A How-To Guide to Hiring

Chris Allaire
Chris Allaire

The hiring process is more complex than it’s ever been. The bottom line is that you need someone who is qualified, interested and available, but finding this can feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack. If you know what you’re looking for and are willing to put in the preparatory work, you can avoid the most common mistakes and increase your chances of landing the right candidate.

When I founded Averity, I put in place the Averity Process, a five-point system to help companies find the right person for the job. From where to start to closing the deal, here are the tips you need to find the right person when it’s time to make your next hire.

Step One: Identify

Before you begin, you need to lay the groundwork. It’s as simple as this: you can’t find the right candidate if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

  • Identify the need – Make sure you know exactly why you need someone. Are  you filling an existing opening or creating a new one? Understanding the goals of the position will get you farther than a list of skills that may or may not apply.
  • Perfect the job description – Have you captured what is attractive about the job? Have you accurately described what the actual duties and responsibilities are? It’s easy to get lost in the qualifications and forget about the day to day job itself.
  • Market the opportunity – It’s critical that the right person sees it. Rely on networks and outreach in addition to listings. The ideal candidate may not currently be “active” on the market.
  • Look past keywords – Find the candidates who match the criteria and key skills, but look past the “machine scan” and remember there’s a person behind the page you’re reading.

Step Two: Qualify

It pays to do a little homework. Confirm that the candidates you’ve found are qualified, actually interested, informed and available to start the job within a reasonable time.

  • Gauge their interest – Discover what the candidates are looking for and what really interests them. If they’re looking for something different than what you’re offering, it’s good to know now.
  • Inform – Help them get to know the company and the role. You know your company is a good place to work and the job opportunity is attractive. You want them to be excited about the opportunity.
  • Ask the “right” questions – Dive into the critical skills that someone will use on a day to day basis, not skills they’ll never use nor need to know.  The “dream” isn’t a reality.  

Step Three: Interview Coordination

You won’t know if you’ve found the right person without interviewing them. Until you speak, you’re just reading a list of accomplishments on paper. You’re not hiring resumes, you’re hiring people.

  • Be prepared – Few things are as disappointing as a good candidate who arrives at an interview unprepared. It shows a lack of enthusiasm and professionalism. That expectation works both ways, so be sure to arrive at the interview knowledgeable and ready.
  • Ask an unexpected question – Candidates are prepared for the usual questions. Surprise them, and they’ll show who they really are.
  • Get a second opinion – See how your colleagues feel about this potential new hire, especially if they’ll be working closely together.
  • Be adaptable – If you’re not getting the candidates you want, be willing to change your approach.

Step Four: Transparency

You and the candidate have made it this far. Being open and honest is the best approach for both parties.

  • Keep them in the loop – Let the candidate know where you are in the process and confirm where they are too. It helps to know they are still interested when you’re ready to make an offer.
  • Momentum closes deals – Even if it’s a casual call, email or friendly chat over coffee while you’re interviewing other potential fits for the role, don’t let someone potentially great slip away.
  • Trust your instincts – If you have a suspicion, listen to it. It probably won’t go away after you hire the person. But be realistic, and make sure your expectations are in line with the position.

Step Five: Oversee Closure, Start, and On-Boarding

You’ve found the right person . . . now what? A little follow through will help transform that outstanding candidate into an outstanding employee.

  • Get them to “Yes” – Make a strong offer that they will accept – if you’ve followed the steps above you’ll know what is realistic, because you’ll know the candidate and what they are looking for too.
  • Constant communication – Did they give notice? Did they get a counter-offer? When was the last time you had communication with them? Do they know what time to turn on that first Zoom meeting? Don’t lose them after acceptance.  They may not have started yet, but they are your new addition to the team, treat them like it.
  • Start them off right – You’ve gone through the effort to identify and hire the right person. It’s worth the continued effort to get them started off on the right foot.

No two candidates are alike, but with a little flexibility and preparation, you’ll find the one who is uniquely right for you.

Chris Allaire
Chris Allaire

Chris is an entrepreneur, pilot, avid golfer, pretty awesome cook, crab cake connoisseur, guitar player, and a proud husband and father. When Chris isn’t playing with his 2 daughters or traveling with his incredible wife, he is recruiting for Open Source Engineers in New York City. His love for recruiting stands just shy of his love for the Boston Red Sox. Chris has almost 20 years of recruiting and staffing experience on a National level with over 10 years in New York City, both contract and full time.