Onboarding new staff members shouldn’t be suspenseful but often is. Companies sometimes make the mistake of hiring candidates based on metrics such as references, skills and qualifications.

While this can be enough to identify someone who adds value to your organization, many times it isn’t. It’s no wonder that more and more companies are personalizing their hiring process to avoid bringing in people who aren’t a good fit.

1. Know what sets your business apart from others

While every company is a unique collection of talents and personalities, recruiters often overlook this. The ideal recruitment effort should be more matchmaking than negotiation. Multiple candidates are out there with the skill set and experience of your dreams.

The one, however, that’s right for you will be most compatible with the culture and mood of the office, so it’s important to look around and determine what exactly it is.

2. Express your brand’s identity in the ads you run

Your ad should represent who you are. You can connect you with the most promising potential recruits best by being expressive. Make sure that your company’s unique personality comes across in your outreach efforts.

Michael Overell at Recruitloop swears by this and recommends that your job ad be pitched almost like a product.. Tell a story about your company that really shows what’s special about it. Attracting people who like what they read about you is primary. Details about the requirements of the particular role you’re trying to fill should be secondary.

3. Ask interview questions that allow you tap into an applicant’s likes and dislikes

When it comes to finding talent to fill jobs that depend heavily on hard skills, human resources can tend to rush towards measuring a candidate’s competency within their area of expertise without probing deeper.

CEB, a global research and advisory company, offers businesses a range of evaluation tools that can be used in the hiring process that include personality and motivation questionnaires. If an applicant’s personality is assessed as an independent type, time isn’t wasted bringing them into a collaborative office environment that they’re likely to be at odds with.

4. Let existing employees participate in the vetting process

A candidate who has made it past the early screening phase should have an opportunity to sit down with people in the area of the company where they would be working. This not only gives them an opportunity to get a feel for the team of employees they’ll be joining, their prospective teammates are also able to provide feedback on their interactions with the candidate that can be extremely useful in deciding if the chemistry between them is positive.

Questions that employees ask should be related to casual topics. Little things like knowing how a prospective recruit spends their free time can be much more relevant than it seems. Someone who hates sports, for example, would possibly be an outsider in a department where everyone participates in an annual Super Bowl betting pool. Of course, the opinions of existing staff about a potential applicant should be recorded and later evaluated objectively.

5. Use Social media

There are ways to familiarize yourself with a job candidate before you even contact them for an interview, one of which is checking out their social media presence.

  • What kinds of topics do they tweet about?
  • Is there anything about their Facebook picture that goes against the grain of the professionalism of their resume?

Using social media as an informal background check is not recommended, but public information available on an IT staffing candidate can provide insights into their personality.

There are many ways to determine if someone’s right for your company. It’s not an exact science. Recruitment techniques are always evolving, but it’s always important to remember that at the end of the day, it’s more costly to hire and train than retain a good employee.

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