For companies today, finding quality hires is akin to running them through many fine sieves. And, a bad hire can kill a business and the reputation in the wink of an eye. Hence nailing the right person for the job at hand will take work, time, diligence, money and above all some craft.

Ironically, when hiring right is such a key dynamic to the company’s success, most hire out based on skills and experience alone. Although these still are the key drivers, other important factors such as being trainability, emotional intelligence, temperament and motivation are largely ignored.

Here are 7 tips to start with on the path to hiring right. First things being first start off with a:


Craft Job Descriptions.

A job description with a right focus will bring in a flood of qualified candidates and one with a wrong focus will estrange many great candidates from applying.

The tendency with many companies is to write descriptions listing responsibilities and requirements. But, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, on a study done by researchers in US and Canada, found this approach actually alienated qualified employees.

Of the 991 responses received for 56 job ads, those applicants who responded to the Needs-Supplies job posting – what a company can do for the candidate were rated higher than those who responded to the Demands-Abilities job posting – what the company expects from the employee.

The more successful job postings contained statements like: “We seek to provide employees with constructive feedback to foster their career growth,” and “You will have many opportunities to collaborate with talented people.”

So, put more emphasis on what the company can do for the candidate than on what the company expects from him or her.

Assess Competencies and Capabilities

Evaluate whether the potential employee has the necessary skills, experience and education to complete the tasks that need to be done on job. Also probe whether he or she can deliver on tasks that require more effort and creativity. Such employees have tremendous growth potential and ability and willingness to take on additional responsibility.

Confirm Commitment

Find ahead whether the candidate is in for a long haul or is he or she just passing through always looking for something better. A look at their past jobs and the time spent at each gives you a picture of how committed will potential hire be.

Emphasize Soft Skills

Skills to accomplish a task can be learnt but who a person is can’t. Ability to navigate social situations and to work well with the team is all part of social intelligence.

A trait such as empathy is more important for a nurse or a social worker than an accountant or a scientist. Being aware of these nuances while hiring, maneuvers you away from falling into the trap of hiring a person with an incompatible personality though he or she has the right skills and experience.

More importantly check whether the candidate has values that align with the company’s goals. Values are part of the culture of an organization. Employees who don’t reflect these are difficult and disruptive to be around.

Be Digitally and Socially Enabled

A survey by MIT and Deloitte found that the majority of respondents among the age group of 22 – 60 wanted to work for digitally enabled organizations. A step toward that would be to setup a mobile friendly website as most people now access and apply jobs from their mobile or smartphones.

The social media profiles of the potential employees yield a goldmine of information of who they are as persons and as employees. Social media can be used to assess skills especially if the candidate blogs or has a portfolio.

Potential employees love to work for companies which actively manage their brand by responding to reviews by putting up accurate, up to date information about the company.

Top candidates will not even apply to companies if they don’t like what they see: negative reviews, irregular and untimely updates about the company and its culture.

Interview and Be Interviewed

In a study by Leadership IQ it was found that 82% of the 5000 hiring managers surveyed reported that while interviewing they lacked focus, time or confidence in their interview skills, hence were unprepared to notice the red flags raised by the candidates during the interview process. This led to failures in job by the new employees due to the flawed decision making.

Asking the right questions to ferret out information concerning the motives, drives and ambitions helps the interviewer learn a lot about the employee. On the other hand, letting the employee interview you will tell you what is important to them as well. By giving out the true picture of the work environment, you can help the employees decide if the organization is a right fit for them.


As an employer ensure that the one hired agrees to the compensation and is satisfied by it. Otherwise they may feel underpaid, under appreciated and thereby under perform.

For a full and an accurate view about the potential employees go beyond the interview and talk to their former bosses, peers and subordinates. Information gleaned from all of the above will equip you to hone in on the right candidate.