Planning hiring is a standard part of business planning. But too often we just plug in a standard title and some $$ in the budget and think it is done.

Want to hire the best matches for your needs?
Want to hire people who will succeed and stay?

Top Tips for Smart Hiring

Tip 1. Develop a recruiting plan for new hires – and use it for replacements also. Include these parts for each potential position:

  • desired attributes, specific skills, attributes to avoid, possible demographics
  • potential sources of candidates
  • application and selection process

Commonly we focus on specific technical or professional skills we are seeking and we might add ‘soft skills’ like good communications or ability to maintain confidentiality. But you want to really focus on the ‘whole person’ you need. In defining desired attributes as well as specific skills, you help yourself focus on cultural fit – the attributes needed to succeed in your organization and the position.

You may also want to realize what attributes you want to avoid. “Don’t hire jerks” is a recent push.  Many companies have tolerated jerks if they brought in revenue or were technically brilliant in a core field.

If you want to broaden the creativity of your group, plan for possible retirements, or know you are losing a key person; then you also may want to consider demographics. This is rarely a ‘must have’ but more usually a preference. You might want some maturity in one position and someone with a different industry background for another. I, of course, hope you will also consider hiring a veteran.

Tip 2. Consider potential sources of candidates.

  • Have your best people come from one or two specific sources?
  • Do you encourage employees to refer people for your open positions?
  • Are you working with the local employment services office?

Don’t forget your network! A well-crafted email usually results in excellent leads. State title and requirements you are searching for, the challenges of the position, and remind your contacts what your company offers plus its culture and values.

Need some rare skills or want to keep the specific position confidential? Then you might consider hiring agencies, recruiters or other help in the process.

Tip 3. Define your hiring process.

  • Make sure any application form you use is current so you do not run afoul of federal and state laws.
  • Define your selection process.
  • Consider asking for a cover letter if you want to assess communications ability, attention to detail, or motivation.
  • Do you want to see a portfolio or other work samples?
  • Who will screen applicants and do the first phone interview?
  • Define who will do the interviews and how you will ensure they are effective.
  • Who will do the reference checking? Make the offer?


Finally, if you do not already have one, define the orientation process to ensure new members are rapidly integrated and able to effectively contribute. Who will show them the office and introduce them to people? Be sure to have equipment they need ready on the first day – nothing hurts an effective start like not having a computer, desk, or other needed stuff.

Need help? Give us a call and we can discuss how you can most effectively hire people who will help achieve your goals.