Be honest: when’s the last time you found a “perfect” employee—one who both does a great job and fits well into your company? And how long did it take you to find that person? Was she or he perfect from the get-go or did s/he need to grow into the position and the company?

Too many employers fall into the trap of looking for only the “perfect” employee. Or they think that the “top gun” candidates in the field are going to be the best candidates, no matter who they are or what your company is like.

In reality, someone might look great on paper—have all of the skills and experience you want—then have the wrong personality or work ethic for your company. And if you have to stick to a strict hiring budget, you might not have the financial capability to lure the hotshots.

Does this mean you’ll have to settle for hiring less-than-adequate employees? No!

Here are four steps you can take to make sure you hire the best candidate for your company.

1) Plan Ahead

Maybe you don’t have a hiring need right now now, but you know that won’t last. If you want your next hiring assignment to go smoothly, you have to know exactly how you’re going to go about finding future candidates. Flying by the seat of your pants or hiring out of desperation rarely works.

2) Define Your True Talent Needs

Your hiring managers and recruiters need to know what kind of people they should be looking for, so they don’t waste their time searching for and interviewing people who wouldn’t fit in well anyway. The most skilled and experienced candidate will be a washout if he has a difficult personality or doesn’t match the work ethic at your company.

3) “Market” The Position

If you want to find great talent, you need to make sure that your position can reach as many people as possible. Oftentimes this means that you must be willing to pay for your position to appear on job boards, or partner with an experienced recruiter. The best recruiters will be on every social network putting up ads and promoting your position to potential candidates.

4) Understand the Market

The best candidates are usually employed and not actively looking for a position. So, you need to have an understanding about where to the industry’s leading talent. Working with a staffing or recruiting firm can be invaluable in this respect. They tend to know influencers in the market or have strong connections with gainfully employed candidates who might be convinced to make a career change and join your company.

At Smith Hanley, we work with both great companies and great candidates to make great matches. Call us if you’d like us to help you find the right match for you!

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