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When it comes to the success of your organization, nothing is more important than talent. A business lives and dies by the quality of its hires. If you’re struggling to hire the caliber of candidate you’d like to have in your organization, you’re facing a serious problem.

What can you do to bring in the top-tier candidates you want and deserve? It all comes down to your hiring process. A good hiring process generates a healthy flow of talent into and out of your organization, allowing the company to thrive over the long term. A bad hiring process is an issue that only leads to more — and worse — problems down the line.

Good hires can save a company, while bad hires can drive it into the ground. If your recent hires haven’t been as good as you’d like them to be, you need to head off the problem before it becomes lethal. Let’s look at some parts of the hiring process you can change right now for better hiring success in the future:

1. Update Your Job Descriptions

One of the hardest parts of the hiring process is actually defining the position. You might think detailing the position and the necessary requirements is a simple matter — and it is, but only if you get it right.

In our modern day of rapid technological advancement and breakneck innovation, the requirements of a position can change dramatically between one hire and the next. New duties and responsibilities might be needed, old ones might be phased out, and the scope of the position can transform entirely.

The point is that if you’re working with last year’s job description, you’re not going to get the best candidate for this year’s job. Take some time to understand the position as it exists right now and you’ll be on track to making the right hire.

2. Identify the Hard and Soft Skills You Need

The keyword here is “need.” Organizations often get so caught up in looking for the perfect candidate that they fail to recognize a good candidate when they see one. By the time they decide to hire that good candidate, the candidate has already been picked up by another company. Thus, the organization has to settle for a subpar candidate just to fill the position.

It’s important to have a realistic idea of the skills and core competencies you can expect from the right candidate for the job. That means hard skills, soft skills, values, cultural fit, and personality type.

In other words, you want to have the minimum requirements clearly established so you can quickly recognize the right candidate and get them a job offer fast. Set realistic expectations, and you’ll increase the quality of the hires you actually make.

For more expert recruiting advice, check out the latest issue of Recruiter.com Magazine:

3. Ask the Right Interview Questions

The whole point of an interview is to figure out whether the person you’re interviewing has the skills and cultural fit to fill the position in question. If you’re going to accomplish this with any degree of success, you need to be prepared to ask the right questions.

Take some time to draft a set of questions for each of the skills and core competencies your new hire needs to have. This gives you an objective hiring process to follow, so you’ll be less likely to hire a candidate simply because they were charming.

Prepare behavioral and performance-based questions for each role to learn more about how your candidates have performed in the past. The best indication of a candidate’s future performance is their past performance, so be prepared to dig deep to find out whether or not the candidate really fits the requirements you’ve set.

4. Be as Objective as Possible in Your Hiring Process

Hiring teams often make a very understandable mistake: They hire the candidate they like the most. Sometimes the most likable candidate is the best person for the job. Sometimes, though, the most likable candidate is just charming enough to get themselves hired. That’s why it’s important to be objective in the hiring process.

How do you do that? Have each of your interviewers rate each candidate’s aptitude for each of the skills and core competencies the right hire needs to have. The rating system doesn’t have to be anything fancy — a 1-5 or 1-10 scale is just fine.

When you add these ratings up, you’ll have a pretty objective measure of how competent each candidate is in each of the areas you need. This gives you a solid basis on which to make the final hiring decision.

Sometimes you can solve your hiring problems by making a few changes yourself and getting your process on a new footing. Sometimes, however, you need to bring in an expert.

If your hiring process isn’t landing high-quality candidates even after you’ve revised your approach, consider talking to a recruiter. Whether you’re looking for a few hires right now or a partner to help you over the long term, the right recruiter can be a massive benefit to you.

Jeffrey Audette is president of VMG Recruiting. Contact Jeff at jeff@vmgt.com.

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