Developing a clearly defined hiring strategy is critically important in 2022. Why? The competition for highly skilled creative, marketing, digital and proposal professionals is fierce. Moreover, the decision to hire new employees is one of the biggest investments a company can make. And yet it is too often one that is given an insufficient amount of time and attention. A poor hiring decision can cost companies thousands of dollars, in addition to lost time, slowed momentum and reduced morale. 

If you merely aim to refill a newly open role by dusting off the same old job description you used last time, you run the risk of repeating past mistakes and missing opportunities. Instead, use the hiring process as a chance to take inventory of your team’s needs and conduct a checkup that will improve the overall health and direction of your department or organization.

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Before delving into hiring strategy best practices, let’s take a look at some common causes of hiring mistakes:

  • Lack of clarity in the job description
  • Poor communication with interviewees regarding expectations
  • Poor corporate culture-workstyle match
  • Insufficient reference checking
  • Overselling of company, career opportunities and income potential

The good news is you can avoid these issues through proper planning. As any standout athlete will tell you, a winning performance often comes down to the extra effort exerted before the event. With the right game plan in place, you can make sure your hiring strategy gives a boost to your company. Here are six tips for hiring success:

1. Define the position in detail

Defining the job is essential to recruiting and screening talent. The goals and objectives outlined in the job description will allow you to evaluate talent effectively and to communicate clearly and precisely what the expectations will be. Being clear and forthright with candidates regarding the core responsibilities and how their success will be measured is an integral part of any hiring strategy.

2. Take a step back and ask some questions

How has the role evolved since you last filled it? How has your firm or in-house agency changed? How do employees now interact? What are the relationships like between departments, colleagues and clients? What are the current weaknesses and strengths of the team? Did the opening grow out of a business need or is it part of a pattern of turnovers that indicates a more serious internal issue? The answers to these questions should impact and inform your overall hiring strategy.

3. Determine your timeframe

What is the ideal start date? What is the absolute latest date the new hire must be on board? You will need to allot time for recruiting, evaluating and hiring. The length of this process will affect your recruiting options and how many resources and dollars you will need to accomplish your goals. You should also recognize that a new hire is not going to be operating at peak performance the first day of the job. You'll need to account for acclimation and training time. The new hire will also likely need to give several weeks’ notice to his or her employer. All of these time factors must be considered during the planning process.

4. Develop a budget plan

In most cases, a hiring manager is provided with a budget ahead of time to allocate to hiring new talent. Within these budget parameters, it is important to determine what the outreach strategy is going to be, the related costs and the anticipated ROI. Determine where and how you will get the most out of every dollar spent. Are your expectations realistic? List all of your hiring resources, such as the HR department, external recruiters, industry affiliations and well-connected colleagues, and then develop a plan that considers ways to communicate and effectively leverage them.

Other recruitment opportunities to consider and factor into your budget include:

  • Industry-related events (virtual networking events, industry conferences, college career fairs)
  • Print and web advertising
  • Specialized staffing agencies
  • Referral programs

Once you have researched the cost and the potential ROI of these resources, you can better determine the path you will pursue. 

5. Assess all your hiring options

When reviewing the position requirements, it is always a good idea to look internally first. More than one company has spent thousands of dollars on recruitment, only to realize later on that what they were looking for had been right under their noses all along. One of the strongest hiring strategies a company can have is to regularly promote from within. A current staff member who can be promoted to the new opening can provide great value to an organization by hitting the ground running. Because they already know your company, they are easier to train and tend to deliver results much more quickly.

Also consider shifting some tasks among your existing staff to make room to bring in a more junior candidate. This cost-effective strategy can create a promotional path and will help with future hiring needs. In addition, depending on your budget and goals, it may be beneficial to pursue contract or temp-to-hire candidates. 

6. Collaborate across departments

Hiring talent should not be a one-person operation. It requires the deployment of resources across the organization. The following team members will be able to help you throughout the hiring process:

  • The HR department: Educate your HR team on your hiring needs and what you expect from creative, marketing and digital candidates. Make sure your HR colleagues have a clear understanding of the position so that they can manage the hiring process effectively and help you find the right candidates quickly.
  • The training and development team: Are there training materials already developed? Who will onboard and monitor the new employee? If your company has a training and development team, be sure to leverage their expertise.
  • Your staff: Don’t be afraid to solicit the input of your team when creating the position description, researching recruitment options, and interviewing top prospects. They can likely share invaluable insights.

Final thoughts on hiring strategies

Hiring takes a lot of preparation. The process – starting from the moment a position opens to the time it is filled – can require a lot of time and effort, but the costs of a bad hire are considerably more. When approaching hiring, remember to stick to your company values as they will help guide you in making the strongest possible hire.

Need to hire talent right now? Cella can help ensure your team has the right resources. Contact us today for hiring help!