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6 Ideas For How You Can Avoid Making Any More Bad Hires Online sites are connecting candidates and companies faster than ever. This isn't always a good thing.

By Thomas Smale Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

portishead1 | Getty Images

When you want a business to be successful, you need a great product or service and a team ready to deliver it.

However, building the team behind that business can be challenging. On average, new hires tend to leave a company within 18 months. This is often because they weren't a good fit for the role in the first place, and the recruitment process wasn't thorough. As many businesses learn -- the hard way -- a bad hire can result in significant financial cost and harm to a business's reputation.

Related: How to 'Hire Smarter' Using Talent-Acquisition Technology

So, how do you make the best hire possible? One of the key moves here is to widen your search as much as possible. Rather than working with a recruiter (who will often just post ads on job boards), you might try some of the ideas below. If the in-house efforts describes fail to turn up the right candidates, then it's time to turn to a professional recruiter.

1. Use "premium" job sites.

Job sites like Indeed and Glassdoor can be good for finding junior candidates, but ensuring that that job ad is seen by the best candidates possible is the challenge. For that reason, there's a lot of benefit in moving away from the standard job boards and instead looking at premium sites that offer more than simple ad posting.

For instance, a site like themuse.com isn't a normal job-boards site, as it offers career services and helps organizations and candidates connect. A site like this may help your opening get noticed by better-qualified candidates who are more active and engaged in their job search.

2. Promote your vacancies through fresh mediums.

Another way to grow the reach of your candidate search is to find more engaging ways to advertise. Making use of YouTube and podcasts by mentioning open positions toward the end of your content can bring you candidates via word of mouth. Videos and podcasts also can be further shared via social media, your website, email, LinkedIn and other platforms.

Related: Related: Don't Let Technology Make Recruiting a Lost Art -- Here's Why.

This particular approach can offer a potential candidate a better look at your company and culture before he or she gets in touch. In fact, onsidering today's growth in visual media consumption across the internet, recruitment via video ads and video applications may very well become the new norm.

3. Engage passive candidates.

"Passive" candidates are those who aren't actively seeking a new position but might be interested were the right approach made. For more senior positions, people who are already actively working elsewhere may be the best candidates to speak to.

Approaching passive candidates should be a separate category for your recruitment strategy, as it will require a different, often more sensitive, form of outreach. Employing a headhunter here can help, but some simple research through a tool like LinkedIn will go a long way toward finding these candidates.

Any email communications you send to this group also will have to be carefully drafted, with the writer bearing in mind any risks of competitors being aware you are targeting their employees.

Another way to meet passive candidates? Virtual career fairs are becoming more popular. These are more likely to attract passive job seekers who are reluctant to go to standard job fairs for fear that their current employer will find out. Articles like this one from CNBC are helping to promote virtual career fairs as the future of recruitment.

4. Host an open house day.

An open house day is the term for a day in the office when you show candidates around your business and speak to them in an informal setting. These events are often attended by serious job hunters and are a good way to see if they will fit your company culture.

For the event, you can bring in staff from different departments to question candidates and provide a second opinion on their qualifications and competency. Having members of your staff mingle with the candidates in this way will allow candidates to relax and be themselves.

5. Use social media.

Social media recruitment is growing more popular, for an obvious reason: Apps like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin are more convenient than phone or email. A fast, initial conversation carried out via a messenger service can go a long way in saving you time when you're recruiting. The added personal dynamic of a candidate's social media history, with that history's photos and posted opinions, will give a potential recruiter a solid impression of the person as well.

LinkedIn is particularly important here; it's the obvious recruitment outreach tool, and, according to a Jobvite survey, more than nine out of ten companies polled said they use it as part of their recruitment process. However, other platforms like Facebook (used by two-thirds) and Twitter (54 percent) are also being used to attract and search for candidates for open positions.

6. Don't forget virtual reality.

Virtual reality may sound like a scenario where the recruiter is "pushing the boat out too far," but some companies actually have made good use of VR in their recruitment process. The online store Jet has created a VR experience for its candidates, which helps it hire people from across the globe.

An interactive recruitment experience that allows potential candidates to (figuratively) immerse themselves in a company's physical environment and get to know its culture first-hand could send all the right signals. It shows that the business cares a lot about its recruitment process while introducing a much-needed element of fun into the process.

Related: Streamlining the Hiring Process with the Aid of Technology


Don't be rushed into hiring someone who isn't a good fit for your business. Instead, look for more innovative ways to improve and expand your recruitment process, while saving time for your HR department. By improving your candidate pool, and ensuring that your candidates understand the culture they will be working in, you can save time and help your company grow from strength to strength.

Thomas Smale

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Founder of FE International

Thomas Smale co-founded FE International in 2010. He has been interviewed on podcasts, blogs and also spoken at a number of industry events on online businesses, exit strategy and selling businesses.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.


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