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12 Hiring Process Hacks to Acquire Top Candidates

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Want to cut time, save money, and make sure you’re taking the best steps possible to get your dream candidates? Follow our 12 hiring process hacks…

Use a recruitment company.

Time is of the essence in your bid to hire a top candidate to fill the available role. Play to your strengths by using your time, resources, and expertise to select the best individual. However, outsource the sourcing of candidates to a company that specialises in this activity, such as Few & Far. The time and admin savings often balance out the costs of hiring support. Some companies charge on a ‘per-hire-basis’ meaning you only pay them if they do provide you with the perfect talent. Even then, you only have to pay after they pass probation. 

Ask for references, portfolios, and work samples upfront.

Why wait until you get to the interview stage to see examples of the candidates work? You can narrow down your list of applicants just by looking at what they’ve done in the past. Get the key stakeholders and department leaders to browse these samples and pick out the key candidates for another level of filtering. Alternatively…

Give your candidate a task to do.

If you’re hiring a growth hacker, give them a made-up scenario and ask how they’d deal with it. If you’re hiring for customer support, give them some historical support tickets and ask them to come up with responses. For whatever position you’re looking to hire, you can go beyond their past experience. Furthermore, test their current abilities, especially quick-thinking and creativity.

Include a ‘must-have’ checklist in your job advert.

Having non-negotiable qualities will go a long way towards ensuring that only qualified candidates apply for your position. This is a great hack because it saves you time in filtering out applicants who aren’t up to the task. Your company culture is important and shouldn’t be compromised. Therefore, these must-have qualities can be used to help find like minded individuals who will seamlessly fit into your company. This approach will in-turn increase staff happiness and reduce employee turnover, making your hiring process results more efficient over time. 

Explain the training and education process during the hiring stage.

Nobody wants to turn up on their first day not knowing what they will be doing as they settle in. You can develop a training strategy, development goals, milestones, personal feedback sessions and more to help them get acquainted with their new role. 

Remember that the perfect candidate doesn’t really exist.

Perfect is a concept, and you should not be looking for perfect. It’s a level of expectation that will cause you to fail to see the quality, talented individuals that have applied. Take each applicant at face value and see how closely they align with the desirable qualities from the job description.

For a highly-specialised job, run a targeted hiring campaign.

Points 7 and 8 on this list offer the opposite advice, and for good reason. If you’re hiring for a niche job in a niche industry, the amount of people who could potentially fill that job is going to be very small. You might even need to headhunt from a competitor to find someone capable of doing the job to a high standard. Because your campaign is so small and targeted, you want to run a specialised campaign, perhaps even to a list of names that you can manually procure.

For a more general job, get the word out there!

For a more general job with a wide range of potential candidates, the more places you post the job advert, the better. LinkedIn, Reed, Indeed, on your social media, internally to your existing employees (with a referral scheme ideally) and even in local print media. Don’t miss out on great talent because you haven’t got the time to think big.

Show flexibility to the candidate.

Many hiring companies are guilty of having a fixed time and date for their interviews. This isn’t going to work for some candidates who have other commitments. This may mean that the most suitable person for the job does not show up for the interview. Offer the candidates a selection of time slots throughout the week and let them choose which one works for them. Your candidates might not have any sick days or holidays left and are concerned about the cost of coming for an interview, so show even greater flexibility by offering Skype interviews as a backup. Alternatively, arrange an interview out of hours in a non-work setting and remove that corporate barrier to help candidates feel natural and comfortable. 

Meet the team.

Don’t forget that your new hire is going to spend around 40 hours a week potentially with their teammates, so it is a very helpful exercise for them to meet potential members of their team during the hiring process. Whilst this can lead to false hope, what it does do is give the candidate an inclination for what the team is like. Do they socialise together after work, are they raising young families, do they work cooperatively or is the atmosphere quiet and hostile? Professionals often spend more time with colleagues than with loved ones, so this is very important. It might help to do this in a later stage of the hiring process rather than with every initial candidate.

Keep job titles simple.

When someone is searching for a job, they’re going to search for it in the simplest of terms. A Marketing Manager wouldn’t search for ‘Digital Growth Guru’ or ‘Marketing Ninja Extraordinaire’, so why advertise the role as such? It’s fine if your company culture likes to call people gurus and rockstars internally, but for job listings, it doesn’t get spread awareness for the position, and might even put off some quality candidates. 

Short emails have high response rates.

When communicating with potential candidates, don’t overwhelm them with lengthy and complicated emails – you might lose them in the process. Being overly bureaucratic is a turnoff for many candidates, who would rather receive concise and actionable information during their job hunt. Also, keeping things short, sweet, and to the point makes a time savings for you, whilst increasing the curiosity of the candidate. 

Good luck out there!

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