Success or failure of a business starts long before you start making decisions as to which products to sell, how to expand, and how to market your services. Very often whether you will succeed or fail depends on what kind of people you hire – and it pays to start approaching this issue very carefully as early as possible, as modern labor legislation forces one to tread very lightly when hiring every new person, as you rarely can simply fire somebody who no longer suits you. That is why it is important to adopt good hiring practices before you hire your first employee – and to develop them further as you go along.

1. Check candidate’s social media presence

When hiring somebody, especially if you expect to work with them for a long time, it is very important to understand what kind of person they are. While you can get some insights by first hiring a top-rate psychologist and having them talk to each candidate, the usefulness of this approach is very limited. People are not stupid and know what you want to hear. Asking personal questions to try and see who you are dealing with is useless, as nobody answers them truthfully.

You can achieve much better results by analyzing the candidate’s presence on social media, especially if you represent a tech business:

  • It shortens hiring time
  • It gives you the competitive advantage
  • It’s cost effective
  • You can get higher quality candidates

On social media, you can find all kinds of data: from what the candidate thinks about their previous workplaces and bosses to how much their interests are aligned with the position they want to occupy.

2. Look for candidates committed to a chosen path

Today it is normal to switch careers multiple times in the process of professional development, but it is usually not worth hiring somebody who does it too often and too easily. It is better to overpay in the short term and hire a committed professional who had been acquiring their skills for many years and knows all ins and outs of their job than somebody who has been in this business for only a short while. Although such a candidate may be less costly, if something happens to them due to lack of experience, you will pay more due to the worker’s compensation law than you can ever hope to save on their salary.

3. Do not hire a new employee just because it is the most obvious decision

Even if hiring somebody to fill in the blank is often the easiest solution, it does not mean it is the best one. Hiring an employee means committing yourself, probably for years to come. Before you do it, think creatively how you can solve the problem without getting new staff: by improving your processes, eliminating unnecessary work so that other workers have time to perform this function, redistributing work among employees differently, etc.

4. Build a solid hiring brand

According to an Office Vibe report, staggering 75 percent of professionals are passive candidates. It means that they do not actively look for a new job, but are ready to act on an opportunity if one arises. It means that if you post a job description on a hiring portal and wait for candidates, you will miss the three-thirds of potential employees. You can and should attract their attention by improving your company’s employer brand: post updates about your business’ development, work culture, opportunities for employees, update company profiles wherever it is present, always be quick to react to reviews, and so on.

5. Change your job descriptions

According to the study by Wall Street Journal, job descriptions were roughly divided into two types: Demands/Abilities (those that focused on what the company demands and expects from an applicant) and Needs/Supplies (those that focused on what a company can do for the candidate). It may sound counter-intuitive, but applicants that responded to the latter type were, on average, rated higher than those who responded to the former type. The takeaway is simple: concentrate on what you can offer your employees, and you will attract people better aligned to work for you.

6. Fit personality traits to job requirements

Naturally, a person should possess a particular skillset to occupy a specific position. However, if his/her personality does not fit this position well, no level of skill will be able to compensate for it. And worse yet, skills can be acquired, while personality types remain the same. Therefore, when drawing a portrait of an ideal employee for a position, consider not just the professional qualities, but the necessary personal traits as well.

Your hiring decisions, especially at an early stage of development of your business, can make or break your entire enterprise. Develop the right hiring practices early on, improve them to fit your industry better, and you will succeed where most others fail.