4 Best Practices for Hiring High Performers

Author: Bud HaneyConsider this: It can cost $4,000 to $40,000 to recruit and onboard one new employee. Therefore, companies that have implemented efficient hiring practices get the best return on this investment, especially when they focus on acquiring top performers.

But, effectively hiring high-performing candidates requires a proactive approach – these candidates have high expectations, and many been through rigorous interview processes before. You need to differentiate your company from the masses, and here are four best practices to make sure your hiring process is ready to attract and select high-performing candidates:

  1. Focus on job tasks and personality characteristics while creating a performance profile. Skills are the foundation of any job, but employees who enjoy the culture of the company they work for are much more productive. An employee’s personality must fit with the company culture in order to achieve success. Remember that skills can be taught, but organizational fit cannot.

  2. Use current high performers as a guide in the hiring process. Sometimes, the solutions to our problems are right under our noses. High performers at your company are a great starting point for gathering the necessary information to create a performance profile and select possible candidates. The goal is not to create a homogenous company, but identify specific traits that are important in your organization. Identify what hard skills accomplishments and personality characteristics have helped your top performers succeed in a particular role. Then, you can look for these traits when selecting candidates or plan for specific training to help develop these skills among new hires. Lastly, consult the past performance evaluations of current high performers. What was their skill level coming in? How quickly has it progressed? This knowledge can help you create a basis of comparison for current job candidates.

  3. Quantify the process. The days of hiring based on a gut feeling or personal relationship are over. It is important that hiring managers remain as objective as possible to ensure they are hiring employees based on relevant factors. Assessments are useful tools to ensure objectivity. Selection assessments can help you measure how well an individual fits in a specific role at your company. Use available tools that are backed by scientific research, and take some of the guesswork out of hiring.

  4. Keep an open mind about what positions a top-performing candidate should fill. Just because a candidate was in a sales position for a previous company does not mean sales is the perfect fit for the employee in your company. Every company’s job duties and organizational structures differ, so focus more on the skills a candidate brings to the table, not their previous job title. Get rid of any preconceived notions so you can find the right position for a candidate.

Receiving an application from a candidate with a track record of high performance is only the beginning. If you do not have practices in place for a streamlined hiring process, the candidate could be turned off by your company or be placed in the wrong position. Do not waste valuable skills! Create a thorough job description, understand what makes someone successful in your company, rely on an objective hiring process, and keep an open mind. You will soon find yourself watching new employees flourish in roles they were born to fill.

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