Hiring is stressful, especially when you’ve never done it before. Hire the wrong person and you can cost yourself and your organization time and money.

However, “when you adopt proven hiring strategies, you can retain a steady flow of talent to fill open job positions and replace underperforming employees quickly. And when your hiring is fast and accurate, you get to focus on your company’s performance instead of managing bad hires or struggling under an increased workload while you search far and wide for the perfect candidate,” says hiring expert Scott Wintrip, author of High Velocity Hiring.

He offers these six guidelines to improve your process and hire the right person for the job:

Embrace experiential interviews

The standard approach to hiring is to conduct interviews where candidates talk about work. Not only is that a huge drain on time, it’s also an inaccurate way to assess whether a candidate fits your job. Replace traditional interviews with experiential, or “hands-on,” interviews.

“In a hands-on interview, you experience the candidate doing sample work,” says Wintrip. “If it’s for a sales role, the candidate joins you on a sales call. If you’re hiring for a customer service role, he can help solve a customer’s problem. By watching the candidate in action, you save time while also making a more accurate assessment of whether or not someone is a good fit.”

Cultivate a diverse workforce

It’s no secret that diversity in the workplace is a good thing. An inclusive workforce helps businesses better serve their diverse client base, and research even shows that the most diverse workforces are likely to generate better financial results for a business.

“Slight adjustments to your hiring profiles can substantially increase the flow of diverse talent,” says Wintrip. “For example, for years a large banking institution had required candidates to have finance degrees. However, they noticed that top candidates at competing banks didn’t have this requirement. They changed their own requirements and asked for candidates with any type of two- or four-year business degree. This led to a richer flow of highly diverse talent, resulting in some of the best hires they ever made.”

Line up key people before you need them

“Some roles are more vital than others, and when these roles are left unfilled, they can harm your business,” asserts Wintrip. “Plus, the extra work usually falls on your already-overflowing plate. Instead of waiting until an employee in an essential job quits or gives notice to start recruiting, do yourself a favor and recruit ahead of time. Dedicating 30 minutes to recruiting each week pays off by creating a pipeline of potential talent ready to be hired the moment that vital job becomes open.”

Use a hiring team to avoid making bad hires

Even the best interviewers routinely overlook crucial details during the interview process. This may prompt them to hire employees who don’t perform as expected. But according to Wintrip, a hiring team can solve that common problem.

A group of people will be able to notice any red flags while interviewing job candidates and can work together to choose the best person for the job, so involve the rest of your team in the process.

Make the most of referrals

Word of mouth is a great way to find talent and fill open positions on your team. Wintrip advises asking for referrals among all your networks, including vendors, former coworkers in good standing, present coworkers, fellow business owners, and friends and family. He further explains that investing just a few minutes each day in referral recon pays off in dividends. Don’t hesitate to make a quick phone call or send a short email to anyone you think might know someone great. It takes almost no effort and could result in new talent for your company!

“At the end of the day, your employees—and the work they do—make or break your company,” concludes Wintrip. “That’s why hiring talent better, faster, and smarter is so crucial for every organization. When you optimize your hiring strategies, you’ll begin filling open positions more quickly and hiring the right person for the job every time.”

Scott Wintrip has changed how thousands of companies across the globe find and select employees, helping design and implement a process to hire top talent in less than an hour. Over the past 18 years, he built the Wintrip Consulting Group (WintripConsultingGroup.com), a thriving global consultancy. Scott, the acknowledged leader of the on-demand hiring movement, is pioneering improved methods for recruiting and interviewing job candidates. For five consecutive years, Staffing Industry Analysts, a Crain Communications company, has awarded Scott a place on the “Staffing 100,” a list of the world’s 100 most influential staffing leaders. He’s also a member of the Million Dollar Consultant Hall of Fame and was recently inducted into the Staffing 100 Hall of Fame. Scott and his wife, Holly, live in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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