If you’re interested in learning how to hire employees more efficiently and increase their retention, you're in luck — we wrote a guide to hiring new employees with all the info you need to accomplish these results!
Adding a salaried or full-time employee to your payroll can be a large investment, especially for a senior or technical position. From the cost of advertising a job for an extended period to background checks and employee hours spent interviewing, the cost of making a hire is a good percentage of the salary and benefits package you end up paying out to the hire you make.
With so much time, energy and money spent on making a hire, you want to be sure that the hire is truly a great fit for the role, their team and your company. If the hire is a good fit in all of these areas (and feels the same fit with the job, team and company) then they are going to be more engaged with their job and have longer retention. If a hire is not a good fit in one or more of these areas, then they will leave much earlier than great-fit hires, sometimes even before they’ve done enough work to pay off the investment you made in hiring them.
There are many benefits of hiring new employees who are a great fit, but, to make these great-fit hires, you need to have enough engaging info online for people to satisfy their curiosity about your company, and what working for your company would be like.
Whether your situation is better described by “hiring my first employee” or “hiring my thousandth employee,” this guide will help you find ways to hire employees more effectively, by giving you ideas of how to improve your procedure for hiring employees.
How to Hire Employees will show you:
The Importance of Hiring Right (Cost to Hire a New Employee)
One of the advantages of hiring new employees is that it gives employers a chance to adjust the compensation rate for positions being advertised on the market. While you might not be excited to discover that you should be paying a higher salary for a job, you may have just found the culprit for a job with relentless turnover issues.
Learning how to hire the right employee could be reduced to this: you get what you pay for.
Nobody wants to over-pay when hiring a new employee, but underpaying a new hire is actually worse — it’s both bad for your employer brand, and means that this new hire will probably be looking for a job that pays them appropriately before long.
Paying the right salary is one of the keys to hiring employees effectively, because paying the right salary is fair, and proving that you are a company that prioritizes fairness for employees, will help you to attract the attention of top talent and hire these individuals.
You can use Glassdoor's Know Your Worth tool to tell you the salary range for specific positions in your area, so you can offer at-market or competitive compensation for each job opening you have.
When deciding on the exact figure to display in your job ad (if you do choose to disclose this), use the salary range you got from our calculator and pick a number based on these factors:
- What is the local average cost to hire a new employee for this position?
- What salary and benefits are your major competitors offering for this job?
- Will the job require more experience or a higher skill level than typically required?
- What is your company hiring policy for increasing the compensation for a role, and what will the process be like for getting this salary increase approved?
Effective Hiring Practices
The most effective hiring practices for your company are the ones that are best suited to your company’s hiring demands, size, location and industry.
That being said, it’s important to choose the hiring practices you use based on each individual job you are hiring for because the most effective hiring practices for different jobs will vary.
Choose the right hiring practices and strategy for individual jobs
Always base the specifics of your hiring strategy and hiring practices on the individual demands of the job you are hiring for. Knowing what to look for when hiring an employee will be different for each job, and the strategy you use should be customized to each job.
Create a business case to hire an employee
Every hire your company makes needs to be justified, and creating a business case for each new hire ensures that hires are always supporting ongoing company goals.
Effectively onboard new hires
If hires are not onboarded effectively, your star hire may feel like they’re being thrown to the wolves. Effective onboarding helps hires become independent workers more quickly and helps them form a bond with your company, so don’t skimp on this often overlooked aspect of hiring.
[Related: New Hire Onboarding Checklist]
Hiring Tips for Small Businesses
Adding an employee to a small business who fits is crucial for ensuring that 'business as usual' can continue, and the tight-knit team in your small business can get even tighter.
There are fewer positions in a small business to hire for, but fewer positions also mean larger impacts from vacancies in key positions, making fast, effective hiring essential for small businesses.
These hiring tips for small businesses will help you contend for talent with your competitors:
- Make your hiring process for small business more friendly than your corporate counterparts, and invite finalist candidates to join employees for lunch following their interview.
- Finding employees small business-style means playing to your entrepreneurial strengths and differentiating yourself from established competitors to attract the enterprising people who love working for a small business.
- The hiring process for small business can be much shorter because fewer people have to approve the new hire, so use good teamwork and communication to your advantage.
- When deciding how to hire employees for a startup, you need to balance what you need in the short term (pre-launch) and what your needs will be post-launch and beyond.
- When hiring hourly employees for your small business, always be sure that the addition of a new employee or employees isn’t taking away too many hours from your current employees who need the work.
- Because your company is smaller, a lack of diversity will be more apparent, and you should always try to hire people from a diverse range of backgrounds and ethnicities. You want anyone to feel welcome working for you, and a diverse staff improves your ability to hire diverse candidates and improves your employer brand.
- Because your team is smaller, hires need to have personalities that are compatible with your other employees. One insufferable hire can result in losing great employees, so be sure to look for personality fit as well as fit for the demands of the job.
- You may not be able to offer the same salary as a major corporate competitor, but you can offer a more personal work environment, greater creative control, greater freedom in the way employees complete work and a company culture that is more like a group of friends or a family than anything else.
How to Hire Remote Employees
Remote employees can support your in-house employees, become responsible for key deliverables on a short or long-term basis and add their skills to completing vital operations (accounting, sales, marketing, design, etc.).
Whether you’re hiring out-of-state employees or hiring foreign employees, you need to make sure that the person you’re hiring is skilled enough and reliable enough to support your company’s objectives.
You need to have confidence that remote employees are walking lock-step with the teams they support, because assuming that your remote employee is “on top of it,” can go wrong, bigtime.
Here are some tips on how to hire remote employees:
- You should treat a remote hire with the same level of seriousness as any other hire, and extend them the same courtesy and enthusiasm as you would to any other candidate you interview.
