Hiring successfully is as much about defining what you are looking for as it is getting people to apply. As obvious as it sounds, knowing exactly what you’re looking for in an employee is essential to finding the right person; and that goes for position requirements as well as cultural fit. Unfortunately, specifically outlining what skills, experience and personal qualities a potential employee should have is something that is often overlooked, with many employers either not knowing or only having a general sense of requirements.
1) Laying out exactly, and realistically, what the position will be responsible for, and determining the related skills and education necessary for the position is a much more constructive and effective method of hiring than having a general idea of what the individual should be able to do and what skills and experience you do not want them to have. For example, if you only hire candidates with 5-10 years of experience, yet the position you’re hiring for could easily be done by someone with one to two years of experience, you will have a hard time finding someone; less experienced individuals will assume they can’t perform, and more experienced individuals will want more responsibility. Liking and needing are two different things, and the requirements you ask for in a job description and your expectations of candidates should reflect the reality of the position rather than be used to dissuade potential applicants.
2) If you want to find a candidate who fits within your corporate culture, you have to be able to identify what that culture is. Asking current employees how they view the company culture or assessing the atmosphere at work is a starting point to defining that culture. That definition, however, needs to translate into a way of identifying whether a candidate would fit within your workplace, whether it is a series of questions or defining related skills and interests.
3) Competition for top talent will increase as more jobs become available, and employers need to ensure that what they expect from and how they choose candidates is representative of the position and industry. Writing clear, detailed and realistic job descriptions and keeping a level head when interviewing and hiring will make it easier to fill your openings with qualified employees.