Making the Hiring Process a Creative One

creative hiringHiring the right people for your team can be challenging. Job posting sites and hiring agencies bring in huge numbers of resumes, all of which you or your Human Resources (HR) department have to sift through to find candidates that meet the basic requirements. Then, you have to further sort and interview to find one or two people who are “right”—and even then it’s easy to make mistakes. 

Today, employers have learned the value of finding candidates with the right attitudes and perspectives regarding the work and the work environment. This outlook on hiring is wonderful in the long run because it means new employees tend to stay longer and be more productive, since they actually like what they do and fit in with the team. The downside: the process can be long and grueling.

To reduce the headache, maybe it’s time to get creative. 

Hiring doesn’t have to be painful. If you expand the ways you find candidates and open your mind to new sources, you might be amazed at who’s out there and excited for a new opportunity. Step outside of the job-posting-site box  and consider that the best candidate for the position may not even be looking at the moment, or perhaps they simply don’t frequent the site you’re looking at. Or, maybe you’ve even met them before in a different context, and all you need to do is make an offer.

Below are some cost effective and creative methods for finding and hiring the right person for your team.

  • Encourage employee referrals. Who better to help you find candidates who will fit with your team that people who are already on the team? Your HR team can eliminate any unqualified candidates, but personality cannot be determined by facts on a piece of paper and coworkers with friends on staff are more likely to be satisfied with their positions for the long term.
  • Use social media, particularly LinkedIn. When you can’t find someone through direct referral, use social media. Sites like LinkedIn are particularly helpful, since they give you a glimpse into the professional background of potential employees along with a taste of personality. Other sites, like Facebook and Instragram, give you a more full picture of personality and can help you single out candidates for hire that will fit in your organization.
  • Be visible at places and events where your ideal employees might be. Either through online forums and blogs or through real-time events such as conventions or trainings—no matter your field, there are both virtual and physical gathering places for people with the talents you’re seeking. Be there and seek them out.
  • Consider Facebook targeted demographic ads. Facebook has consistently proven itself to be a powerful outreach tool. You can get your HR-approved job description out there more effectively by utilizing the demographic-based ad tool on Facebook, letting your open position appear on the screens of only those candidates with interests similar to your selected target demographic.
  • Review who you know. Sometimes in hiring, it’s best to stick to what and who you know. Whether it’s someone you’ve worked with in the past or a friend of a friend who you had a great conversation with at last year’s cocktail party, your impression of people outside of the hiring process is usually even more effective than the impression they push upon you when they want the job.
  • Keep your eyes open: talent is everywhere. Most importantly, pay attention to the people around you. You could meet someone at a football game or your kid’s soccer tournament. You never know, and you will not want to miss a good hire when they’re staring you in the face and might be open to the position you have to offer.

Hiring can be a difficult and tedious process, but it’s a vital one to keep your business functioning at its best. Stay positive and trust your gut during interviews and meetings, and avoid talking yourself into hiring someone based only on resume qualifications. Even someone you have to train is often better than someone whose attitude brings the whole office down.

When in doubt, keep looking. The perfect candidates are out there somewhere, just waiting for you to find them and offer them the opportunity to join your team.

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Ashley.jpgAbout the Author – Ashley Choate is a native of Jacksonville, FL where she lives with her son, dog, and three cats. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Jacksonville University with a BA in English and holds an MAED in Adult Education and Training. She lives for reading and writing, learning and teaching, and figuring out the day-to-day traumas and joys of mommyhood. .

 Top Photo Courtesy of Simon Frasier University @ Flickr CC.