- Never hire a remote employee on a long-term basis before you see that they can deliver high-quality work on time and to your specifications.
- Remote employees can be used to add specific skill sets to a team or add more pairs of skilled hands to a project that has fallen behind schedule.
- If you’re hiring international employees, you should account for how the time difference will affect their place in your team’s workflow. You should also account for any language differences or difficulties by asking international candidates about their comfort levels communicating in the language that your employees primarily speak.
- If a remote employee works for you on a project or contract basis, be sure that each project is concluded on a positive note, so you can interest them in future projects.
- If a remote employee is let go because of budgetary issues or another reason unrelated to their great performance, always be transparent. This way, your relationship with this skilled remote employee can be preserved, and they can still be of assistance when you have the budget to hire them back.
- If a remote employee is let go because of a performance issue, use the same sensitivity, compassion and professionalism that you would use for any other employee who is being let go for this reason.
Common Interview Questions
Just like the hiring strategy you choose for a specific job, the right questions to ask when hiring new employees will depend on the demands of the job you’re hiring for.
The answers you get from candidates in the interview will be some of your main criteria for hiring new employees, and you should always take detailed notes during the interview.
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- Why are you interested in working for our company?
- Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?
- Why do you want to leave your current company?
- Why was there a gap in your employment between [insert date] and [insert date]?
- What can you offer our company that someone else can not?
- What are three things your former manager would like you to improve on?
- What is your availability? Are you willing to relocate? Are you willing to travel?
- Tell me about an accomplishment you are most proud of.
- Tell me about a time you made a mistake.
- What is your dream job?
- How did you hear about this position?
- Tell me how you handled a difficult situation.
- Why should we hire you?
- Why are you looking for a new job?
- Suppose you are working on a project with an original scope of a few months and you are told that you instead now have a few days -- how would you handle it?
- Have you ever told a subordinate to do something and found out later it was wrong? How did you correct it?
- How would you deal with an angry or irate customer?
- What are your salary requirements? (Hint: if you’re not sure what’s a fair salary range and compensation package, research the job title and/or company on Glassdoor.)
- Give a time when you went above and beyond the requirements for a project.
- Who are our competitors? What advantages do they have over our company?
- Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your boss. How did you work it out?
- What are your career goals?
- What questions do you have for me?
How to Talk About Salary in the Hiring Process
Talking about salary in the hiring process is a key part of understanding how to hire the right person for the job, as trying to give a great candidate a bad salary will not lead to hiring them.
Though money is on the line with salary negotiations, you should do your best to make this process as stress-free as possible for finalist candidates.
Here are some useful questions to ask when talking with candidates about salary requirements:
- How did you calculate this salary figure?
- Have you considered asking for more perks, equity or job flexibility as part of your overall compensation, or are you only interested in a higher salary?
Hiring Documents Checklist
So, you’ve found a great candidate for your open job, and they’re interested in taking this job. Congratulations!
Before you pop the champagne, however, you should be sure that you are meeting the requirements of your company’s pre-employment hiring process.
From adding an employee to payroll, to the extensive employee paperwork/forms for new hires, there are plenty of boxes left to check before the new hire can start work.
There can be quite a few documents needed to hire a new employee, so we’ve created this hiring documents checklist to make the process easier and more organized.
Federal Hiring Documents
- I-9 Employment Eligibility Form
- W-2 Federal Form
- W-4 Federal Tax Withholding Allowance Certificate
- You may also be required to post notices of workers rights as required by the US Department of Labor.
State Hiring Documents
Each state has its own requirements for the information that employers must provide to their state’s government upon making a hire. Here’s a map with links to the reporting requirements for each state, so you can see what you need to report for new hires in your state.
- Documents to enroll the hire in your company’s health insurance policy, 401k and other benefits you may provide, including workman’s comp registration.
- Documents for getting the employee on payroll and direct deposit forms.
- Your company’s employee handbook and/or copied sections, such as your company’s standards for conduct and communication between colleagues.
- The employment contract for the position, including a copy of the job description advertised and any more detailed version of the job description that may be in your company's handbook.
- Any non-disclosure or non-competition agreements that you require employees to sign.
[Related: How to Recruit Informed Candidates at Scale]
Dos and Don’ts of Hiring
You should always base your hiring strategy on the demands of the job, but there are some general dos and don’ts that apply to many hiring situations or specialized hiring situations.
- Always update your company’s online presence before starting a candidate search. Candidates want to see interesting info from and on your company, so give it to them!
- When hiring former employees, always be sure to have a discussion about the factors that led to their leaving the first time, so you can have a better go this 2nd time around.
- When creating ads for hiring new employees, always focus on what your ideal candidate will find interesting about your job, not boring them with a checklist of requirements.
- Always focus on diversity. Diverse companies are stronger and perform better.
- Don’t assume that the last place you found a good employee is the best place to hire employees. Always evaluate usual candidate sources against the demands of the job.
- When hiring for a startup, don’t make hires without considering their long-term effect. Having inexperienced executives, for instance, will have a negative impact on valuation.
- Don’t offer below-average compensation for a job. You won’t make a good hire this way.
Hiring new employees involves managing a huge number of details, so here are some blog posts we’ve written on topics that are useful for employers who need to hire.
- 15 Interview Questions to Ensure Candidate Quality
- 6 Salary Questions All Managers Should Be Prepared to Answer
- 8 Recruitment Metrics to Optimize How You Hire
- 5 Ways to Engage Candidates at Every Stage
- How to Hire Salon Employees
- How to Hire Commission-Only Sales Reps
- How to Hire Veterans
- How to Hire Store Clerks