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How to Hire the Right Employees

James Voytek
May 27, 2021

No matter what your company goals may be, it is important to know how to hire employees effectively.

Hiring the wrong people, according to the Department of Labor, can cost your company 30 percent of that person’s annual salary. Additionally, a bad hire can impact employee engagement, morale and productivity, all of which significantly impact your bottom line.

Following a carefully crafted hiring strategy will help you stay on track with your recruitment objectives.

Why focus on hiring the right employees?

Talent shortage is a major and ongoing concern for tech companies across the world. According to a Korn Ferry report, over 85 million jobs may remain unfilled by 2030 given the growing skills gap, translating to $8.5 trillion worth of unrealized annual revenues. From analysts, developers to security professionals, talent drought is one of the top concerns for tech companies. IT skills gap persists across these areas:

  • Emerging technology including automation, IoT (Internet of Things) and AI (Artificial Intelligence)
  • Integration of platforms, apps, devices and data sources
  • Cloud apps and cloud infrastructure
  • Cybersecurity
  • Digital transformation
  • Software development
  • Data analytics and management

US labor statistics show that while over a million computer science jobs were unfilled in 2020, there are only 400,000 IT graduates a year. Skill shortages impact organizations in multiple ways in terms of reduced sales, staff productivity, deficiencies with innovation and product development.

Despite the deleterious impact of skills shortage, a survey reveals only one out of three companies have a formal recruitment process to address skills gap. The rest two-thirds either have no process in place at all or use an informal recruitment process.

Clearly, the talent war is not only real but is all set to intensify in the coming years. Taking talent initiatives and creating a proactive policy of hiring employees will help address skills gaps, expand product offerings and boost productivity and profits.

Here are some hiring tips that can help you hire the right employee:

Tips on how to hire good employees

1. Identify skills gap

The first step in hiring new employees is to identify and assess skills shortage in your company. Over 54 percent of companies admit that they find it difficult to identify and assess skill shortage in their workforce.

Simply hiring more people may not solve your skill shortage crisis. A clear idea on the status of the skills gap in your company is the starting point for proceeding with hiring the right employee.

An effective tool to identify skills gaps is a skill gap analysis that helps you understand the gap between the current skills of your employees and the ones you require. This establishes the hiring practices needed to address the gaps.

  • Discuss with your team leads, C-suite, staff level and managerial level employees across departments to find out shortage of talent at various levels.
  • Define your company’s vision and goals while reflecting on where the organization is headed, the short-term and long-term innovation, sales and expansion plans. Examine what areas of your business lacks resources or knowledge and what jobs have to be filled to achieve your objectives.
  • You will also need to consider the work trends of the future to develop effective hiring practices. For instance, deliberate on which jobs are to become automated, which tech skills are in demand and which jobs you need to fill to future-proof your company.
  • Take an inventory of the current skills in your company – examine the key performance indicators to know how each individual contributes to growth. You can conduct surveys, skill assessments and interviews to measure the existing skills.

2. Define the role and competencies

Many companies are not aware of how to hire someone with

the right competencies. Once you find out what jobs you need to fill based on your skills gap analysis, the next step is to define the role and the core competencies associated with it. The job analysis helps you collect information on the responsibilities, duties, necessary skills, work environment and outcomes of the job you need to fill.

The information is the basis for determining the core competencies and job description for recruiting the new employee. Developing an effective job description will help

  • clarify the position and the type of candidate you want
  • define the role and responsibilities clearly for the job applicants
  • increases chances of finding the right talent for the role.

Ensure the job description contains a job title, summary, competencies, work environment and culture, performance expectations, compensation and benefits.

Adopt best practices in writing an impactful job description to stay ahead of your competitors and to attract the best talent. Do your research on the most popular keywords your ideal candidates are using to search for jobs and include them in the job description. This will help enhance your job posting’s visibility. Avoid buzzwords such as ‘rockstar’ or “wizard,” since these words are not likely to be used by candidates in their job search. Descriptive job titles such as “Full Stack Developer“ are more effective than ‘full stack wizard.”

Convey the duties, responsibilities, purpose and nature of work in the job description in a concise, engaging and clear way. List the core competencies, capabilities, skills and knowledge required for the role. Giving a detailed description allows prospective applicants to evaluate if they are the right fit for the position.

Include an accurate description of the company work culture with details on work schedule, working environment, level of responsibility, hardware and software tools, equipment, extent of interaction expected with colleagues and senior management. Detail performance expectations and highlight compensation and benefits.

3. Leverage referrals

Employee referrals, as per a CareerBuilder survey, generates the best ROI (return on investment). As your current employees know the work culture and nature of the job the best, referrals can help you find candidates that are a better fit and the right talent. You will also have access to a wider talent pool while speeding up the process of hiring. Additionally, the cost of hiring reduces while boosting employee morale.

4. Posting the job

There are numerous options and channels for posting the job ads. These include your company’s internal job boards and popular job portals such as Glassdoor and Indeed that have extensive reach. Job seekers increasingly prefer social media platforms to look for and apply for jobs. Make the best use of channels such as LinkedIn to post jobs and boost visibility of your ads.

5. Review resumes

Filter out applicants using the key core competencies and soft skills already defined in your job description. Use established criteria to shortlist candidates based on:

  • Quantitative evidence of their past achievements
  • Longevity at previous roles
  • Career progression
  • Skills and experience
  • Attention to detail (grammar, spelling, language)

Communicate with the shortlisted candidates to assess their fit before moving forward to a formal interview.

6. Structured interview

Many companies have a multi-layered detailed interview process that includes an assessment, screening interview, second and even third interviews. Having a structured approach to the interview ensures recruiters avoid unconscious bias and ask effective questions. While adopting best practices to avoid sensitive questions on age, marital status or ethnicity, ensure you include

icebreakers to put the candidate at ease

  • foundation questions to build a rapport and put the candidate at ease
  • traditional questions to get an overview of skills and experience,
  • behavioral questions
  • situational questions to assess how the candidate handles a situation relevant to the role and culture fit questions.

7. Due diligence

Now that you know how to hire employees who will contribute towards company growth and success, you will also need to know how to identify red flags. While being late for the interview, talking too much and dressing inappropriately are obvious warning signs, some red flags are not immediately visible. Doing a thorough background check including reference check will help ensure you hire the best candidate for your tech company.