring process and change it.
- Box 3. This box is a bad outcome and a good process. This is the most important box since you have a good hiring process, but this time it didn’t yield the right results. However, you shouldn’t change your hiring process because you didn’t get the right results this time. Trust the process and repeat the process and you will get good results. A process isn’t a rule, but a principle. A rule is 2+2=4 every time. A principle is 2+2=4 … over time and with enough repetitions.
- Box 4. This is a good process and a good outcome box. This is where every company wants to be since it proves their hiring process works well and they get great employees.
13. Don’t post phantom jobs
The last hiring tip is not to post phantom jobs. A phantom job is a nonexistent job, where the company posts an opening only to collect resumes and CVs from their candidates.
Candidates won’t like this and they’ll talk to other people about this. On average more than 25% of a company’s market value is directly attributable to its reputation, according to a study by the World Economic Forum. So make sure you have a good reputation across talent pools.
Hire the best candidates
When you include the above-mentioned best hiring practices, you’ll consistently hire great candidates.
And if you’re struggling to understand today’s generation of employees, check out 8 practices that turn off today’s job candidates.