5 Things to Consider Before Making Your Next Hire

June 07, 2017 |

Making a bad hiring decision can be very costly, financially, and otherwise. So, by putting more time into the planning stages of the process, hiring managers can give themselves a better chance of finding their next shining star. This involves rewriting job descriptions, so they accurately reflect the duties and responsibilities of the role and figuring out who needs to be involved in the interviewing and hiring process.

Before doing anything else, hiring managers must ask themselves these five critical questions.

1.What made the last person successful in this role?
Chances are, the last person in this position had some exceptional skills and outstanding qualities. Think about what they were and make a list. Keep the skills that are relevant to the position and use them in the job description.

Which soft skills helped this person succeed? Were they an exceptional communicator? Did they have above-average problem-solving skills? Did they have a sparkling personality? A candidate’s soft skills are often a leading indicator of cultural fit, and the right fit can make all the difference. In our 2017 Marketing Hiring Trends survey, communications skills were ranked highest by marketing hiring managers.

If this is a new role, think about your ideal candidate and what qualities they would need to stand out from the competition and be an exceptional member of your team.

2.What could the last person in this role have done better?
Think about the areas that needed improvement, or which skills were missing that made the job more challenging. Consider the skills that would be a bonus but not necessarily required for the role. Determine what your ideal hire looks like – professional experience, education, internships, soft skills – and add these characteristics to your list. Then, incorporate them into the new job description.

3.Why would someone want to take this role?
This is an important question, and one hiring managers don’t often think about. The best candidates will often have many opportunities to choose from, so it’s important to highlight what’s in it for them in the job description. Capture their interest beyond the foundational duties of the role. Give them a reason to apply.

Is there potential for advancement? What about professional growth and development? Are their opportunities to go to conferences? Is tuition reimbursement offered? What about mentorship opportunities? Are telecommuting and flex time options available? Job seekers also want to know about benefits and health and wellness programs. You can work these details into a comprehensive, engaging job description. It’s also a good idea to speak to your organization’s culture giving prospective candidates a chance to visualize the environment and determine whether or not they’d be a good fit.

4.What does the hiring process look like?
Understanding all the details of the hiring process first will make it run smoothly later on. The hiring manager should solicit input from all cross-functional teams that interact with the person in this role. This will help further define the job description. After writing the job description, create a set interview process. Determine who needs to be involved in the interviews and the chain of command. It’s also helpful to know how urgent the need is – is it a backfill you needed yesterday or less critical and lower priority? Be aware of all required steps between interview, offer, and start date. For example, will there need to be a drug test or pre-employment physical? What about a reference check or background check?

By having the process well thought out in advance, you can move quickly when the right person appears. Red tape and logistical hurdles can slow you down, and you may lose out on your ideal candidate.

5.Have the criteria been established for judging a candidate’s work?
Some marketing and creative services roles are heavy on design or writing. Do you have the necessary processes in place for evaluating portfolios and writing samples? Is someone on staff skilled in these areas? If so, get their help when the time comes. If not, there are outside services to help. It’s important to know if a candidate’s skills are up to par and if their style is a good fit for the organization.

Hiring is hard, and it’s natural to want to start interviewing candidates immediately especially when you’re understaffed but rushing the process, though tempting, usually makes for more work in the long run. Any tool or process to help focus your efforts upfront is well worth the time investment. Feel free to use our questionnaire as is, or use it to inspire your own. If you need immediate marketing or creative help while you search for your perfect candidate, marketing contractors are a great option. Call us or visit us online to learn more about these services.

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