Hiring and Recruiting Great Employees: The Ultimate Guide

I was part of a college Co-op program that required students to take a semester off from classes and work a full-time position at a company in which we were hired. When I started applying to Co-op jobs, I noticed how much the recruiting and hiring processes varies between companies.

Some companies recruited us directly from LinkedIn or our school’s networking site. Others required us to find and read detailed job descriptions, ensure our experiences met all listed requirements, and submit a long job application and cover letter.

After college, while searching for both my first and second jobs, I found myself in the same recruiting and hiring situations with the businesses I was interested in working for — each company had unique procedures they followed when filling open positions.

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As a business, it’s expected you’ll have some of your own processes for recruiting and hiring candidates. Every company has different needs, timelines, expectations, and resources when it comes to bringing on new employees. But there are also some general tips and tricks practically any company can apply to find ideal candidates.

In this guide, we’ll cover those tips, why it’s important to incorporate diversity and inclusion in your hunt for the right candidates, and other factors to keep in mind when recruiting and hiring. But first, let’s talk about the differences between recruiting and hiring.

Both the acts of recruiting and hiring also include reaching out to a chosen candidate to offer them a job.

Now that we’ve reviewed the definitions of recruiting and hiring, let’s cover those tips we mentioned will help you find the right candidates for your business.

The following five tips are universal, making them applicable to almost every type of recruiting and hiring situation at any company. However, feel free to modify these tips to meet your specific needs and goals.

1. Use employer branding.

One of the first things you’ll want to do when you begin developing your company’s approach to recruiting and hiring is to use employer branding. Employer branding is how you market your company to all candidates and job seekers. The way you do this impacts your ability to attract the best prospects and make them want to join your team.

To leverage employer branding in your recruiting and hiring processes, first determine what makes your business unique. Some examples might include your company’s:

  • Benefits
  • Career development opportunities
  • Competitive salaries
  • Workplace perks
  • Workplace culture

Once you’ve identified these things, you should list them in the following locations: 

  • Your website
  • Your job descriptions
  • Your initial recruiting messages
  • The job search websites in which you post your openings

2. Write enticing and inclusive job descriptions.

Whether you’re recruiting or hiring, you’ll need to write enticing job descriptions to attract a wide pool of impressive candidates (even candidates who are recruited are often still required to complete an application prior to an interview). Professional job descriptions that represent your brand and highlight why working for your company is so appealing will make your applicants excited about the prospect of joining your team.

Additionally, inclusive job descriptions will help you attract a diverse group of candidates. You want a diverse pool of candidates because it’s proven companies that place emphasis on diversity while expanding their teams are 35% more likely to have financial returns above the industry median — and who wouldn’t want that? Also, 67% of job seekers today say they look for a diverse workplace when searching for a new job.

Here are some ways to ensure you’re writing enticing and inclusive job descriptions that will appeal to qualified and unique candidates:

  • Introduce your company with your employer branding and company profile information (which describes how your company started and why you create and sell the products you do).
    • This can include details about your company’s culture and corporate image if you choose.
  • Clearly list all necessary position skills and requirements you have for your applicants. This will help you vet candidates. However, be sure they’re only the 100% necessary skills and requirements to broaden and diversify your pool of applicants.
    • Keep your “must have” requirements and leave out the “nice to have” requirements. These have the potential to make a candidate feel as though they don’t meet all of your requirements and deter them from applying at all.
  • Include diverse language and inclusive company information in your job descriptions. Remove any unnecessary corporate language, abbreviations, and less common industry terminology such as PIPs, XML sitemaps, or KPIs. Also, mention specific company benefits regarding things like maternity and paternity leave and your workplace diversity initiatives.
    • Include a statement in your job descriptions explaining your focus on and commitment to diversity and inclusion.
    • Take advantage of tools such as Gender Decoder and Textio which help you diversify the language in your job descriptions (or anywhere on your website for that matter).

3. Advertise your job opening.

Next, you’ll want to advertise your job opening so you can begin reviewing applications and interviewing candidates. This process might look slightly different depending on whether you’re recruiting or hiring for a position. 

Here are some examples of ways you might share your job opening with candidates you’re looking to recruit

  • Reach out to the candidate directly via LinkedIn or another job search website.
  • Recruit soon-to-be graduates from a college campus. For example, your company may host a networking event to meet and interview students on campus.
  • Connect with employee referrals. For example, your company might have an employee referral program in which they can introduce you to people they believe would be a great fit for a specific opportunity.

