[aa_subtitle_display]At many workplaces, there is that one employee that really shouldn’t be there. They might be incompetent or just a bad fit, but it leaves coworkers and others wondering how this person ever got hired in the first place. While employees can become toxic over time, some of these employees probably weren’t the right choice from the very beginning. Since replacing an employee can be very expensive, it is important to hire the right person the first time. This can be tricky in a small to mid-sized business where those doing the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring may not be a dedicated human resources professional and may have little to no experience in hiring. Even if you have no experience in hiring, there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure that you get the right employee.

Did you write a great job description? Every job posting is going to attract some bad applicants, but you can do your part to minimize the poor matches by publishing a great advertisement. Include the duties that need to be done so that applicants have a good idea of what they’re getting into and what they need to be qualified to do. Posting it in the right places will also help to find the right candidates. Top executives probably won’t come from a small, local newspaper or online classified ads.

Can they do the job? Once you have applicants, you’ll have to review their resumes to see which have the relevant experience and skills for the job. You can further assess some of these skills during interviews. Look for skills that the company needs now, plus some that could meet future needs.

Do they fit the company culture? During the interview, you’ll need to figure out if candidates share values and goals with the rest of the company and whether their personality will mix well with other employees. Look for a candidate that likes collaboration and teamwork. Consider having more than one person interviewing candidates to get a better feel for the candidate’s personality.

What kind of questions are you asking? During interviews, open-ended questions work best (questions that cannot be answered with a simple yes or no.) Ask about their work experience, how they have handled or would handle certain challenges, or for examples of how they work with others.

Are you doing background checks and contacting references? Once you’ve narrowed your search to the top few candidates, you should check references. Contact former employers to verify information on their resumes, and call listed references to ask about the candidate.

If you or your current employees are uncomfortable with recruiting and hiring, consider finding out if your professional employer organization (PEO) offers these services. Many PEOs can help with recruiting and hiring and may even have ways of reaching job candidates who may not be actively searching on traditional job posting platforms. If you are not already with a PEO or are with one that does not offer these services, you can contact a PEO broker to find an organization that can assist you.

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