Tips for hiring top-performing employees

Blocksurvey blog author
Written by Ashley Nielsen
Jul 10, 2023 · 4 mins read

Hiring a new employee can be stressful whether you're part of HR or a small business owner. Unfortunately, regardless of your role in the company, you may not always know the exact requirements of a job or the particular skills candidates need to be successful in their new roles. Still, there are ways to select the right candidate to ensure they can perform the required tasks and fit in with the rest of the staff.

Hiring the right employees is essential because bad hires can cost your business. Since employees are the lifeblood of any business, you must ensure you only hire top performers who can do their jobs effectively. But how do you ensure you hire the best employees for open positions? Here are a few tips to improve your recruitment process and hire top performers:

Consider Their Commitment

Employees should be committed to the company. However, that's not to say that they should put the company before all other things in their lives. Still, you want to ensure your employees care about the business, which will show in their work. Therefore, when hiring an employee, consider their job history. You don't want to invest time and money into an employee only for them to leave within a few months or years. Reviewing a candidate's job history can tell you whether they're a job hopper and help you understand more about the reasons why they've left past positions.

Of course, job hopping is completely normal, especially in today's workforce. Younger generations understand that job hopping can get them higher salaries while improving their skills and helping them find new positions they love. Therefore, don't consider job hopping a red flag; instead, consider it a warning. Always discuss reasons why the candidate left their past jobs to determine whether they're someone who lacks commitment or there are reasons for their frequent job changes.

Test Candidates

Testing candidates can help you learn more about their skills. While a candidate might have the right experience for the job, they might not be a good fit for your team . So instead, provide them with tests to ensure they can easily do the job. For example, if you're hiring a writer, consider asking them to write something for you before hiring them to evaluate their skills. However, be mindful that this doesn’t mean assigning projects to job candidates without paying them. These skill tests should be brief and a way to exemplify each candidate’s skills and expertise.

Consider Company Culture

Your company culture matters to current and future employees. Hiring an employee that doesn't fit your culture, such as a bully or unfriendly, potentially disrupts the team. Unfortunately, determining a candidate's compatibility with your business can be challenging, but you should look for friendliness, social skills, and the ability to adapt.

Consider Their Questions

During the interview, you should always allow candidates to ask you questions about the position, company, or anything else they're curious about. If a candidate doesn't have any questions, it could be a warning sign that they're either unengaged in the interview or didn't do their research before the interview. Most candidates will have questions for you, and these questions should demonstrate their preparedness for the interview and presence of mind. They may choose to clarify certain things you've told them about the business or ask about why you're hiring, the company culture, and what the average day will look like for them.

Know the Talent Market

Before you create a job listing, always understand the talent market, including the average salaries and skill sets. While recruiters may feel that the available talent has a skills shortage, on the other hand, talent may feel like employers are constantly paying less for quality work. Therefore, understanding everything you can about the role, including how much your company is willing to pay, can ensure you find the best employees and provide an accurate job listing.

Consider this: You find your dream employee. They have all the skills you need to fill a position, but they're asking for a salary higher than the average. Many recruiters and hiring managers will simply move on to the next candidate, hoping they'll be less expensive, but this can hurt you in the long run. Top-performing employees have expectations their employers must meet, including salaries. So if you want the best, you have to pay for it. Unfortunately, too few employers don't understand this and will get stuck with less-than-ideal employees because they pay substantially less than the competition.

Request Examples or Samples

Top performers are prepared for interviews and come with samples or examples of projects and outcomes. For example, if you're hiring a digital marketer, you might ask for data about past campaigns. These individuals should be able to provide you with metrics like average return on investment (ROI), an increase in revenue, costs, and more. Meanwhile, if you're hiring for a position that doesn't require these metrics, you might ask for examples of situations where they had to complete a project, including what the project was and the outcome.

Additionally, you can ask for past work samples if you're hiring creatives. For example, a graphic designer will have a portfolio of past work to help you determine whether they're right for the job based on previous web and print designs.

Consider Their Desire for Growth

Employees who want to improve their skills and grow with the company will perform better than those that show up for a paycheck. Always look for individuals who want to continue to learn and advance their careers to drive positive outcomes for your business. Of course, if your business doesn't offer growth, you should be as clear as possible with candidates.

For example, if you're hiring for a small boutique marketing agency that consists of a small team, there may not be any opportunities for employees to learn and grow, which means no raises or promotions. You can't expect employees to stay engaged and work hard for something that doesn't exist.

Hiring Top Performers

Top performers have expectations, and since they're the best of the best, you can't expect them to get excited about a position without offering them something in return. Quality employees require competitive salaries, benefits, and respect. If you're not willing to give it to them, you'll lose out on all the benefits of having the right people in the right positions.

Tips for hiring top-performing employees FAQ

What should I look for when hiring a new employee?

When hiring a new employee, it is important to seek out individuals who have the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to excel in the role. Additionally, look for candidates who demonstrate a positive attitude, have strong communication skills, and have the ability to work well with others.

What should I consider when creating a job description?

When creating a job description, consider the essential duties and responsibilities of the role, the job qualifications and experience required, and the necessary skills and knowledge needed for the position. Additionally, think about the broader goals of the role and the organization to ensure the job description accurately reflects the position.

What questions should I ask during an interview?

During an interview, you should ask questions that help you to understand the applicant’s work style, experience, and abilities. Consider asking questions about their past work experience, how they handle difficult situations, and their approach to problem-solving. Additionally, ask questions that help you to get to know the candidate better and assess their fit within the organization.

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blog author description

Ashley Nielsen

Ashley Nielsen earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration Marketing at Point Loma Nazarene University. She is a freelance writer who shares knowledge about general business, marketing, lifestyle, wellness, and financial tips. During her free time, she enjoys being outside, staying active, reading a book, or diving deep into her favorite music.


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