HR and Recruiting

Hire employees who will ensure long-term success

Written by Kate Lopaze

When you’re filling a position, the focus is often very immediate. Gotta fill the vacancy, right? And while the short-term needs are important, it’s also crucial to think about the long game here. Are you hiring someone who’s likely to be successful in this role long-term, or are you likely to be hiring for this same position in a year? Here’s are steps you can take to make sure you’re not wasting time and other resources on a lengthy hiring process again and again.

Focus on the future.

You know where your company is now, but where is it likely to be in two years? If your company values technology or innovation, are you hiring people with the skills to adapt? Don’t find people who can tackle today’s projects—find people who can innovate for tomorrow’s. Choosing someone who can jog along, for now, just to fill a position will be a detriment to your company. By staying on top of the trends in your industry, you can help figure out which skills are going to be in demand soon, if not now.

Build a company-focused job description.

True, you want someone to be able to manage the day-to-day tasks of the job right away, so it’s important to make sure tasks and responsibilities are clear. But also be sure to emphasize the skills that mean success in the role, not just basic ability. And it may be that a candidate doesn’t yet have experience that ticks off some of the boxes in the job description, but has shown the kind of adaptability and potential that would let him grow into the role.

You want to make sure your job description reflects what the company needs, not just what the role itself demands. This job doesn’t exist in a vacuum, so if you want someone who is going to fit into the team for a long time to come, it’s important to recruit for that fit up front instead of focusing 100% on the day-to-day responsibilities of this one position.

Trust your instincts.

It’s really okay to go off-book (or away from the job description) if you feel like someone will be a good fit, even if there’s some misalignment with the job description as written. Similarly, if Candidate A technically meets the expectations of the job, but Candidate B, who has less or different experience, feels like a better fit, listen to that too. You’re in your position for a reason—your gut is a good indicator of who will be best for the team and the company. It’s okay to stray from the “rules” for a candidate who stands out.

Leverage your networks.

If you’re looking for someone who would be a good fit for your company long term, that just may not be resume #47 from the slush pile. Instead, see how you can leverage existing employees’ networks, the company’s social media accounts, and other social connections (like college alumni networks) to broaden your recruiting.

People who already work for your company, or are familiar with the company, will often have great, knowledgeable referrals for open positions. That friend of a friend who’s perfect for a job, or an old colleague from way back when might not even know about the opening except for the tip from their own network. So it’s important to make sure you’re working the social angles as well as the more traditional job boards or recruiting methods.

You’re already all about hiring the best people, but if you can get the best people + longevity, you’re setting up yourself and your company for an even brighter future.

About the author

Kate Lopaze

Kate Lopaze is a writer, editor, and digital publishing professional based in New York City. A graduate of the University of Connecticut and Emerson College with degrees in English and publishing, she is passionate about books, baseball, and pop culture (though not necessarily in that order), and lives in Brooklyn with her dog.