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8:00pm EDT September 25, 2007

Companies without people are simply fancy names and expensive assets. Your employees are an important part of business and influence profits. Therefore looking at your companies hiring standards will help you seek out rising stars.

“In the talent recruitment process, a company looks for a person with the ability, personality, and skills set to best fit the business’ needs and culture.” says Terri Medina, HR generalist at Tampa Bay WorkForce Alliance.

“Therefore, looking at your company’s hiring standards are just as crucial in attracting rising stars.”

Smart Business spoke with Medina about how businesses can effectively recruit great employees to their organization.

Why is talent recruitment a crucial part of running a thriving company?

Businesses want to hire individuals who will serve clients well and accomplish business objectives to ensure the continued success of the company. Within the next five to 10 years, there will be a notable shortage of skilled talent in the workforce as the first of the 75 million baby boomers will begin to retire, creating a large void that companies will need to fill with fresh quality talent. Poor recruitment carries a high cost. Bringing the wrong hire into your company leads to a bad fit within the organization, missed opportunities in the recruitment and selection process, significant on boarding costs, and overall lost productivity.

What success strategies can interviewers implement?

Successful recruitment requires taking a careful, holistic look at multiple applicants. Don’t rush the interview process, no matter how urgently you feel you need to fill the position. In the long run, you end up with a more cost-effective solution when you take your time and hire the right individual than when you quickly hire someone to fill a head count. Interview various candidates so there is some comparison, and base a decision on the resume, a personal conversation and a reference check.

Resumes play an important part in the hiring process but shouldn’t be the only consideration. You can’t accurately assess personality or talents by just looking at a candidate on paper. Two key attributes: enthusiasm and motivation, can only be truly evaluated through personal interviews and reference calls. Teachable and willing individuals that may not meet all criteria for a position can often quickly learn the competencies they need to excel in a particular job.

Employers increasingly use behavioral interviewing techniques to evaluate the strength of a candidate. With this method, you can pose a hypothetical scenario to an interviewee. Candidates respond by explaining how they would handle the situation. From this assessment, you can determine how prospective employees would handle situations related to their position. Behavioral interviewing also shows whether the interviewee’s personality, tempo, values and drivers are suitable for the corporate environment.

Name some of the tools businesses can use to recruit top quality employees.

Businesses have a variety of tools to help them search for the perfect candidate. Professional organizations offer a forum where recruiters can find qualified job seekers. Workforce development centers, such as Tampa Bay WorkForce Alliance (TBWA) also have databases of individuals looking for work. These centers can help leverage this information through training and resources that help effectively screen and interview prospective candidates. Job search web sites such as or, also offer powerful search tools for employers.

You can also leverage your company’s benefit offerings as a method of hiring top candidates. Companies can distinguish themselves as employers of choice by fostering an environment where candidates receive challenging assignments and opportunities to grow. In addition to excellent working conditions, attractive compensation packages can include options like flextime, telecommuting, on-site day care, tuition reimbursement, employer sponsored fitness programs, latest technology and job sharing.

What common mistakes do companies make in the hiring process?

The interviewer needs to learn about the who, what, where, and when in a candidate’s past, but really focus on the why and how of the interviewee’s present and future. By concentrating on the why and how, you find out more about people and their behaviors, including their creativity, team playing abilities, and development needs.

Also, interviewers should clearly understand the expectations, needs, and objectives of the position and the company. It’s essential that you can articulate what is important to interviewees. This ensures both parties can confidently evaluate whether they’re a strong match.

Companies should use personality screening appropriately. Although you can’t use them to qualify or eliminate candidates, these tools can help determine whether individuals match the corporate environment and the department work style.

TERRI MEDINA is an HR generalist at Tampa Bay WorkForce Alliance. Reach her at or (813) 740-4680.