· 2 min read · News

Looking for the perfect candidate


Hiring a new employee can be time-consuming, tedious, and fraught with uncertainties. The cost of replacing a full-time employee can reach or exceed 50% of that individual’s salary, due to lost productivity, cost of new hire training, and hiring expenses.

If you don't hire the right person for the job, you could end up with even more downtime and lost productivity due to an inefficient employee, and may end up searching for yet another replacement within months.

Find the perfect person for the job by utilizing the following tactics:

Focus on the job description

You're going to be advertising for your opening in a variety of venues, from online boards to newspaper classifieds, many of which have word limits. A good strategy is to first write out the description of the job you're hiring for, without limiting yourself to a specific length. Include all job duties, qualifications, requirements, and benefits, and order them from most to least important.

Having a full-length job description on hand can help you draft shorter job listings that contain the most relevant information. You can post the longer listing on your website and direct potential candidates there.

Keep the full description in front of you when interviewing applicants. You want to be sure that they fit with the full spectrum of job requirements, not just what you could fit into the 200 word newspaper ad.

Go social

In order to find the best candidate, you need to gain exposure to a wide range of talent - and that means going social. Job seekers, especially those members of Generation Y, are shifting away from traditional methods of job searching.

According to a survey by professional solutions company, Achievers, only 26% of this year's U.S college graduates plan to search for jobs through newspaper ads, whereas 35% favor the professional networking site Linkedin.

Posting your job listing in a variety of venues, including social media, gives you exposure to a wider pool of talent than paper advertisement or online boards. Many job seekers admit to investigating a business's social profiles before applying - so make sure yours are accurately representing your brand.

Is your job posting listed on your website? 88% of graduates plan to apply directly to the company they want to work for. Your business website - with the full job description posted - is therefore a great resource in both attracting talent and self-selecting for the best candidates.

Always check references

Some job sectors - those requiring contact with children, for example - require thorough background checks in addition to job references. Even if the job you're hiring for doesn't have contact with at-risk populations, money, or sensitive information, it's still important for you to check a candidate's references.

If the reference is a former employer, naturally you'll ask about the candidate's performance in that job - how well they met deadlines, how well they worked alone and in teams, whether they had problems with lateness or absences, etc.

You should also describe the position you're hiring for and inquire whether they think the candidate could fulfill the duties of the job.

The perfect job candidate may not be found through newspaper classifieds or monstrous online job boards. In addition to searching internally and asking current employees for references, you should look into the opportunities provided by social media. Knowing what you're looking for and asking the right questions will help you pare down the applicant pool and find the employee that's right for your business.

Megan Webb-Morgan is a web content writer for B2B lead generation resource, Resource Nation