Between online job boards, recruitment centers, internal communications, and job descriptions, hiring the most qualified person for the job can give you a headache. But there is a way for project management staff to find excellent candidates for your company. In an age of wavering loyalty, these tips make sure you find the right employees for your team.

1. Know Who it is You Really Want to Hire

The key to ensuring your company hires the best possible candidate is internal communication between involved parties. For instance, if a company needs to hire a plumber, the individual who is responsible for writing and posting the job description needs to communicate with the hiring manager and internal staff on what the essential job functions are. If a candidate needs specialization in residential or industrial plumbing, then the involved parties need to be clear on specific requirements to avoid interviewing an unqualified candidate, which may result in mis-hiring an individual.

Secondarily, it is vital that companies have an internal and external job description, while thoroughly understanding the differences between them. Internal job descriptions are more technical and expansive — while the external description acts an abridged revision with a marketing slant. This way, internal staff will have something to use as a reference during the prescreening process to see how candidates compare to company criteria.

2. Know what Your “Centers of Recruitment” are

Companies often overlook how exactly they are going to find qualified candidates for their position. This is where project management staff can take the opportunity to sit down with key staff members and create an internal list of “centers of recruitment” and use these locations to target qualified candidates. Potential locations may include workforce centers, trade organizations or schools, unemployment commissions, home improvement stores, and even high schools.

Additionally, it’s important for companies to take advantage of online job boards and learn which are specific to their industry and region. Although with the nature of the internet, this is something that is constantly changing, and certain industries may shift to different boards, so be sure to stay updated on current trends within the industry.

3. Refresh Your Ads and Postings Often

On a similar note, with the high traffic on job boards and thousands of companies posting their own job openings, the hiring manager will need to be diligent with their refreshing of their ads and postings often, in order to boost search results. This may require trial and error before you start getting the right applicants. Try changing the wording or title of the posting and track the results to see what kind of response you get each time, this way you’ll know what gets the best traffic (ideally the most qualified candidate). Remember, it’s not about volume, it’s about quality.

4. Have a Phone Based, Pre-Screening Questionnaire

While this may seem like an unnecessary step that will make the hiring process longer, phone screenings will actually save time in the long run. Phone screenings act as a weeding out process that will let you know who the strongest candidates are without having to tie up time and resources by inviting candidates in for an interview.

The phone screening should be seen as the first line of defense against unqualified candidates. Come up with five to ten ‘deal breaker’ questions; if you’re looking for a specific certification or specialty, this is the time to ask it. Questions should be crafted specifically for the company and position by meeting with senior leadership, and reflect the values and culture of the company to ensure candidates exceed your expectations.

Interviewers should think of this as a grading system. Management needs to agree on what grade is needed to progress, and candidates will need to meet the grading requirement, in order to proceed the next step.

5. Have a Secondary Phone Screening

Much like the first phone screening, the second screening should be based on a grading system and be conducted by another manager with added questions. The screening process should act as a method of screening unqualified candidates out, rather than screening people in.

Interviewers should schedule candidates to call them at a specified time. This way, interviewers will see if candidates are punctual and organized enough to call on time. Then, if candidates score high enough on the grading system, invite them for an in-person interview.

6. Schedule In-Person Interviews with Structured Key Questions and Objectives

The biggest mistake an interviewer can make is thinking they’re good enough to perform an interview off the cuff without having any real structure. Much like the phone screening process, questions need to be decided upon during meetings with key staff members and reflect the skill set of the position, and the values of the company, to see where the motivations of the individuals lie (as well as their expertise). Otherwise, it will be difficult to know whether they will be a permanent fit for the company.

In person interviews are the last chance a company has to avoid turnover, and should be conducted with a second manager in the room who is using the same grading system, in case one misses possible red flags. Interviewers also need to pay close attention to answers about company culture.

7. Onboarding Should be a Defined Process

Ensuring that your quality hire stays with you for the long term, takes place during onboarding 99% of the time.

Once a company has an idea of who they want to hire, there should be an onboarding process in place to get them acquainted with the team and company policy. Companies can use this chance to welcome new hires in a formal and welcoming way to instill a level of loyalty that sets the precedent for their position. Even in lower positions, creating a sense of loyalty, respect, and company vision will encourage employees to work harder and stay with a company longer.

Like these tips? Try our Candidate Scorecard & Comparison Matrix to see how potential hires stack up.

All companies are different, which is why our template allows for easy customization to fit your company needs, and ensure your candidates are the right fit.