How to Ensure You are Hiring Top Quality Candidates

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Your employees are the life blood of your business. Without them, you’d be strung high and dry, running around wearing 15 different hats, trying to take care of every task at hand. At the end of the day, as much as your employees rely on you for a steady income, you depend on your workforce to tackle everything that makes the wheels spin smoothly.
However, for operations to function at their finest, you need to guarantee that you hire shining and skilled team members, not those who have their feet stuck in the mud, hands shoved into their pockets, or head up in the clouds.
The right hire can grow your company to all-new levels of success, but the wrong one can turn into the spoke that stops the wheel from spinning, causing your work flow to start falling apart.
How do you separate the good apples from the bad? By following these tips on which qualities to look out for during your hiring process so you feel confident about bringing the best candidates aboard.
Hard Requirements
As you begin your hiring process, write down a list of “hard requirements” that are non-negotiable for the open position. Having these clearly documented upfront can steer you from away from any emotional, irrational decisions you might make down the road when you feel rushed to fill a roll or a soft spot for a candidate who’s lacking across different areas.
Plus, formalizing your hiring requirements helps to protect you from discrimination claims filed to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Here are some standard requirements set by many employers that you can use as a guideline:

  • Education
  • Most jobs require an education of some sort. Depending on the role you’re hiring for, that might mean a two-year Associate degree, a Bachelor degree in a relevant field, or a graduate degree for advanced professions.
    If you’re hiring for an entry-level position, your education requirement may be less strict. Many high schoolers get their first-time jobs working in pizza places, coffee shops, and ice cream stores prior to graduating (but if they’re under 18 years old, be sure to fill out the appropriate employment paperwork).
    You can also choose to offer jobs to people who have graduated high school or completed their GED, but decided not to attend college. Whatever level of education you decide on, set the bar and keep it the same for every applicant per position.

  • Experience
  • Education is great but sometimes, when you’re hiring for a highly technical position, you want to see that your candidate has demonstrated experience in the role that they’re applying for.
    For example, a graduate fresh out of college might have a degree in programming, but unless you can confirm his or her coding experience with their former employer, you can’t necessarily trust that they’ll be able to handle your website’s backend html.

  • Qualifications
  • Are there specific qualifications you need to see from your candidates for this role? This could be proof of passing CPR training or an exam for Google Analytics certification. Make sure to list this requirement in the job description so that those who don’t yet have the necessary certificate don’t waste anyone’s time by applying.

  • Clean Record
  • You need to trust your employees to the fullest degree, so that means background checks, reference reviews, and pre-employment credit checks when necessary. An applicant with a dangerous or violent criminal record could pose a risk of harming you, your employees, or your customers.
    While you can’t unfairly discriminate against criminal backgrounds, you can define what counts for automatic disqualification (such as convictions for violent crimes).
    Soft Requirements
    While the above list consists of “must-have” requirements, the qualities below are more “would-like-to-have”. Here are some of examples of characteristics that will set your candidates apart from the rest if their resume makes it past the initial read-over:

  • Leadership qualities
  • Teamwork mentality
  • Punctuality
  • Responsibility
  • Reliability
  • Friendliness
  • Knowledge of customer service
  • Self-motivation
  • Detail orientation
  • Excels at time management
  • Great at multi-tasking
  • “Can-do” attitude
  • Innovative
  • Inspirational
  • Communicative
  • … the list goes on and on!
  • Before you give out any job offers, you need to feel 100% confident about who you bring on. Come up with questions that demonstrate these abilities and you’ll be better set for success!

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