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2024 Hiring Strategy: 8 Ways to Find the Right Person for the Job

Your company has a job opening and you know what that means - time to implement your tried and tested hiring strategy. As always, you gather the requirements, write out the job ad, and post it online. Soon, applications come piling in, so you decide to give it a few days and go over them when the deadline has passed.

As you finish going through the applications, you realize nobody stands out. It's as if none of the people who applied meet all your requirements. Looking over the candidates again, eventually you chalk it off to the current job market and think to yourself: "close enough".

Soon, you're interviewing the best people out of the bunch despite knowing that none of them are the right fit. You need to fill the role, fast. If this sounds like you, the problem isn't the job market - it's your hiring strategy. Here's how you can revamp it and stop settling for close enough.

1) First, ask your existing employees

Sometimes, the best way to find quality employees is to let the ones you already employ know you're looking. Gathering referrals from current employees works because:

  1. The requirements are clear. While the requirements for a job and company culture may be clear to those already employed, candidates may still wonder if pursuing additional education, such as an MBA, is worth it. As they consider the potential benefits and drawbacks, they may want to ask themselves and others questions about the value of the degree, such as its return on investment and alignment with their career goals.
  2. They won't want you to hire just anybody. At the end of the day, the person you hire will become a colleague whose skills can positively or negatively impact their day-to-day. They know choosing the wrong person means they'll have to pick up the slack. That's why you can be sure they'll be selective about the people they recommend for the job.

motivate and reward your team

2) Use a skills-based approach

Are you among the 94% of hiring managers struggling to find qualified candidates? That might be because you're limiting your talent pool by using academic degrees to measure candidate skills. As a result, you're failing to attract people who have the skillset to do the job well, but don't meet the educational requirements.

Granted, degrees are a crucial requirement for certain professions. But even if you're hiring a doctor or a lawyer, a degree doesn't guarantee they'll do a good job. What does are their skills obtained through working experience.

So, if you want to avoid missing out on great employees, try shifting your focus to a skills-based hiring strategy. And if you need more convincing, research has shown skills-based hiring also results in 34% higher employee retention.

Quick tips on how to create a skills-based hiring strategy

Remove educational requirements from job ads

If a degree isn't a legal requirement, remove it from your job listing. That way, you're encouraging candidates who have the necessary skills to apply no matter their background.

Identify and list essential skills for the job

When listing essential skills, think the ones that are absolutely necessary for the first day on the job. Make sure to set them apart from the skills that can be easily learned or will be acquired through experience.

Create skills-based hiring resources

The work doesn't stop once you've identified the core skills you're hiring for. To make the switch to skills-based hiring, you'll need to rewrite your job descriptions. Move away from qualifications and requirements towards skills and responsibilities.

And don't forget to support your interviewers with training and hiring resources. Consider creating interview guides and skills-based hiring rubrics to make sure everyone's on the same page when it comes to candidate assessments.

job ad graphic

3) Send the right message on your website

When a potential candidate sees your job listing, chances are they're going to take a look at your website to get an idea of what the company is like. As a matter of fact, 46% of job seekers consider company culture an essential factor in deciding whether or not to apply.

So, by not using your website to show off your company culture, you're risking missing out on almost half of your potential candidates. But don't worry - making your company attractive to future hires is not as difficult as it seems. All you need to do is answer the two questions every job applicant has:

  1. Who are my future colleagues?
  2. What are the people at the company like?

This is where your Team page becomes your best ally. By showing candidates the people behind the company, you're also introducing them to their future teammates. What's more, the tone your team page is written in gives candidates a glimpse of what your company is like. This not only helps them decide whether to apply, but also makes it easier for them to personalize their application.

Better Proposals team page screenshot

4) Make the most out of social media

Seeing that 57% of job seekers use it in their job search, it's easy to understand why social media should be a part of your hiring strategy. Besides being another platform to post your job openings, it also helps you:

  • Engage with potential candidates
  • Encourage candidates to apply
  • Attract more quality candidates
  • Learn about your candidates' strengths, weaknesses, and goals

And while LinkedIn is the first social media platform that comes to mind when you think about recruiting, it's not the only option. Sites like Facebook and Instagram can also help you reach relevant candidates and present your company as an organization people want to be a part of.

5) Look for passive candidates

Speaking of social media, how about using it to proactively approach your perfect candidate instead of waiting for them to come to you? Even if they're not actively looking for a new job, that doesn't mean they will pass up on a better offer.

That said, persuading a passive candidate to choose your company might be a challenge. This is both because:

  • Recruiters contact great candidates regularly
  • Candidates with in-demand skills often have multiple job offers at the same time

So, before you contact a passive candidate that's perfect for your job opening, you'll have to do some research. Gather information on their expectations and current job satisfaction. Then, think about how your company can exceed those expectations.

