How to hire employees effectively in 2024

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Finding employees who will be valuable contributors to your team and can enrich your company culture is a challenge in any year, including this one. In a continuation of 2023, the market is still somewhat uncertain, with experts stating that the Great Stay may be the next stage of hiring.  

“As one company enacts cost containment measures, another rolls back those same restrictions and begins to hire, and the result is a foggy view on where we’re at and where we’re going as a larger economy. With all that said, demand for skilled IT, digital & creative and business strategy talent continues to be meaningful. Uncertainty persists, but it’s important to have a well-planned and concise hiring process to ensure you don’t lose talent to companies willing to move faster than you,” says Horizontal Regional Vice President Kevin Erickson.

If you’re a hiring manager, what do you do? Your company may be cutting back and standing out in a crowded field of employers with multiple opportunities requires creativity and resourcefulness, as well as a bit of reflection.

Start with what you know, or need to know 

There are 2 important questions you should ask yourself from the get-go: What roles do you need to hire for over the next 6 months, and what does your budget look like? Knowing the roles that need to be filled to achieve your 2024 goals, as well as what salary range you can offer, is essential when you’re starting your search. 

As a hiring manager, you should also assess your hiring process. From what the interviewing process looks like to HR paperwork and onboarding time frame, consider the logistics involved in making a hire and how that may impact the time required for each individual hire and other managerial tasks.

And though sorting through these types of logistics may not be much fun, thinking about what makes your company unique and attractive to potential job seekers can make this initial part of the hiring process a little more enjoyable.

  • What positively stood out about your company in your interviewing process that may stand out to potential candidates?
  • What do you enjoy about your job that will carry over to the position you’re hiring for?

Consider how the need for this role can both benefit the team’s goals and the potential candidate’s individual goals. 

Know what you want from your new hire

It’s important to be realistic, not idealistic, about what you want from your new hire. 

The competition for top talent is fierce, and it’s important to be flexible when you’re considering job seekers. Many organizations and hiring managers make the mistake of trying to find the perfect candidate. However, their perception of the perfect candidate is often misguided and can be driven by an ideal of a candidate having every skill set imaginable to be able to crush the job out of the gate.

According to Korn Ferry’s Future of Work Trends report, 69% of the world’s most admired companies place an emphasis on learning agility and curiosity over career history and work experience.

Be open-minded to candidates who bring varying but similar skills to the role. Have they worked in positions that offer challenges akin to the challenges they will face in this role? Does their work history show they have moved up in previous organizations? Beyond their resume, does the person you are interviewing seem like someone who wants to embrace the role and truly own it?

As important as it is to have the hard skills, not enough can be said for the soft skills of being able to communicate and work well with others. According to a recent LinkedIn blog, 89% of recruiters say bad hires typically lack soft skills. Ultimately, a few extra hours of training and development throughout the onboarding process can go a long way. 

Horizontal recruiters, Ali Provos and Rachel Thrune explain, “If you have someone that can communicate, is a good team player and can learn, you can develop their hard skills. You can teach most people anything, so having soft skills is going to be huge. Soft skills are important, and you can’t always teach somebody that.”

Cast a wide net when searching

The cost of a bad hire is high so casting a wide net and getting it right the first time is worthwhile. A LinkedIn blog states that the average cost of one bad hire is $15,000. 

This may seem obvious, but many managers pigeonhole themselves when it comes to where they go for their hiring search. If the role can be remote, your potential to find the right person can be greatly improved. In 2023, many organizations implemented return to office policies while others solidified their remote work lifestyle. If you want to attract the best candidates, being open to various work styles can be critical. 

“The job seeker market is tapped depending on where you’re at so going national can help big time,” says Jeff Seebinger, Horizontal Regional Vice President. “Anyone who mandates the job seeker is full-time in the office is going to face challenges. The ability to work remote/hybrid really opens up the search.”

Tap into your network, use LinkedIn and job boards and, depending on how much time you have to dedicate to finding the right candidate, you may want to strongly consider the many benefits of working with a staffing company.

Sometimes referrals from coworkers and friends can result in a great hire. However, utilizing trusted staffing professionals who not only have a strong understanding of the hiring landscape based on industry but also within individual regions of the country can be invaluable. Recruiters can save you time and headaches by vetting candidates in advance and handling the logistics of interviews and salary negotiations.

Show them the money … and the benefits … and the perks … and the great work-life balance

Employees decide on companies for a lot of reasons, and while salary remains at the top of the list, it certainly isn’t the only one. In 2023, the World Economic Forum stated that 59% of people leaving their jobs want a company that better fits their values.

“Company culture and a path for growth are huge — especially these days. If candidates don’t see a path for the future, that extra $20k doesn’t mean much,” says Erickson.

What makes your company unique? Talk to your coworkers about why they work for your company, and make sure you have a thorough understanding of your company's core values, DEI and ESG initiatives and volunteer opportunities in order to paint a clear picture to job seekers. Do you have a 60 second elevator pitch for your company?
 
If you're looking for ways to enhance company culture, Horizontal Talent Vice President of Strategic Initiatives Jen Zweig says, “Launch new or relaunch Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to help employees feel part of the greater team. ERGs are an invaluable way to promote inclusivity at a company.” 

It's also important to consider what demographic you are speaking with and what needs different demographics prioritize. Recent research states that 50-75% of the global working population will be millennials or Generation Z by 2025. How are you making sure that you are addressing various demographical needs?

Overall, Erickson recommends you “Let the candidate know you will provide real-time communication and not take a one-size-fits-all approach to management. Make sure they know you will incorporate regular discussions regarding development opportunities and upskilling as an integral part of their experience at your company.”

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