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Hire Learning An expert's tip advice for hiring the best candidates

By Nichole L. Torres

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Think back to the last time you hired an employee. A littlestressful maybe? (Am I asking the right questions? Can I trust myinstincts about this person? Can she do the job? Will he fit inhere?) Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to ease thepain. We talked with Lou Adler, founder of CJA-The Adler Group, anexecutive search and organizational consulting firm in Tustin,California, to find out how to make the process less scary andraise the caliber of potential hires. He's also founder andpresident of POWERHiring.com Inc., an Internet recruiting firm, sohe's road-tested his tips well. Through his Web site, Adlergives managers all the tools they need to make a smart hiringdecision. And in his book, Hire With Your Head: A Rational WayTo Make A Gut Decision (Wiley & Sons, $29.95,800-225-5945), Adler describes the most common mistakes people makewhen hiring. Here's his advice for getting the bestcandidates:

  • Define superior performance. Before you go out looking for thatperfect candidate, have a clear picture of what the job entails. Bespecific about what would differentiate an average candidate from asuperior candidate. Developing a clear set of"deliverables" can make it easier to ask pointedquestions and get specific examples of how the candidate willperform the necessary tasks.
  • Write a great ad. Top candidates respond to compelling ads.First, you need a catchy title. Second, the body of the ad shouldconcentrate on what the candidate will do-not what they need tohave. For example, don't say "Needs three years of jobexperience." Say "Use your three years of job experiencein developing a state-of-the-art Web business-to-businesssolution." Says Adler, "Focus on what the person is goingto become, not where they've been."

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