Best Practices for More Effective Hiring


What's the best way to ensure the success of your company? Well, it's definitely not by taking a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants approach to hiring. If you're hiring new employees based on who looks the best in a suit, who looks good on paper, or who answers canned interview questions with the most zeal, you're doing yourself and your company a disservice.

Hiring the wrong people isn't just a waste of time, it's a massive waste of money.  According to research from CareerBuilder, 41 percent of companies that made a bad hire estimate their losses to be at least $25,000. Great companies are built by stellar employees, and that begins with the hiring process.  That being said, here are just four best practices that you can implement for more effective hiring.

Understand and Document Your Goals

One of the first hiring mistakes that many companies make is that they don't have a clear idea of what they want.  If you can't clearly describe the position, it's requirements, and your company's goals, how can you expect to find the right fit?  Sit down and make a list of the job requirements, a corresponding list of required job skills, and your expectations.  Also, write a clear and concise job description that incorporates your company's goals and mission.

Keep Proper Records and Know Your Obligations

In today's environment, there's really no excuse for not keeping proper employment records or having tight hiring controls in place.  When you hire someone to work in the United States, you'll need to verify identity and authorization to work with an ID check.   You can verify both with a valid U.S. Passport, a foreign passport with I-551 stamp, a permanent resident card, or an employment authorization card.  There are other approved means in which you can verify either identity or employment authorization.

Failure to do these simple steps could be costly.  In June, the Department of Justice increased the penalty for hiring and employing illegal immigrants.  The new rule sets minimum fines of $539 and maximums of $4,313, with violators of multiple charges facing fines up to $21,563.

Use Competency-Based Interviewing

Did you know that your interviewing methods play a major factor in your hiring success?  Most job candidates are well-versed and prepared for the standard interview questions.  These have not been found to be the best indicators or predictors of future on-the-job performance or behavior.  Competency-based interviewing, however, has been shown to better demonstrate skills and behaviors not illustrated on a resume.

In a competency-based interview, the candidate is asked to provide examples from past work and life experience that demonstrates their knowledge and skills.  This behavioral interviewing technique allows a candidate to clearly show that they have a grasp of the core competencies identified for the particular position.

Leverage Social Media and Other Online Resources

When a candidate presents to you for a position, they are clearly putting on their best performance and making an effort to tell you what you want to hear.  The goal is to not only find a candidate whose skills match the position, but also whose personality matches the organization.  One way to delve into this a bit deeper is to scan online for social media profiles and other telling information. 

While we all might have an embarrassing photo or two on the net that we would rather disappear forever, the goal isn't to humiliate candidates.  Rather, online searches can give further insight into the candidate's interests and communication skills.  They can also route out inconsistencies in what was reported on a resume or in an interview.  In some cases, you may find material suggesting that the candidate would not be a fit with your culture, or worse, could end up being a liability risk.

Successful hiring is a learned skill that requires a systematic approach to both interviewing and job applicant screening.  When you combine a thorough interview process with some clear validation procedures, you have a much better chance of filling your open positions with the right candidates.


Boris Dzhingarov is a freelance branding & marketing consultant, advising companies and businesses on all aspects of internet marketing, SEO, web design, graphic design, and PPC (pay Per Click). He is the founder of , , , and

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