Shake hands / business

How to find better candidates for your job

Establishing a company is partly about finding the right niche and creating the best product, but also a huge part about the team you build. If you find the right people from the start they will help your company grow and your profits soar, but finding that perfect mix of talent and “fit” can be tough – especially if this is your first company. So how should you go about looking for your next hire?

Word of mouth

Your network – who you know – is critical to building a business. Someone with good contacts will find it easier to get their company off the ground, raise funding, and recruit the best staff. Everyone has a network, whether that is from school, university, a sports league, or just your local area, and it is in every founder’s interest to deep dive into these networks when they can. These networks are often relatively small, but there is always a higher degree of trust when someone you know personally has vouched for a new contact and when you are getting started trust is everything.

If you are on the hunt for funding and a friend from college has an in with a business angel or seed-stage venture capitalist firm then those appointments are much easier to set up than with a cold introduction. And similarly when you are looking for a new member to join your team, if someone has been personally recommended by a friend then that is a good way to sort them to the top of the pile. Looking beyond your network as well and inside is always a good option, but the network you already have is often a goldmine.

Artificial intelligence

The problem with posting your job on a recruitment site (or the majority of them at least) means that anyone and everyone can and will apply. Some of these candidates will be perfect for the role, but many don’t have the skills required and it can be hell trying to sort the wheat from the chaff. And this is where artificial intelligence (AI) can help.

Algorithms can use a broad set of variables to help your narrow down your search. Some will scour all the CV sites to find someone that matches your criteria, whilst others might go a step further and actually message people that fit your role even if they are already employed. And others will mix use the power of AI to sort through your contacts (email, Linkedin, etc) and notify you when any relevant people are available to hire – mixing AI tech with your own network.

Make the best candidates find you

Sometimes you are looking for a particular person to fill a gap in your team, but sometimes you are just looking to hire the best talent and will find a role for them. In this case, some companies have found success by leaving hidden clues around their website or publishing games that will ask those who manage to complete it to apply.

One good example a couple of years ago was Apple, which hid a job advert in the html code of its website – something only those with suitable talents and inquisitive minds would ever look at. Or there was Google’s clever trick that asks people who have searched for certain programming words whether they would like to come in for an interview.

Another good example is GCHQ, the UK’s spy agency, which regularly posts a variety of clues and puzzles on its social media accounts. The puzzles are picked up by news outlets across the world, but are too tough for most people to complete, leaving only the very best problem solvers able to complete them and find that golden ticket to a job with the agency at the end of the process.

Find the right person for your job can be a difficult process, even for the most experienced HR teams. However, the internet is making the job easier and if you think creatively and use all the tools at your disposal you should be able to find that perfect fit.

Photograph by RawPixel