Secrets for Hiring Exceptional Employees

Hiring well is more important than ever. A poor hire not only under performs in his or her job, but can poison the entire organization.

In today’s sluggish economy, job seekers in many industries are competing for scarce positions, yet entrepreneurs report that finding top talent is still a big challenge.

Who are the right people to hire – and how and where do you find them? The best employees are the ones who really want to work for your company and are enthusiastic and excited to be on the team. They are the ones who actively seek out problems and come up with creative solutions.

To find these people, you have to know where to look. Staffing firms are a good place to start, but there are other ways to find qualified leads, such as using your company website and social media networks like Twitter, Facebook, Google and LinkedIn.

People within your industry usually know the up-and-comers who are searching for advancement or greater opportunity. Look around and tap into your network as well as the networks of your employees, colleagues and associates. The vast majority of managerial jobs are filled through this type of networking.

Don’t settle for an applicant who merely meets tactical job responsibilities and skills.

It’s important to define job requirements carefully and prescreen for the specific skills, capabilities, attributes and personal characteristics you need.

Pay close attention to characteristics such as work ethic, communication ability and people skills, and then review only those candidates who have passed the initial screening.

Small businesses are often reluctant to post jobs on job search sites or participate in job fairs, because they’re afraid of being inundated with applicants.

But if you know what you’re looking for, you can narrow your scope and home in on the most qualified candidates.

The right hire will fulfill the job requirements and also be a good cultural fit for your organization.

Don’t settle for an applicant who merely meets tactical job responsibilities and skills. Look for repeated patterns of success.

Go for the applicant who has made a mark and repeatedly exceeded expectations.

Once you get down to a short list of candidates, it’s a good idea to bring other people into the process and get their input. Oftentimes, others will see things that you didn’t see or maybe hear the same words in a different way or from a different perspective.

Trust, but verify. This goes for everything that is written on a candidate’s resume and job application and all that is said in a job interview. 

Contact references, and while you’re talking to them, ask if there is anybody else who is familiar with the candidate whom you could talk to. Ask to be transferred to them or get a phone number and follow up with them. Truly premium talent is rare, whether the economy is good or bad. The exceptional hires are out there, but you probably need to take some time and do some sleuthing to find the right candidate and make the right hire. It’s worth the time and effort, though, to find the right people who can help your company succeed.



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