With increased competition for candidates, the most promising hires are getting snapped up quickly. Use the following tips to hone your hiring skills and find the help you need:
Define your needs. Start by crafting a job description to help you clarify the role and pinpoint the qualifications a candidate will need to succeed. Include the following:
- Required skills, experience, degrees and certifications
- Preferred skills, experience, degrees and certifications
- Reporting structure, including supervisors and direct reports
- Performance goals and success measurements
Choose the right hiring tools. Today’s companies can tap more tools than ever to help with hiring. The trick is to choose the right ones for the position you need to fill.
- Social media platforms. Social channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can help you quickly spread the word about open positions and connect to qualified candidates. LinkedIn even allows members to upload and share their resumes via its website.
- Job boards. Posting open positions on web-based job boards such as Indeed.com will help you reach a broad audience of job seekers. You can also use targeted job boards to narrow your search. For example, the National Restaurant Association runs an industry job board, and job boards such as CareerVitals.com and HealthECareers.com aggregate open positions in the healthcare field. There are also geographically-focused job boards like the one run by the New York State Department of Labor to help you target job seekers in a particular region.
- Recruiters. Working with a professional recruiter may make sense if you need to fill a specialized position outside of your area of expertise or a position for which there is a lot of competition. Recruiters can also be helpful when it’s important to be discrete about your hire.
Run accurate calculations. The true cost of adding employees goes beyond salary and benefits. Your company will also need to pay for employee taxes, technology, furniture, supplies, and other overhead. Weigh these expenses against the value your hires will bring to your company. How much new work can they help you manage? What is the value of the expanded products and services they will help your company offer?
Organize the interview process. To learn the most about prospective hires, share interview questions with your internal team so each person explores a different topic with candidates. For example, one interviewer could explore preferred work styles and interpersonal skills, while another could ask about past work experience and technical know-how.
Avoid legal hot water. Employers need to avoid potential missteps when hiring. Review your job descriptions, application forms and interview questions to ensure they don’t violate the following laws:
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This act prohibits discriminating against job applicants and employees with a disability.
- Civil Rights Act. This act makes it illegal for businesses to consider race, color, religion, gender, and national origin when making employment-related decisions.
- Immigration Reform and Control Act. Under this act, employers may hire only persons who can legally work in the United States.
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act. This act prohibits discrimination against employees and applicants age 40 and older.
Consider promoting from within. Ask yourself if you have a team member who is ready to fill the new role or one who could fill it with additional training. Promoting employees builds loyalty and job satisfaction, and the knowledge they already have about your company can boost productivity and work quality. Keep in mind that it’s never a good idea to promote someone just to keep them happy. If they’re not a good fit for the new role, help them understand why you need to make an outside hire. Crafting a detailed job description will help by making it easier to compare internal and external candidates. Determine if you need a full-time employee, a temporary employee, or an independent contractor. If you need to hire for additional support but not full-time or permanent work, supplementing your team with temporary employees and/or independent contractors may be a solution. While they often charge more per job or per hour than the amount you pay employees, they are paid only during the period of time that they work and often do not receive benefits. Make sure your relationship with contractors is structured in a way that is acceptable to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS has strict rules about what constitutes an employee, including who dictates how work is completed, where and when the work is done, and whose equipment is used. If the IRS suspects you are classifying workers incorrectly, this might spark an audit or other liability.
Craft a detailed offer letter. After you conduct background checks and make a verbal offer to a candidate, email or mail a formal offer letter that outlines the position details. The goal is to give the candidate enough information to make an informed decision while clearly stating the commitments your business is making. Details should include, as applicable:
- Annual salary
- Performance bonuses and how they will be determined
- Available stock options
- Healthcare, retirement and other benefits
- Anticipated work hours
- Paid company holidays, vacation time and sick leave
- Policy for unpaid time off
- Reimbursement policies for travel, phone and other expenses
- Expected start date
- Offer expiration date
- Option to accept or decline the offer