Job applicants may be more abundant in today's employment market, but that doesn't mean hiring the right person has become any easier. Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International Inc. and author of Human Resources Kit For Dummies (Hungry Minds, Inc.), warns that poorly executed candidate searches and cumbersome hiring processes can undermine the recruiting process for managers.
Messmer advises firms to avoid costly hiring mistakes by being diligent. "While many applicants may appear to be an ideal fit on paper, it's important not to make snap judgments. Companies should always conduct thorough interviews and reference checks before extending employment offers."
Messmer offers these additional tips for successful hiring:
- Expand your horizons. Many of the most talented professionals may not be actively pursing new employment. To reach these candidates, list open positions with trade associations and other local business groups. Also consider using a recruiting or staffing firm; they often have access to experienced individuals who are open to new opportunities but may not be conducting a formal job search.
- Be consistent. Create a rating system to compare candidates' skills and competencies. This will help you focus on the most relevant hiring criteria and evaluate applicants fairly.
- Don't rush to judgment. Attributes such as leadership, motivation and interpersonal skills aren't often communicated through a resume. Be careful not to eliminate candidates from consideration until you've reviewed all of their qualifications. Also be sure to take notes when interviewing applicants to ensure the first person you meet is given as much consideration as the last.
- "Sell" your company. The most qualified candidates may be evaluating more than one opportunity, so be sure to describe why they would want to join your team.
- Don't delay. If you've lost potential staff to competing offers in the past, slow hiring practices may be the culprit. Moving along the process not only enhances your ability to secure the best candidates, it also improves overall productivity, allowing new employees to begin work sooner.
Robert Half International Inc. (RHI) is the world's first and largest specialized staffing firm for accounting, finance and information technology professionals. RHI has more than 325 locations throughout North America, Europe and Australia, and offers online job search services at www.rhi.com.