People are vital to the success of any organization. It has been shown repeatedly that poor recruitment practices result in high labor turnover and absenteeism, with a consequent increase in costs. If the right people are recruited in the first place, they are likely to stay, fit into your organization and work to optimum effect. This is why you need to be really rigorous about your recruitment practices.

Below are some important factors to consider:

1. Define the requirements carefully : It’s important to detail the specific job requirements and desired personal characteristics, creating a “hiring scorecard” that can be used in screenings and interviews to determine if a candidate can fulfill the requirements of the job.

2. Look for repeated patterns of success : Don’t just look for tactical job responsibilities and skills–find the applicants who have repeatedly made a mark and exceeded expectations, time and time again. Drill down in the interview to ask those questions; find out how they measure their own success and whether their employment history tells a story of a superstar.

3. Rely on your own network : With so many resumes flooding in for each open position, you should rely on inbound candidates even less than you ever have. Your friends and their friends know the fantastic players who are searching for their next opportunity; tap into them and save yourself a lot of paper time.

4. Find a recruiting platform that allows for pre-screening : When you do need to wade through resumes, use a recruiting system with pre-screening questions and candidate rating capabilities. This allows you to focus on the exact capabilities you need and only review the candidates who have passed the initial screening, saving yourself massive amounts of time.

5. Consider the passive seekers : It is true that premium talent is still scarce, and always will be. If your bar for talent is as obscenely high, passive seekers can make or break your search.

6. Don’t settle : Almost every tip I’ve provided works in both a good and lousy economy. But let’s be honest: When the good times roll, it’s easier to find someone and say “good enough.” But in a down economy, you should never do this. Take the time you need to find the right candidate, either active or passive, and make the right hire.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking it’ll be easier. The exceptional hires are out there, but just as in the old days, you may need to do some detective work and actively seek out the people who will make your company great.

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