Hire Better: 10 Entrepreneurs Share Their Tips on Finding the Right Candidates, Fast

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Welcome to Recruiter Q&A, where we pose employment-related questions to the experts and share their answers!

Today’s Question: How do you develop effective, targeted hiring programs that turn up exactly the kinds of candidates you’re looking for?

These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization composed of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs.

1. Ask Your Employees for Referrals

Referrals are a good way to target certain professionals. Say you’re looking for an IT professional and you already have some IT people on your team. Your employees have their own networks of IT professionals, and they’re likely to have similar traits and skill levels as your existing personnel. — Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS 

2. Broaden Your Geographic Scope

Across the country and overseas, you’ll find many qualified candidates who are either willing to accommodate your working hours or relocate for the right role. If you focus your search on local applicants only, you’ll limit your talent pool and may end up wasting months and money without finding the right hire. — Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep Mattress 

3. Optimize Your Job Ads

Developing an effective hiring program starts with your job ad. If your listing isn’t optimized and doesn’t state the specifics of what the position entails, you’ll receive applications from unqualified candidates. When creating your listing, make sure you include expectations, pay, duties, etc. — Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms 

4. Use Knock-Out Criteria

Typically, these are questions or requests you expect applicants to complete before they are considered for the job. You can use them to find out who was following directions and who may not be fit for a role at your company. The result of this strategy is a group of targeted, highly qualified candidates. — Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights 

5. Network With Schools

Networking with universities or colleges is a great way to attract top talent, especially for internships and entry-level roles. Universities want to help students get good jobs, so they’re often eager to connect them with employers like you. — Nicole Munoz, Nicole Munoz Consulting, Inc. 

6. Track Candidate Information for Easy Comparisons

We start with a standard Google Sheet that lists all the qualifying information we need and the questions we will ask. It includes basic details like names, contact info, education, salary requirements, and work histories, and we use it to track candidates’ responses to the questions we ask in interviews as well. This way, it’s all in one place, and every interview can be easily compared by our team. We can see all responses and notes on a single chart. — Peter Boyd, PaperStreet Web Design 

7. Make a Budget

To develop an effective targeted hiring program, it helps to plan a budget. This way, you’ll know how much you have to work with and won’t end up overspending on things you don’t need. List your hiring resources and create a plan that gives you a clear strategy to manage your finances. — Jared Atchison, WPForms 

8. Set a Time Frame

Establish an efficient but flexible time frame for hiring employees. This will keep you on track throughout the process. Our team aims to hire within a few weeks of interviewing a viable candidate. This allows us to get paperwork and start dates in order for efficiency’s sake. — Duran Inci, Optimum7 

9. Let Your Followers Know You’re Hiring

One subtle but impactful way to drive recruitment is to add content to your blog posts and social media feeds saying that you’re hiring. This creates another source through which people find your company. Your readers can also recommend your brand and the roles open at your workplace to their peers or family. — Blair Williams, MemberPress 

10. Invest in an Applicant Tracking System

One way to develop your hiring program is to invest in an applicant tracking system. This software saves time by reducing administrative tasks. It can automate job postings on multiple boards and sort applicants based on your criteria. A centralized platform also allows the HR team to share candidate notes and ratings, making the hiring process a collaborative effort while speeding up the recruitment cycle. — Shaun Conrad, Guitar Repair Bench 

By Recruiter Q&A