When companies are small, founders and startup leaders usually know exactly who they need to hire to get their early business off the ground. Culture and vision are at the forefront, and hiring is all about finding people who can help launch and grow those essentials to their fullest.
But once your core team is established and your business starts to grow, the intense focus on culture and perfect-fit hires often falls by the wayside. Daily responsibilities scale up and evolve, and slowly teams are left with more and more “good-enough” fits and increased employee turnover.
Luckily, there are things you can do to improve your candidate filters and bring in more of the right kind of candidate, every time you hire.
Put your values into words — then questions. In the early days of your company, you were probably explaining and defining your culture and mission all the time. Now? Maybe not so much. Get your corporate values in writing, and make sure your whole company knows them — especially people who will be interviewing candidates. Develop a short list of interview questions that filter specifically for *your* culture and make sure every interviewer is asking them.
When’s the last time you looked at your company website? Seriously. It’s an easy thing to take for granted in the rush of day-to-day work, but job candidates all use it to evaluate your company culture and work environment. Go check your website out today, and look for things like:
- Pictures – Show off your team at work, your latest projects, stellar office space, fun off-site meetings, and anything else you’ve got to offer. Top candidates have a lot of options, so make sure your website convinces them why they need to work with you now.
- Job descriptions – Are they easy to find? Are they fun and inviting, or dry variations on the same template? Infusing your job descriptions with personality means candidates will filter themselves; people who like your style will keep applying, and people who don’t fit will look elsewhere.
- About page – This is the most-visited page on most websites. Does yours accurately reflect your company culture? Share your mission and values here too (like SEOmoz does) — no need to be coy about what makes you so special. It will draw in the right kind of candidate and help you stand out from the crowd.
Engage your community. Speak at conferences, send engineers to meetups, have marketers host a happy hour. The more people who know about your company and the great work you do, the more qualified candidates you’ll get interested in you. Encourage employees to refer great talent they know using referral bonuses and spread the word yourself to everyone in your network; referral candidates tend to stay longer and fit better than others, so get involved in your community and look for personal connections.
Bringing in the right candidates is all about making sure applicants know who you are before they apply. Focus on the image you’re projecting to your candidates, and make sure your corporate values are clear and well-defined. You’ll bring in higher quality, better-suited candidates who are sure to go the distance with your team.