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How to Hire for Your Company's Strategic Vision

Jess Peterson
April 23, 2020
eCommerce

Your staff is the heart and soul of your company, which means that hiring new team members is one of the most important aspects of your business.  In fact, it can make or break your company if not carried out effectively. Hiring is about more than just finding a candidate to fill an immediate need. It should be about long-term success. You should hire for the organization's strategic vision. This is the ultimate guide to taking your business to the next level.

What is Strategic Hiring?

Simply put, strategic hiring is about bringing the right talent on board at the right time. This sounds easy enough right? This is about more than posting an old job description and hiring the first somewhat qualified candidate that walks through the door. The goals of strategic hiring include:

  • Finding candidates who are highly-qualified for the position
  • Retaining the right candidate for the long-term (turnovers are costly)
  • Finding talent that aligns with the current and future goals of your business
  • Bringing data-driven talent onboard

Strategic hiring begins long before you begin interviews. Successful, strategic hiring is a marathon, not a sprint. Before you post any jobs or make any new hires, you must first assess your company and update your current hiring strategy.  Let's start from the beginning.

Define Your Long-Term Goals

Before you can make any hiring decisions, you must understand where your company is now and where it is headed. Define long-term goals for your business as a whole. For most businesses, long-term goals will be based on financial goals for the upcoming year. For example, you may have a goal to sell x number of products annually. You may want to obtain x number of new clients each quarter. Goals will vary for each business and is completely dependent on your company's unique situation. 

Having a vision will give you direction when it comes to the types of candidates you need to hire to make these goals a reality. 

Determine Financial Constraints

Ultimately, your budget will be your limiting factor when it comes to strategic hiring. The size of your company will determine how you decide which departments to hire candidates for and how many new positions can be created. For companies that have separate budgets for each department, then each department's budget will need to be evaluated separately to see what the hiring abilities are for that specific department. For businesses that are small enough to use one budget for all departments, you can choose which areas need additional support.

What are the Personnel Needs of Your Company?

Just because an employee has left a position, doesn't mean that exact same position needs to be filled. It is possible that the needs of the business have changed or that the position never quite fit in with the goals of the company in the first place.  In order to determine the personnel needs of your company, you will need to break down the employees in each department. Determine their strengths and weaknesses. Identify the gaps in the department and what skills are necessary from new hires to make the team as strong and well-rounded as possible. 

Once you've determined the number of positions you need to hire, it is important to write down and prioritize what you need from the candidate who fills each respective position. This helps ensure that you have a clear direction and prevents you from going off-track further into the hiring process.

Importance of Focusing on Data-Driven Individuals

The most successful companies are data-driven and so are their staff. They don't rely on their gut feelings, opinions, or past personal experiences to make crucial decisions. Instead, they focus on data and analysis derived insights to make informed decisions based on trends and future predictions backed up by data. Focusing on building teams with a data-driven mindset is crucial to keeping an edge on your competitors and is the way of the future.

Bring HR Up to Speed

Your HR department plays such a large role in recruitment, onboarding, and enforcing employee policies that it is crucial they are up to speed with the company's hiring strategy. A disconnect will lead to a breakdown of the hiring process and the potential to lose your best candidates. Once you have assessed and fine-tuned your hiring strategy, make sure to hold a meeting with your HR department to ensure everyone is on the same page.  

Looking in All the Right Places

Knowing where to find the right employees is just as important as determining what your needs are. There is an abundance of options when it comes to where you can post job openings. These include:

  • Your company website
  • Job boards (such as Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and Indeed)
  • Employee referral programs
  • Recruiters and/or recruiting agencies
  • Word of mouth

Once you know who you are looking for, you can decide which avenues will be the most effective. Determine on which platforms your ideal candidates live and target those. This means you may use several platforms or only a couple. It's also important to realize the opportunities that passive hiring presents. Most people are always open to hearing about a different job opportunity. Do not forget about ideal candidates that may already have a job. Approach them with your offer. The worst they can say is "No thank you". However, you may be surprised at the number of people who aren't as content with their current jobs as they seem to be.  

Do not be afraid to switch it up if certain avenues aren't as effective as you expected. 

Crafting the Job Description

It might seem like a time-saver to just grab an old job description, post it, and let it roll. This is a really bad idea. The description may not be relevant anymore or it may not properly convey the future goals of the company. This leads to hiring candidates who do not understand what the job actually entails or do not align with the company's overall visions and goals. A well-crafted job description is a must for a successful strategic hiring experience.

Elements of an effective job description:

  • Explain in detail the individual duties of the job.
  • Describe the purpose of the job. Employees like to know that what they do is important and serves an invaluable purpose.
  • Outline requirements that potential candidates must have, such as experience and degrees. A word of caution: be careful not to be too strict as you may alienate perfectly qualified candidates due to an endless list of eligibility requirements that seems impossible to meet. For instance, someone may not have a Master's degree in the required field, but they may have years of experience that make them just as qualified as someone with a Master's degree.
  • Give a little blurb about what the company stands for, the culture, and future goals. Make sure that it conveys a sense of excitement and makes potential candidates dream to be a part of it. 

Most importantly the job descriptions for each position need to be accurate. This ensures that the applicants are aware of what the job actually entails and feels that they will fit in well with the company culture and that their vision aligns with the company's goals.

Conduct Strategic Interviews

You've finally made it to the interview stage. Congratulations! You're in the home stretch. The interview is incredibly important. It is your last line of defense in determining whether a candidate is a great hire or one that will end in tragedy for your company. You need to have a plan before you go into the interview process.  Here are the best tips for holding strategic interviews:

  • Determine the candidate's hard skills - Does he or she have the know-how to complete the tasks that will be required? For example, if you are hiring a designer for the creative department, does the candidate actually have designing skills.
  • Do not leave out soft skills - Soft skills are under-rated and can oftentimes be more of a deciding factor in success than hard skills. Soft skills include the ability to work well with team members, communicate effectively with clients, be punctual to work, etc. A candidate can have superior hard skills but often will not work out long-term if they do not have the soft skills necessary. 
  • Address emotional intelligence - Emotional intelligence in the workplace deals mainly with how people handle conflict and challenges. It also encompasses the ability to understand others' emotions and how to best interact and help.
  • Contact References - This is an often overlooked part of an interview, but it is so important. Although in most cases, references will only tell you good about a candidate (Who is going to put down a negative reference on their application?) you can still gain important information by asking the right questions. For instance, asking an employer whether they would hire the candidate again and why or why not, will give you a great deal of insight about the candidate.
  • Conduct a working interview - If you have two candidates who are neck and neck but only one position available. It is perfectly acceptable to conduct a second interview and make it a working interview. This allows you to put the candidates' skills to the test and see how they function in the company culture with the existing team. Although this makes the hiring process a little longer, it increases your chances of hiring the best fit, the first time.

Your best candidates will also be the ones who have the most options. Once you find the right candidate, be prepared to move quickly. Reach out, make an offer, and start the ball rolling. Sitting on your heels too long will result in losing your top choice to a different job opportunity. 

Hiring Strategically = Long-Term Success

Defining your company's long-term goals and developing a strategy to hire for your company's vision is the key to long-term success. It all begins with being able to obtain the data you need when you need it most. Yaguara provides companies a platform that provides easy to interpret data for every aspect of your business. Our cutting-edge technology allows companies to gain useful insights in order to make informed decisions to help reach their strategic vision.

Request a trial today and see the difference Yaguara makes for your company.

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