Hiring the right employee can be a lengthy and challenging process. Selecting the wrong individual can be expensive, often in ways that extend beyond their salary. One of the most important roles of HR is to help choose people who will be the best possible fit for the company. Here are some tips you can use to get your money’s worth when hiring.

Better Job Descriptions

Since it’s HR’s job to review resumes and applications, it makes sense to start off with a well-written job description. Having a list of desired skills, experience and qualifications is a great way to start. However, it’s also important to think about how the job description comes across to the applicants.

Sometimes the tone of a job description can prevent the right people from applying. Long lists of requirements and responsibilities may come across as a list of demands, alienating good candidates. Focusing more on what the company can do for their potential employees offers a better chance of attracting employees who are willing to reciprocate.

Social Media Profiles

It’s not unusual for employers to conduct background checks on candidates, just to be sure they know who they’re hiring. Most employers will at least run their names through a search engine to see what comes up. However, if you’re not looking through their social media profiles, you might be missing out on some valuable insight.

While some applicants might be reluctant to allow potential employers to peer into their private lives, you can find out a great deal about what sort of person you might be hiring without stepping over personal boundaries. You can also look at this from a skills assessment standpoint, if they’re likely to have samples of their work on display.

Better Interviews

Always make time for a thorough interview of each applicant. It would be a real shame if someone didn’t work out for reasons that could have been uncovered in a more thorough interview. It’s not unusual for an interviewer to miss red flags because they were either unprepared with their questions, focused on something else or in too much of a hurry to dig in. At the same time, a well qualified applicant that takes some time to warm up in an interview might not have enough time to relax and show you who they are. Good or bad, you want to give them time.

Also, make sure you aren’t asking too many questions that make the applicant evaluate themselves. Instead, you can ask them questions that will help you determine things for yourself. For example, if you notice they’re prone to blaming others for jobs that haven’t worked out, it’s a safe bet there is another side of the problem. If they are honest and gracious about those jobs, you’ll know that they can be mature and professional even under scrutiny.

Personality

That online masters degree in organizational development might be exactly what you asked for in the job requirements, but each company also has a culture to consider. Every employee should be able to fit into that culture. No matter how skilled they are, they have to be able to work well with others and navigate social situations within the company. You may find that the person with the most experience is not necessarily the best fit for the job. Skills can be acquired over time, but an amicable personality cannot.

Prescreening

You can save time on serious interviews by prescreening potential candidates. Prescreening by telephone can help weed out candidates who lack the basic qualifications. A brief prescreening interview can also give you a better idea whether or not their salary expectations are realistic. There’s no sense in going too deep into the process with someone whose financial needs are not in line with what your company can provide. This would be a waste of both their time and yours.

While these tips might not shorten the hiring process very much, they should help streamline it and help you find the best possible employees for your team. This is much more easily accomplished with a dedicated HR department that can take the extra time required to properly handle each applicant.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.

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