Good hiring strategies are crucial to business success, expert says

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Good hiring strategies are very important in determining the success of a business, Mary Kraft, president of Mary Kraft & Associates, Inc., told Greater Baltimore Committee members at a recent Bridging the Gap speaker series.

“Without good employees, your company will not do well,” Kraft warned. That’s why it’s very important for businesses to develop and use good hiring strategies, she said.

Kraft recommended businesses begin the hiring process by reviewing the job description. “Sometimes the description isn’t adequate or of the time,” she said. Businesses should make sure the description states the skills and qualifications needed relative to the current marketplace.

It is also important to have all candidates fill out an official application to place them on a level playing field. “Don’t just ask for a resume; everyone writes a resume differently,” she said. Policies, procedures and overall company expectations should be explained to all applicants in proper, legal documentation, Kraft said.

According to the Society of Human Resource Managers, more than 53 percent of all job applicants lie to some extent on their resumes, which is why Kraft strongly recommends that employers take the time to research and verify an applicant’s information.

This is especially important when filling a job position in upper management. Kraft estimates that it takes one month for every $10,000 dollars in salary to find the right candidate. “The higher the position, the longer it takes to find someone with the proper credentials,” she said.

During the interview, the employer should ask open-ended questions and give the candidate the opportunity to showcase his or her skills by developing a set of questions based on the resume, Kraft said. Take notes, but also keep the atmosphere as light as possible. There’s nothing worse than an interview that feels like an interrogation, she said.

But remember, the candidate is also interviewing you. It is your job to convince the candidate why he or she should consider a career with your company, Kraft said. Be sure to find out what benefits are most important to the candidate and highlight what your company can offer.

After the interview, finish taking notes immediately. “Take the time to evaluate that candidate,” Kraft said. Check all references; speak with immediate supervisors and ask for copies of written evaluations to verify the candidate’s job history.

Although good strategies can prepare a company for the hiring process, Kraft admits there is no formula that guarantees a perfect employee. “Better hiring is not a science, it’s an art,” she said.

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