Want higher quality applicants? Try these proven hiring strategies

Want Higher Quality Applicants Try These Proven Hiring Strategies

Post written by the Forbes Coaches Council:

Hiring is one of the biggest challenges for any business, and it’s a lot more complicated than collecting resumes and conducting interviews. An applicant may look good on paper, but then turn out not to be a cultural fit – or worse, you don’t get any applicants with the skill set you desire.

If you’re not getting the caliber of candidates you want, it may be time to rethink your recruiting and hiring tactics. We asked 15 members of Forbes Coaches Council about the best tactics for getting higher quality job applicants.

Members of Forbes Coaches Council share their insight.

1. Attract Them With Your Culture
Aim to have it all: a great company culture and a great compensation package. If you operate under the ideology that people are your most valuable asset, you will treat them as such. Top talent that is appreciated and compensated for the value they bring to the table will not only produce great results, but they will have their industry peers excited about your company as well.

2. Interview People On Emotional Intelligence
Too many interviewers and HR professionals know they need technical talent. They rely on metrics in resumes and content that proves the candidate has the skills and talent needed to do the job. But do they have a methodology to rate the potential hire’s emotional intelligence (EQ)? They don’t often, but they need to, because a lack of EQ can crash companies and industries.

3. Have Your Top Talent Find Referrals
High-quality employees know (and can help find) candidates who are of the same caliber. Create a pool of your highest-performing employees based on performance reviews, employee engagement and customer surveys. Describe the type of candidates you seek by explaining the competencies, values and traits they possess. Ask this high-performing team for help, and reward them when they refer a hire.

4. Evaluate Your Benefits
Many companies mistakenly believe that people are only interested in compensation. Although compensation is very important, employees want to know how the company can also contribute to their quality of life. These benefits can be that the office is near a coffee shop or that food trucks come on Fridays. Get to know your talent and their interests to sell them on your company.

5. Deliver Value With Each Interaction
Too often, HR professionals feel that they have a job to offer, and the candidate should just be happy if it is offered to them. This thinking can lead to “sloppy” behavior, such as not being responsive, or not having answers to relevant questions. The most desirable candidates will always have options, and therefore their expectations will be higher of anyone they interact with.

6. Prioritize Employee Engagement
Make employee engagement a real thing at your company by understanding that every employee is different. Work to ensure every employee is appreciated for exactly who they are (not who the company wants them to be) and is rewarded in meaningful ways to them (because some employees value a Fitbit whereas others value flex time). Real employee engagement is like a magnet for top talent.

7. Offer Learning Opportunities
Create a culture of learning opportunities. If you are nurturing your staff and allowing them room to grow, interested talent will see the position as more than a job. You’re not only raising the bar on your own in-house talent, you are also giving them priceless learning opportunities that they can use beyond their position with your company.

8. Make The Application Process Easier
Revise the online application process. It takes hours to write a cover letter, submit a resume and apply via time-consuming applicant tracking systems. The candidate hardly ever hears back from the company and questions whether their application is ever seen by decision-makers. This frustrating process gives a candidate a poor perspective of the company, despite all of its branding efforts.

9. Don’t Discount Non-Traditional Candidates
We’re trapped with recruiting processes that eliminate a rich source of talent: the non-traditional candidate. The best source of new ideas and energy for your organization will come from someone who has different experiences and backgrounds – not from the one who’s done the job elsewhere. Get out of the office and tell folks you meet you’re open to introductions. The talent will find you.

10. Build A Culture Of Ownership
We may wish employees could see the vision our businesses were built on. If they could, they may work as diligently as us. So why not tell the truth? It’s not all about pay scales, so be upfront about what you offer. What narrative do you create? Do you encourage growth and innovation? High-quality talent want to make a difference. Allow employees pride of place and get them thinking like owners.

11. Create A Culture That Current Employees Want To Share
Engagement, passion and enthusiasm are contagious, and high potential talent can feel that culture from your current employees. Employees now exude their workplace culture through platforms like LinkedIn and Glassdoor. They are the ambassadors of an organization. If your culture if engaging and genuine, then your talent pipeline happens organically.

12. Seek Out The Values And Traits You Want
The most common issue with hiring is focusing on skills. Skills can be taught. To find higher-quality talent, look for values and traits. For example, curiosity, tenacity and authenticity are important for sales. You can interview for all of these and find employees who will be a better cultural fit and more gracefully adjust to changing business conditions.

13. Name The Specific Problem You Want Your New Hire To Solve
You are hiring someone because that person will solve a problem or prevent a problem. The better you are at identifying your problem, the better you can match up a prospect. The clearer you are with applicants, the better they can highlight skills they have that will help solve this problem. Know it. Clarify it. Name it out loud.

14. Make Job Salary Ranges Public
Fewer than 15% of jobs are published with associated salary ranges. Employers that include salary information gain an advantage (assuming they pay well) by demonstrating transparency, saving time, and ensuring more accurate reporting of their compensation, versus self-reporting sites and job board salary estimates. Plus, this gives you better placement in Google Jobs.

15. Help Them See The Future
Help a prospect understand what in their nature and their life connects with the vision of the business and why they would be happy there. Support their opportunity for growth before they walk in the door. Show them what makes your organization special and different. Develop an emotionally safe culture where higher potential talent want to work – and want to stay.