Businesses are in a hiring mood.
The Bank of Canada says it’s detecting early signs of a “modest” pickup in corporate investment as domestic demand gains strength. The rise in demand follows overall subdued activity over the past two years, the central bank said in its recent Spring Business Outlook Survey.
As a result, the bank noted: “Hiring intentions remain positive overall.”
Separately, Statistics Canada said the labour force added 19,400 jobs in March from February. The number of full-time jobs rose by 18,400 in March while part-time jobs rose by 1,000. Compared to the same month a year ago, jobs rose 1.5%, mostly in full-time work.
In the first quarter of 2017, employment gains totaled 83,000, notably higher than the 36,000 jobs added in the year-earlier quarter.
Compared with 12 months earlier, employment increased by 276,000 (+1.5%), mostly in full-time work. Over the same period, the total number of hours worked rose 0.7%.
Although businesses may generally expect to fill vacancies quickly, hiring the right people for the job can be challenging. So here’s a broad overview of hiring tips to consider if your company is in the market.
Don’t assume the best applicants will be the best employees. Everyone involved in the hiring process should be aware that the best applicant and the best employee aren’t always the same. Applicants are simply looking for a job while great employees want a career. Sometimes, candidates who perform best in an interview aren’t able to get the job done in the best way.
Match candidates to the job. Know the essential tasks needed to successfully perform a job. That should become the blueprint for the selection process. You should know the critical tasks a candidate needs to perform effectively. Finding the perfect fit is crucial to your business’s success.
Moreover, you need to find a person who fits well with your company’s personality, or culture. If your business environment is loose-knit and informal, you may not want to hire a person who enjoys working in the formal environment of a stiff-upper-lip publicly traded concern. On the other hand, if you want to hire people to push your business to the next level, you may not want to waste your time interviewing candidates who have spent their careers at mom-and-pop shops.
Make people accountable for their hires. Your company’s human resources staff and hiring managers should be made personally accountable for their choices. Consider tracking their success and failure rates. Help those with high failure rates to improve or, if necessary, remove them from the hiring process.
Join the 21st Century. Social networking is almost de rigueur for recruiting job candidates. In fact, Facebook recently introduced job postings for businesses in the United States and Canada on its social networking website. Employers will be able to post job vacancies on their pages and allow users to apply through Facebook. LinkedIn is also very popular.
Show what you can offer. When you look to hire someone, don’t just focus on what the candidate has to offer. Think about what your company can offer the candidate. By setting the right tone and making your company a place for employee growth and satisfaction, your company will become an attractive place to work.
Vet prospects. Check out candidates before they come in for interviews. Some employers will do the interview process out of order, checking an applicant’s references and credentials after the interview. Don’t waste time. Vetting candidates ahead of time can speed up the process.
Keep communicating. Assume that other companies are also after the strongest candidates. If you draw out the hiring process — taking too long to make your decision— a competitor could snatch up the candidate. Don’t keep people hanging. Make sure to follow-up and give feedback, letting candidates know when you’ll be making a decision. By keeping the lines of communication open, the best candidates might be willing to let you know if they have a counteroffer.
Traditional interviewing techniques are often a waste of time, according to some experts. Many books and websites provide typical questions and tell applicants the answers that employers want to hear. Meet with candidates who are fully prepared to demonstrate how they would do the jobs. This process has three steps:
1. Prepare the candidates. Invite prospects to come in and show you how they would tackle jobs. Give them a list of the challenges they may face and encourage them to learn all they can about your business or organization. Be ready to present solutions and strategies.
2. Prepare yourself. Structure a day’s work with real tasks for the candidate you think you want to hire. Pick a few tasks to describe that are a major part of the job and that will make a difference to your business.
3. Get a demonstration. Let a candidates demonstrate in his or her own way that they can do the job. Can they ride a fast learning curve? Assess their ability and potential to do the work. Then, tap the top performers.
It’s a good idea to anticipate future hiring needs well before there’s a critical demand. Develop a pipeline of talented employees. If you know a senior employee leaving soon, start the hiring process now and let the senior person do the training.
This hands-on approach may not work for every job or every company. But in many cases you may find it’s worth a try. Discuss the techniques with your human resources department and managers and enlist their help to help find the prospects most likely to succeed in your business environment.
And don’t forget the possibility of turning to outside pros. Depending on the position you’re filling, it might be worthwhile to look into specialized headhunters. They can speed up the hiring process, find good job candidates, and weed out the less desirable ones, saving you a lot of time sifting through resumes. Also, reach out to your industry peers and mentors for help finding appropriate applicants. And check out the going salary rate for the position so you don’t lowball the best job applicants.