If you can’t spend too much time or effort on hiring smart, the alternative is to manage tough, which is much more time consuming

Gary Rogers, Chairman and CEO Dryer’s Grand Ice Cream.

For many of us, this is sound advice. Hiring the right talent will always serve our businesses better in both the short and long term.

Today, talent has become far more important than physical assets or R&D. Organisations must now attract energetic, motivated, tech-savvy, globally astute individuals.

People who not only have the skills and capabilities required for any given role, but more importantly the values and attitude that both reflect the company culture and make doing business an enjoyable experience for all stakeholders and at every interaction.

In the war for talent, companies today cannot afford to make mistakes when it comes to selecting and managing talent. The cost of a bad hire can be staggering. From conducting the recruitment process, training the inductee, familiarising them with your business, reduced productivity, unhappy customers and lost business opportunities, the costs can amount to thousands and thousands of dollars lost.

On the other hand, if you attract and select well from the get-go, there is a much higher chance that you will not only retain the employee for a longer period of time but that they will add the greatest value just where your business needs it. After all, isn’t that why you’re spending time and money hiring in the first place?

Top 7 tips for hiring the best talent

Here are some tried and tested strategies that we’ve discovered, that just might help you too:

  1. Recruit through networks. Ask your managers and employees to provide referrals of star performers they know. Incentivise by paying them handsomely for any referrals that ultimately get hired. If you are tech-fluent, you may use technology to your advantage. Hire through social media – LinkedIn groups and networks. Ask for recommendations of capable people from your existing connections. This is a faster, cheaper and more reliable method than recruiting through recruitment agencies or by running ads.
  1. Make expectations and goals of the company clear.  Make the job description as clear and detailed as possible so that the candidate knows what is expected of the role. It’s also a good idea to explain the company culture in the first interview. By doing so, the candidate can get an idea of whether he or she is a good fit for your company’s working environment before deciding to progress further. Again, being up front with this information early on can save everyone’s time and money in the long run. 
  1. Conduct initial interviews via phone.This is the fastest and most efficient way to scrutinise the first level of prospective hires. Ask probing questions; not only will it help you to draw out more information from a candidate it will also help you to identify any gaps between what their resume says and what the candidate is in fact able to demonstrate. Remember, there are many professional resume writing agencies out there that earn their daily bread out of crafting resumes!
  1. Conduct a few short interviews: Don’t be in hurry to hire the first candidate that walks in the room. If your focus is to hire a person quickly, you might be rushed which can lead to regrets (not to mention work and cost). Concentrate on getting to know a candidate well before hiring them. Conduct 3-4 short interviews with them. This will not only help you build rapport but also help you connect the dots in case you missed important information earlier.
  1. Conduct team interviews.Two or three are always better than one when it comes to conducting interviews. Your colleague(s) might pick up on something that you overlooked or didn’t think important enough. While one partner is asking questions, the other can focus on the attitude and body language of the candidate. Later, you can compare notes and analyse the candidate in a more logical and rational manner.
  1. Conduct reference calls.It’s an important step that you might regret missing. Ask the candidate to provide you no less than three contacts and their phone numbers/emails. You will be surprised by the amount of insight you will gain by talking to a previous manager or mentor.
  1. Emphasise on conducting structured interviews: Lastly, take care that the hiring decision is free from the influence of any personal bias. Hire not only for the right skills but for the right attitude as well. Ensure the people conducting the interviews have the right training and experience to conduct structured interviews. Structured interviews should identify skill level, knowledge and the required behaviours according to the job requirements.

How do you select top talent in your company? 

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