Here are a couple of ways you might advertise your opening if you’re hiring a candidate.

  • Use a job search website (or a few) to share your opportunity and job description. Some of the most popular sites include:
  • Advertise your opportunity on your company’s social media accounts. You can also add a link to your careers page and/or specific job description to your bio.

4. Prepare for your interviews.

Job seekers aren’t the only people who should prepare for interviews — as their potential employer, you should too. This will streamline your interview process, ensure all applicants are given an equal opportunity to “wow” you during an interview, and make sure your interview feels professional and thoughtful.

Here are some ways you can do this:

5. Measure your hiring success.

It’s safe to assume all businesses want their company’s processes and strategies to work well — this includes recruiting and hiring efforts, too.

So, to make sure your recruiting and hiring procedures are successful, you’ll want to analyze the outcome of your efforts. This will allow you to determine whether or not you’re making the right decisions for your company, employees, and new hires on a consistent basis.

Here are some ways you can do this:

  • Check-in with the managers and coworkers of your new hire to ensure that person is meeting all expectations.
  • Check-in with your new hire to ensure they’re happy with their position and feel prepared to be successful in their role.
  • Make sure your company has frequent performance reviews for all employees so you can review their work and level of impact on the business since being recruited and hired.
  • Ask your current employees about what they feel could be improved in terms of recruiting and hiring — whether that be adding more diversity, changing the interview process in some way, or updating the format of, or details in, your job descriptions.
  • Perform an analysis of employee recommendations and referrals to see how successful those candidates are vs. the new candidates you hire. This will give you insight into how valuable your employee referrals are and how well your current employees know who’d be a good fit at your company.

Now that we’ve reviewed the five major tips you should follow when recruiting and hiring, let’s cover some important details about why you should promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

Did you know 57% of businesses today say they currently have diversity strategies for hiring and recruiting in place? You might be wondering why that’s the case. Simply put — diverse and inclusive workplaces have repetitively been proven to be more successful and bring in at least 19% more revenue. Not to mention, it’s a great idea to build workforce that represents the world we live in.

Before we dive into more reasons why diversity and inclusion (D&I) are critical considerations when recruiting and hiring, let’s review what the phrase diversity and inclusion in the workplace means.

What is diversity and inclusion at work?

A diverse and inclusive workplace is one that reflects the makeup of society. It’s a work environment that accepts and understands people of different inherent and acquired backgrounds — which we’ll define momentarily — and sees the value of incorporating these factors every day.

Inherent Diversity vs. Acquired Diversity

Inherent diversity is defined by your demographic characteristics such as age, ethnicity, and sex. Acquired diversity is defined by the traits you develop over time and through experiences such as education, skills, and values. Both of these factors are major components of a diverse and inclusive work environment.

Why is D&I critical when hiring and recruiting?

Diversity and inclusion are critical considerations when hiring and recruiting. Incorporating D&I in your plans to expand your company allows for greater business growth. In fact, it has been proven to increase earnings and improve returns on equity and product development. It also helps you attract and retain employees as well as foster a positive work environment.

Benefits of diversity and inclusion in the workplace

There are a number of ways recruiting and hiring for a diverse and inclusive work environment will benefit your company. We’ve put together this list of seven of the most common reasons for this below.

Workplace D&I …

1. Allows for more innovation.

2. Promotes better performance and ideation.

3. Helps you become a leader in your industry.

4. Improves your culture and appeals to a wider range of talent.

5. Enhances your customer service and support.

6. Promotes creativity and the implementation of new processes.

7. Improves employee engagement.

How to Support D&I in Your Hiring and Recruiting Processes

You understand the benefits of incorporating diversity and inclusion in your hiring and recruiting efforts. But how should you go about supporting these processes within your company? How do you start becoming a diverse and inclusive workplace?