Remember that you're not only competing with their current employer, but also other potential job offers. That's why you'll need to personalize your pitch and focus on what you can offer them, not the other way around.

job offer templates cta

6) Rethink the requirements

As someone who's seen your fair share of job applications, you already know when a candidate hasn't put much effort in. The resume is generic and you could send the cover letter to any other company without it making a difference.

We can all agree that's not the best way to look for a job, right? You expect candidates to personalize their application for the role and the company. So why would you use the same hiring strategy regardless of the role you have to fill? If you're failing to attract top candidates, the following stages of your hiring process might need a revamp.

Make the application process as simple as possible

During the application process, most employers ask for a cover letter. However, job applicants see it as a waste of time. And considering that 74% of recruiters don't actually read cover letters, can you blame them?

So, if you're not going to read the letter anyway, there's no point in asking for it. The truth is, you can leave out requirements that seem fundamental depending on who you're looking for. For example, if you're hiring a web developer, designer or writer, their portfolio is all you really need to see who stands out.

While considering required documentation, keep in mind that you're trying to attract quality candidates. Making your application process more complicated than it needs to be will do the opposite.

Offer flexibility

In 2020, a number of workers realized their jobs could be done from anywhere with an internet connection. The fact that 86% of them want to keep working remotely at least part of the time shows that there's no going back.

What's more, a study has shown that 59% of people wouldn't even consider positions that require them to work from an office. So, if you're still not advertising flexible location, you're looking for the perfect fit in a pool of only 41% of candidates.

That said, some jobs just can't be done without being physically present. If that's the kind of role you're hiring for, there's another way to widen your talent pool. With 77% of workers citing flexible hours as one of the main work perks, adapting to those expectations is worth at least considering.

happy worker graphic

7) Fully digitalize your hiring process

Having your job ads available online has been the norm for quite some time now. Still, many companies continue to rely on in-person interviews and wet signatures to seal the deal. This not only makes the hiring process more difficult, but also more time-consuming for everyone involved.

To make a great first impression on your future hire, consider fully digitalizing your hiring process. Besides being more convenient and easier to schedule, video interviews also allow you to get a better insight into candidates. By being in an environment they feel comfortable in and not having to worry about the commute, they're more likely to show you their true personality.

And if you're already doing online applications and interviews, why not employment contracts as well? With document management software, you can let your new hire sign the employment contract digitally. That way, you're reducing your time to hire while improving candidate experience at the same time.

contract templates cta

8) Update your interview questions

The job interview is probably the most important part of your hiring strategy. Besides letting you verify the information you read on a resume, it also lets you see how well a person would fit into your existing team.

However, this is also the stage when a candidate will decide whether they want to work with your company. With that in mind, think about your interview questions. Are you guilty of relying on interview questions that create a bad hiring experience?

5 job interview questions to stop asking

1. Where do you see yourself in five years?

We've all heard this one at least once, hardly anyone remembers what they replied. What's worse, this questions is irrelevant for several reasons:

  • Everyone knows it's code for "how long do you plan on staying here?"
  • Five years is enough time for plans and circumstances to change
  • You're going to get a rehearsed answer because everyone expects this question

2. What is your greatest weakness?

Speaking of rehearsed answers, you're definitely going to get one here. I am very detail-oriented so I tend to cut it very close to deadlines. Take a strength, frame it as a weakness, done!

3. Why should we hire you?

You obviously already see the value in hiring someone if you're interviewing them. What's more, they've already answered that question by sending you a resume, cover letter or portfolio.

4. Why do you want this job?

The problem here is that the only 100% honest answer is the one the candidate can't give you: buying food and having a roof over their head. That's not to say that your company isn't great or that it wouldn't be a privilege working for you. But ultimately, people want jobs because that's how you make money to live.

5. What is your dream job?

Another opportunity for the candidate to give you a rehearsed answer where the dream job is exactly what they're interviewing for. At the end of the day, you won't hear any relevant information about their skills or qualifications.

Final thoughts

When your existing hiring strategy is preventing you from attracting top candidates, it's time to make some changes. From showcasing your company culture to improving candidate experience, these eight tips will help you hire the right person for the job - the first time around.

Stop making candidates jump through hoops

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Patricija Šobak's profile image
Patricija Šobak puts her talent in spotting questionable grammar and shady syntax to good use by writing about various business-related topics. Besides advocating the use of the Oxford comma, she also likes coffee, dogs, and video games. People find her ability to name classic rock songs only from the intro both shocking and impressive.