How to hit your hiring targets

Steve Jobs said it best when he remarked, “The secret of my success is that we have gone to exceptional lengths to hire the best people in the world.” Remember, you are only one person and can’t be everywhere all the time. It’s the people that you hire that will decide the success or failure of your organization.

What exceptional lengths should you take to only hire the best? Let’s go through the process.

Know your target

Before you start, know your target hire.

A job description is important to the candidate; it specifically describes the job your company needs done. But your job target is important to you; it specifically describes the type of person you need to hire to do the job.

If you find a candidate that hits your target, hire them. If you don’t, someone else will.

Set up your first filter: prescreening

Hiring is emotional. It is impossible to remove emotion from the hiring process. It is very easy for your recruiter to be influenced by the way the candidate looks, the way they speak or how desperate they may need a job.

Have a prescreening step built into your interview process — typically referred to as a phone screen. The phone screen is a predetermined set of questions that should be asked to each and every candidate.

This is your first filter in the hiring process. If done correctly, the phone screen will only allow candidates to move forward in your process that have thus far hit your target.

Maximize the in-person interview

This will be the first time your recruiter lays eyes on your candidate. The first in-person interview should last 45 to 90 minutes.

Again, this should be a predetermined set of questions that should be asked to each and every candidate. This is your second filter in the hiring process and probably the most important.

If, after the interview, you aren’t absolutely certain this candidate hits your target then don’t proceed. Hire only the best.

Utilize pre-employment screens

Criminal background checks and drug screens are pretty standard today, but to truly ensure that you hit your target I recommend pre-employment assessments. Examples of pre-employment assessments include DISC Personality Testing, The Reid Report and The Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test.

If utilized, these assessments will help to ensure you hit your hiring target.

Don’t ignore the facts

Throughout your screening process, you are going to be presented with numerous facts about your hiring candidate. Job tenure is one example. If your candidate has had six jobs in three years don’t hire them. If they are average, they will leave your organization in six months.

The candidate will tell you very believable stories in regards to his or her past employment. Remember, hiring is emotional — don’t ignore the facts.

The best solution to a problem is the right person. Be committed to hiring only the best. If you commit to and respect your hiring process, no matter how long it takes, you will get the right people on your bus and keep the wrong ones off.


Dennis W. Lejeck is the president and founder of Black Knight Security.