HR Tips: Hiring the Right Person

Before you post the job ad, consider the tasks, projects, or responsibilities you need help with and how much help you actually need. What experience level, job skills, or professional attributes are required to be successful in this position and at your company? You’ll want a person you and your team will enjoy working with every day, so consider what personality type will fit in with your existing team and your clients. Think about whom you want to work with every day.

After you are clear about the professional and personal attributes you’re looking for, the hiring process is much easier. Much like marketing to your ideal customer, if you know who your ideal candidate is, you can tailor your job ad to speak directly to them. By tailoring the ad, the interview process will be more focused and streamlined because you will not be distracted by an unqualified candidate. Let your ideal candidate be the guide.

No matter which position you are hiring for, it is critical that potential candidates follow directions. You can eliminate candidates early in the process with a simple prescreening task or question to answer when they apply. You might ask candidates to spell their name backward in the subject line of their email or answer a question of your choosing in a cover letter. Both will give you a little extra insight into the candidate. If they cannot follow directions at this stage of the process, they probably should not move forward.

As you begin interviewing and meeting candidates, do not focus too much on their experience and skills. While experience and skills certainly matter, personality is just as, if not more, important. It’s often easier to teach skills, but it is harder to find someone who fits in well and whom you can envision being a part of the team you want to build over the long term.

Your turn: Make a list of the experience, skills, and attributes you are looking for in your ideal candidate to create your job ad. Decide on the prescreening task or question you will ask when the candidates apply. Set a deadline for yourself to post the ad—and stick to it.

Author Bio

Shane T. Johnson is the CEO and Managing Partner of Johnson Legal, an estate planning and business law firm in Wilmington, NC. With years of experience in estate and business law, he has zealously represented clients in various legal matters, including small business formation and purchasing, estate planning, probate, domestic violence, and other legal cases.

Shane received his Juris Doctor from the University of Wyoming and is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association. He has received numerous accolades for her work, including being named among the Best Probate Lawyers in Wilmington by

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