Hiring took a definite hit over the past several years, as many companies put a complete freeze on bringing any new employees onboard. As the economy continues its slow recovery, however, many employers are finding themselves undertaking their first hiring efforts in years. But after an extended period of recruiting inactivity, some managers are discovering they are virtually paralyzed, unsure where to begin.
Here are some tips for overcoming that paralysis and finding the right hires to give your business the jumpstart it needs:
1. Don’t Be Hasty – With unemployment still hovering north of 8 percent, any job opening will result in far more applicants than prior to the recession. In other words, you’ve got your work cut out for you. Be sure to allot enough time to thoroughly review all applications and resumes. You may wish to begin the recruiting effort well before you intend to actually make a hire. That will allow you to ensure you are truly selecting the cream of the crop.
2. Don’t Expect it to be Easy – This may seem contradictory to tip number one, but the truth is that not all positions are easy to fill, despite high unemployment rates. Worker shortages continue, particularly in fields such as health care and technology. You may find it necessary to cast a wide net in order to get the word out to the appropriate people. You may even need to enlist the assistance of a headhunter or search firm.
3. Don’t Rob the Cradle – While you may be tempted to hire a hungry young person fresh out of college, you may be better served by bringing in someone with experience. After all, you are still in recovery mode and have less time – and funding – to get new employees up to speed. You need people who can hit the ground running. Once the recovery is finished, you can turn your attention to campus recruiting.
4. Don’t Discriminate Against the Unemployed – In these difficult economic times, it’s not unusual for even the best employees to find themselves unemployed for a time. Just because someone may not currently have a job – or may have a gap in their resume – that is not suitable cause to eliminate them from the running. Simply ask them to explain why the gap occurred, then make your decision.
5. Don’t Make Your Decision Lightly – When recovery is the name of the game, a new employee can spark a growth wave or a death spiral. It’s up to you to make hiring decisions carefully. Put candidates through numerous, demanding interviews, check their references carefully, and diligently undertake background checks. You may wish to consider bringing new employees in on a contract or temporary basis to begin with. If things work out, make the relationship permanent. If not, simply let them go and start the process all over again.