Here are some ways to do just that:

  • Write inclusive job descriptions and incorporate diverse language, as mentioned earlier.
  • Include a diversity and inclusion page on your website.
    • This way, your candidates can review all of your efforts and goals regarding diversity and inclusion on their own.
  • Be sure to interview a wide range of candidates for each job opening you have.
    • Don’t just stick to one specific mold when it comes to your candidate type (even if you think it’ll be the right one in the end).
  • Be aware of unconscious bias when recruiting, hiring, interviewing, and offering a candidate a position at your company.
  • Continue to focus on D&I after you hire candidates. This will allow you to maintain a diverse and inclusive work environment and prepare all employees (whether or not they’re in HR) for any interviews they may conduct in the future.
    • You can also host D&I events, create D&I workplace support groups, and consistently ask for employee feedback regarding the topic.

Five Recruiting and Hiring Factors to Consider

Now that we’ve reviewed recruiting and hiring tips as well as why promoting diversity and inclusion is critical to your business’ success, let’s cover five factors related to recruiting and hiring that are important to consider and often overlooked. This will help you prepare for any situation that comes your way while looking for candidates.

1. Your Company’s Current Recruiting and Hiring Policies

If you work for an established company, there might already be recruiting and hiring policies in place, Be aware of these when interviewing and searching for the right person to fill a job opening. These may include procedures for managing a job opening, how to handle employee referrals, or how to interview. Additionally, if you’re working with hiring managers to fill a role at your company, they should have all the necessary knowledge regarding your recruiting and hiring procedures.

However, if you’re at a startup or smaller company, you might want to work with someone who has a background in HR to put some of these recruiting and hiring policies and procedures in place. This way, you’ll be sure to give all candidates equal opportunity, organize your recruiting and hiring processes for all future job openings (and any HR leaders who join your team), and ensure professional interactions among hiring managers, employees, and candidates.

2. The Size of Your Business and Your Available Resources

Depending on the size of your business, you might have different needs and available resources when it comes to recruiting and hiring. For example, if you’re a startup, you’ll likely have different candidate needs than a company looking to hire their 900th employee — maybe you prefer a highly versatile type of candidate versus someone specialized in a specific task.

Additionally, you might have a different level of available resources depending on your company size. If you’re a newer company, you may not have the same budget as the company searching for their 900th employee. Therefore, you might stick to posting your job descriptions on job search sites and using other inexpensive recruiting and hiring tactics you’re interested in trying.

If you do have the resources, you could potentially bring on a hiring consultant, professional recruiter, or expand your HR department and organize it into specialities such as marketing hiring managers and sales hiring managers.

3. Any Changes in the Job Market

Another consideration you should take into account whenever you’re recruiting or hiring for any position is the ever-changing job market. The job market has the potential to impact your search for the right candidate — it might cause your search to be a long and difficult process or make your search quick and easy.

That’s because the job market — which is largely based on the economy — fluctuates in terms of the number of job seekers and the demand for labor. Other factors which consistently impact the job market include industry and the need for a certain level of education. Being prepared for changes in the job market is always a good idea so you’re ready for any scenario if and when a position at your company becomes available.

Here are three ways you can do this:

  • Keep an eye on job listings in your industry and at companies similar to yours.
  • Update your website’s job listings regularly and ensure your company is active on LinkedIn and other job search and review sites.
  • Stay up to speed on popular degrees, trends, and fields of study.

4. The Possibility of Salary Negotiations With New Hires

Part of the recruiting and hiring processes includes extending a job offer. This means you might also be dealing with salary negotiations. As of 2019, 55% of people questioned in a survey said they tried negotiating their salary upon receiving their offer. So, be prepared and put a plan in place for the way you (and your fellow employees and/or HR team) will manage salary negotiations.

5. Any Candidates Who May Choose to Drop Out

Just because you’re the one interviewing candidates and extending the job offers doesn’t mean your favorite candidates will also choose you in return. Whether it’s during the first round of interviews or once you offer someone a job, you could potentially find yourself in a situation where your top candidate has decided to drop out of the running or deny your offer.

By simply being prepared for all outcomes and leaving the other qualified candidates in the mix until you have ensured your top candidate has officially accepted your offer, you’ll avoid having to start over again with an entirely new pool of candidates.

Start Recruiting and Hiring

By fine-tuning your business’ recruiting and hiring processes, you’ll be able to find ideal candidates to fill the open positions at your company. So, follow the tips mentioned above and consider the benefits of diversity and inclusion when establishing the procedures you implement at your company. By doing this, you’ll expand your team and pool of talent, and propel your business towards success both financially and in terms of workplace culture. 

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