Finding the right employees is at the very foundation of running a successful business – after all, you can’t do everything on your own. This means you need to make sure the people who stand by your side are just as skilled as you are, and equally invested in making your business really happen.

Selecting the best candidate for the role can be a true challenge. How do you actually take the decision, though? How do you narrow down a large pool of candidates to a few – and then to the one that truly meets your criteria?

Here are some tips to help you find employees that make a real difference:

Start With a Good Job Announcement

According to PWC, by 2020, Millennials will make for more than 50% of the global workforce. This affects businesses from many points of view, as the entire workspace is being re-shaped according to these young, unconventional free-thinkers.

This is a generation that shares everything online, dreams big and expects to be treated with respect. But most of all, this is a generation that shows deep dislike for everything ordinary. Millennials like out-of-the-box ideas, non-traditional offices and freedom of movement, even more than large salaries.

Considering this is the generation you most want to target (unless you are searching for candidates with more than 20 years of experience under their belt), you need to adapt your job descriptions to the people most likely to apply.

In other words, your job posts have to be original. They have to be shared through both conventional and unconventional media. They have to make Millennials believe in you – and even more importantly, believe that you will show them the appreciation they deserve.

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Prepare Your Interview

…and do it thoroughly.

Just think about it: if you were a job candidate and you interviewed with a company that didn’t seem to know much about the organization itself, the products sold and the job you were interviewing for, would you trust them? Would you quit your current job to go there?

Probably not.

If you want to attract quality candidates, make sure you offer quality in return – and not just after the interview, but in the impressions you give during the meeting as well.

Even more importantly, go beyond just the basic interview questions when preparing for the meeting. Be creative. Actually communicate with the candidate and ask questions that are thoughtful. The more unique your questions are, the less likely it is that the candidate will offer a “prepared” response.

Inquire about Past Job Success

Unless you are interviewing an intern or someone at a (very) junior level, be sure to inquire about past job success. To be certain the answers you receive are truthful, you should also do your own research on the side.

For example, are you hiring a writer to handle your blog and social media? Then check their own digital presence. See if they have published articles anywhere. Ask about references and recommendations – and then actually check them.

These things might require a little more effort than your average recruitment process – but they do make a difference. The more you know about a candidate’s past, the more you can predict his future in your company. (You’ll also learn what mistakes not to make in terms of winning his loyalty).

Test Your Candidates

It doesn’t matter if you’re hiring for the Call Center department, for the development team or for Finances. Testing candidates ensures their skills are real – and even more importantly, that they are truthfully assessed.

A candidate may say he speaks perfect German – but if his tests reveal otherwise, he most likely “inflated” this skill to be more eligible for employment. If German is not one of your top criteria, it might be fine to overlook this. But if your job description includes speaking fluent German, you might want to think twice about hiring that candidate.

Some business owners and HR professionals are concerned that pre-testing employees might dehumanize the hiring process. They worry it could endorse the selection of people who are better at testing than doing the actual job. Another concern is that tests can be learned and faked, too.

These are real issues to consider. But, as TestUP says, they are all problems that have tangible solutions. For example, testing combined with other recruitment strategies can offer you a more in-depth look into what a candidate can and cannot do. Timing your tests can help you spot candidates who are trying to cheat (e.g. spending too much time on certain questions could mean a candidate is looking for answers on the Internet).

At the end of the day, recruitment can be a tiresome, stressful and difficult process. But once you find the right candidate, the fulfillment you will feel will make it all worth it. Be original, be communicative and be flexible. Know the right person is out there, searching for the right job at the right company!

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