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by Magda Walczak, Search Party

What if you could hire the right person for the job each and every time you? Sounds impossible, right?

Yet this goal is not unattainable. You simply have to change your assumptions about the hiring process and how it works.

Start by understanding your company culture.

Every successful employer will tell you to hire for cultural fit. Yet if you can’t understand and articulate your culture you’ll never be able to do this. You’ll settle for hiring the people you “like” instead, and that mindset can cause problems.

Gene Caballero, Co-Founder of GreenPal, notes that “culture” is often misunderstood.

“Culture gets mislabeled as “perks” offered throughout an organization. In its most potent form, culture should refer to the aligning values of the organization; do you and your team members all believe in the same things? What is your team’s mantra?

The specifics of your team’s values are not as important as the fact of having the values ingrained that align each member of that team. This adds purpose to the mission, and passion is a product of purpose. These are the elements by which real culture is created. These values have to be installed in the early stages of a company, as it’s impossible to come back later and sprinkle in some culture and values into an established team.

A Strong culture is created when each member of the team believes in the same things. When that is the case, trust emerges, and when you have trust you have loyalty. With these elements embedded in a team, no matter how big or small, there is no limit to what can be accomplished.”

What if your company isn’t in the early stages of development? Don’t worry. You have a culture. You simply have to discover it by observing and articulating the values your team is already following, and the traits that already make team members successful.

It’s true that you can’t just “decide” to create a company culture, but you can identify and strengthen the one that is already there. Of course, if there are problems in the culture that turn your workplace into a dismal place to be then you must address those before you can proceed.

Learn how to communicate that culture.

Communicating your culture is the cornerstone of employer branding, which is all about telling the world why employees would want to choose your company over all the others. Employers aren’t the only one searching for cultural fit…that’s what good employees want, too.

Of course, it also doesn’t hurt to share details about your competitive salary, benefits, vacation and other packages.

Notice how all of this starts before you even identify an opening?

Most people believe the job brief is where the hiring happens. And while it’s vital to write a good one, and to know your must-haves for each position, the truth is that by the time you have an opening it’s too late to lay the groundwork for those truly stellar hires.

You can, of course, continue to use tools like ours to give yourself the best chances for success if you’ve got an immediate need, but until you do the harder bit you’ll always continue to struggle.

Remember, you should “always be hiring.”

Even when you don’t have an opening you should continue to source and build relationships both with candidates and with top-notch recruiters who can help put you in touch with more candidates.

One passive and effort-free way to do this is to use JobAdvisor. You can share your culture and your employer brand. You can collect CVs from people who already know you do not have a specific opening, but who may be interested in working with you because they feel, themselves, that your company offers a good cultural fit.

However, you should also be sure to take some of your efforts offline. Darin Herle, the founder of Trackmeet, notes:

“I socialized a ton to allow me to meet a lot of people in the target demographic. I had to put myself in a ‘target rich environment.’ This meant going to mixers, tech events, and conferences. I never pass up a chance to hang out and chat with people.

Once I identify potential superstars I add them to my virtual bench or pipeline. This is a sales process, so I will “touch” them every now and then with an e-mail or phone call, or send them info on our company. If I knew they were at a conference, I’d meet up with them.”

The goal here is to avoid traditional job boards altogether. You want to sort through 5-10 top-notch candidates who are already likely to become an invaluable part of the team. You don’t want to waste your time sifting through the resumes of people who are hungry for a job (any job). People who take the time to apply to companies they love already have a leg up on job board job seekers because they are taking conscious steps to grow their careers and seek organizations that will allow them to accomplish new and exciting things.

You never know when you’ll need someone.

If you don’t build a candidate pipeline, develop great relationships with recruiters or use tools that help you reduce time-to-hire you could be hiring out of a sense of desperation yourself. and if you’re under pressure, you’re going to make mistakes that you will surely regret later.


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