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4 Tips for Making the Right Hires in a Super-Competitive Job Market

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Job openings in the U.S. are at a 14-year high and the pace of hiring is expected to accelerate further, according to December’s job openings and labor turnover survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It’s more important than it has been in years for employers to optimize their hiring process to attract the very best talent.

The Labor Department also reported that there were 5.1 million hires made in December, the most since November 2007. To ensure that employers win today’s highly competitive talent market, here are four tips to help streamline the hiring process and secure top talent:

1. Know what is wanted.

Establishing what is wanted, and needed, in a new hire before the interview process begins is crucial for getting to the desired outcome as fast as possible. Don’t use the hiring process to figure out what is wanted in a new employee. It will waste every ones time and the company will miss out on potential fits early on in the process.

Making the wrong hire is costly A 2013 CareerBuilder survey of more than 6,000 hiring managers and HR professionals revealed that 27 percent of U.S. employers reported a single bad hire cost more than $50,000.

To avoid the costly mistake of hiring the wrong person, outline exactly what the company is looking for in a new hire and include that in the initial job description. Don’t simply recycle past job descriptions because, chances are, the role and what’s needed to fulfill that role have changed.

Related: How to Hire the Best Talent and Avoid the Most Common Pitfalls

2. Don’t hire by committee.

Making a prospective hire run through a gauntlet of interviews with lots of different people increases the chances that the candidate will hear something that confuses them. Then, he or she might bail out. In fact, another 2013 CareerBuilder survey of 3,900 workers found that candidates who have a bad applicant experience are 42 percent likely to never seek employment with that company again, and 22 percent are likely to discourage others from applying.

Instead, have the most relevant manager do the initial interview and involve only one to three other people in the hiring process. Also, keep in mind that most managers can hire up to their own level but not much higher. When making a senior-level hire, put the best manager on the case. Doing so can greatly improve hiring decisions.

3. CEOs are for closing.

Think of the company CEO as the late-inning relief pitcher on a baseball team. Their job is to help close great candidates by sharing the vision of the company and inspiring the candidate to join the team.

The CEO should not be interviewing, but rather selling. Reserve the CEO for closing candidates, not working the early innings of the hiring process. Not only does this save CEOs valuable time, but it also acts as a huge selling point for choice candidates.

Related: 5 Ways to Find and Hire Top Technical Talent

4. Be transparent.

The more information given to candidates about the position and the company, the better. For example, sugarcoating a challenging position may help fill the position now, but it will likely cause turnover later. Filling the same position twice is far more time-consuming and expensive than finding the right person to begin with.

Also, during any compensation discussion, be as transparent as possible -- especially if stock options are involved. Sharing the company’s current valuation, strike price and long-term goals can help candidates understand the true value of stock options and then make an informed decision.

Today’s hiring environment is fiercely competitive. To hire the best, companies need to move faster and be more transparent than ever before.

Related: 6 Recruitment Trends You Can't Ignore in 2015

Matt Straz

Written By

Matt Straz is the founder and CEO of Namely, the HR and payroll platform for the world's most exciting companies.