Five tips for finding the best employees for your company

4 min read
By Jillian Phipps

Sometimes you need to go beyond the job ad to find the best hire

Hiring the best employees does not mean hiring the best prospects who contact you after your company has placed an ad for a recent job opening. Look to these five tips for going beyond your job ad to find the best employees for your company.

Help_wanted.jpg1. Become more visible

The best employees are more apt to apply to your company, and you’re more apt to find them, if your company is more visible. Participating in job fairs is one way to introduce yourself to possible future employees…even if your company has no openings. A better way is to host events that give your company a chance to show its expertise in its industry. Panel discussions with experts from other companies, academia, and elsewhere, can draw a good crowd. You should always be sure to exchange business cards with people who could help your company someday. Take notes on the person’s skills, and express your interest in participating in events hosted by other companies and schools similar to their own.

2. Scout possible employees regularly

Participating in industry panel discussions, as well as industry networking groups and events will increase your knowledge of your industry and its employees. This knowledge should help you follow the progress and accomplishments of possible future employees. In journalism, editors can analyze the work of reporters who work for competitors by reading their work and later offering a job to reporters whose skills they need. Analyzing the skills of people in most industries is difficult but doable. You can, for example, talk to them at industry events, while always reading industry publications that might have information and bios about people you are interested in hiring.

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3. Utilize students

Many companies hire recent college graduates for entry-level jobs. But how do you know whether you’re hiring the best and the brightest grads? How do you know whether the prospects you’re considering are team players, have positive attitudes, and work hard? One way to find out is to hire college students during the summer or during the school year as part-time interns. An internship program could identify future full-time employees. Also, make a point to establish a rapport with professors in pertinent fields. These professors could recommend excellent students for internships, as well as seniors for full-time jobs.

4. Go where others don’t go

Your competitors might also be recruiting at the best colleges near you. They might not, though, be recruiting at trade schools, community colleges, and the likes. Aggressively seeking prospective employees who haven’t followed the traditional four-year college path might lead to your company finding candidates with different backgrounds, experiences, and skills. Getting your current employees’ input in finding new employees could also help. They may know someone who has done it all in a family business, for example, making the prospect more versatile than your traditional hire.

Graduate_school.jpg5. Expand your advertising reach

My guess is that you no longer depend on job ads in your local newspaper or an industry publication when your company has an opening. You probably post ads on widely-read websites and utilize social media. You might be totally unaware, though, of the multitude of websites that effectively match employers and prospective employees; Check out Inc.coms list of “The 9 Best Websites for Finding Top Talent” for more info. As a company leader, you should be comfortable asking some of the contacts you have made during the recruiting process for industry-specific websites and other forums where you can reach people who might be interested in working for your company and industry.

Many companies make the mistake of not looking for employees until there is a job opening. This strategy often results in the hiring of someone a company is uncomfortable with but is the most qualified person who applied. This strategy also means that many qualified people are never considered just because they didn’t see the ad. As a leader in your company, you need to make sure you find those qualified people, learn how with our four steps to successful hiring.

Jillian is a marketing coordinator at PI.

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