As a company grows, it is essential to find the right people to help. But be warned: Scaling a company is one of the hardest tasks for any business, especially small to mid-sized organizations. The human resources (HR) team needs to be prepared to do its best recruiting and hiring. Training your HR team on how to recruit high-quality candidates can be a game-changer. Here are a few steps to maximize your HR team’s efforts and minimize its headaches.

Roles and Requirements

This first step may be small, but it is crucial for the hiring process. Make sure that the HR team is clear on the skills, characteristics and interpersonal traits required to make up the perfect hire. Without defining these requirements, you’ll run the risk of wasting time on internal challenges, disagreements, or even losing a dream candidate due to a lack of clarity on what was or wasn’t necessary for the role.

Here are some questions for your HR team to answer in order to create a fool-proof job ad:

  • Which activities and tasks will the new hire be responsible for?
  • How do those tasks play into the bigger picture of the company?
  • If a candidate didn’t have a specific skill or qualification, will you turn him or her away?
  • What are the deal-breakers?

The biggest mistake hiring managers can make is confusing their qualification wants and needs, which is why the HR team must clarify what is mandatory and what is considered a bonus. If a skill is without-a-doubt necessity to the success of a role, the team should include it on the must-have list. If it is something that the training team can teach the employee or that the role doesn’t actually need, consider it a nice-to-have skill.

Writing the Job Description

Now that everyone is on the same page about what is and isn’t needed for the role, it is time to compose the job description. Incorporating these three things can help the HR team grab the attention of potential candidates and help them see what makes your company stand out from the rest:

The need to belong: Talking about your current team is only one way to go about leveraging a fundamental need that every human has: the need to belong. Job candidates want to see how the organization will recognize them for their hard work. Using social media posts, photos from group outings or annual meetings, or even your company’s internal kudos system will demonstrate your company’s culture and show candidates how they would become part of it.

The need for esteem: Who doesn’t want the opportunity to grow into something bigger, better and with more street credibility? Esteem is a great motivator. Outlining how a candidate is critical to the success of the company can boost his or her esteem and drive. Eliminating the “responsibilities” section in the job ad and replacing it with “your impact” will help the HR team think about what a candidate can do to stand out — and then help him or her actually do it.

The need to grow: The best candidates aren’t afraid to hustle. The job ad should explain the opportunities for on-the-job training and what they can expect to accomplish within the first few months to the first year of being a team member with your company.

Optimize All Recruiting Channels

One of the best resources for finding top-notch candidates is offline recruitment channels such as employee referrals. Almost half of new hires come from referrals, according to LinkedIn research. Here are tips your HR team can use to ensure that employee referrals help them find quality candidates:

  • Openly communicate your diversity journey and objectives.
  • Be transparent and specific on the must-haves for a new hire.
  • Prioritize referrals from employees in underrepresented communities.

Hiring managers can go the extra mile by asking friends, family and existing employees to look in their network for someone who is perfect for the role. Additional offline recruiting channels include job fairs, industry events, university or college partnerships, apprenticeship programs, and external recruiters.

Modern job seekers are constantly online looking at career sites, reading online reviews and watching company social media activity. Online recruitment channels should leverage those online accounts to encourage potential hires to choose you over the competition. These strategies can help grab and hold their online attention:

  • Edit and improve your career site.
  • Take advantage of social channels and job sites, especially niche ones.
  • Track and measure your best online platforms.
  • Create online marketing campaigns to target potential candidates.

Mastering the Interview

The interview process is the make-or-break point in any hiring process. Anyone can be perfect on paper, but the face-to-face vibes play a major role in the hiring process. Asking questions about leadership and personal background can help hiring managers understand candidates’ skills and communication styles and clarify details on their resumes. Ultimately, there is no guide to the interview questions they should ask, but considering how your company defines success can help the HR team build a list of potential questions to ask in the interview.

If consistent growth is a goal for your company, a recruitment process that is repeatable and efficient is the best way to achieve that goal. Measuring your hiring process by understanding the sources of quality candidate leads can help your HR team optimize future efforts and enhance your employer brand. Hiring may be a moving target, but with the right efforts, mindset, training and approach, hitting the mark is a breeze.