Companies often tout the fact that their best resource is their people. But people are not the best resource – the right people are. In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins describes the hiring process as getting the right people on the bus and in the right seats. Hiring the right person for a job can do wonders for a company – and likewise, hiring the wrong person can be disastrous. This begs the question, how do you find the right person for the job?

Here are five tips to help you find your ideal new-hire.


At the risk of stating the obvious, you can only find the right person for the job if you attract the right applicants in the first place. As an employer, how you write your job description actually makes a big difference in who you attract. Traditionally, job descriptions have been little more than a list of skills wanted in a candidate with a summary of the duties that he or she will be performing.

A study conducted by the Wall Street Journal found that a much higher calibre of candidates applied when the job description included information about what the company would do for their new hire.[i] Job descriptions that include statements such as “opportunities to advance your career growth” or “work with a team of talented individuals” attracted better applicants than those with a simple list of duties.


Depending on the position that you are hiring for, you likely will have a certain skillset and level of experience that you are looking for. Remember though, that while skills can be gained over time, personality is not likely to change much.

Emotional intelligence, communication and interpersonal skills are going to have a huge impact on how a new hire fits in with your team and adapts to your corporate culture.


A lot of employees are cautious about checking social media profiles due to the potential legal risks but doing so can be a useful way for you to get an idea of a candidate’s personality. Looking at social media profiles – or at least doing a Google search – is especially helpful in vetting candidates who keep a portfolio of their work online.


Most applicants will do their best to make a good impression during the interview process; but if you ask the right questions – and listen carefully to the answers – you can usually pick up on signals that will help you determine if a candidate would make a good fit for your organization.

For example, when you ask a candidate why they left their last position, do they give a straightforward account or do you hear them blaming other people or circumstances? When you ask a candidate what motivates them, do they hesitate to come up with an answer or do they respond in a way that clearly demonstrates their drive and ambition?


The best candidates are concerned if a new position is the right fit for them. By allowing time in the interview for the applicant to ask questions, you will accomplish two things. First, you will find out what is most important to them in a job. And second, you will be allowing the applicant to decide whether or not to continue pursuing the position.

Be sure to answer your applicants’ questions openly and honestly so that they can get a realistic idea of what working for your company would be like.

Hiring the right person can be a challenge, but putting in the necessary time and effort to find that person will save you headaches down the road and it will have a positive impact on your company and your team.



Written by Kristen Duever