An Effective Hiring Strategy is Like Dating: 5 Steps to Find “The One”
Man and woman size each other up, representing the interview as part of an effective hiring strategy.

Does your company have an open position that desperately needs to be filled? Are you concerned about finding the perfect fit for that role? Do you have an effective hiring strategy? It’s no secret that making a good hire can have a huge positive impact on any organization… and making a bad hire can have, well, the opposite effect.

If you stop and think about it, the hiring process is similar to dating in several ways. And while your company isn’t making a lifelong commitment to anyone, you still want the candidate you bring onboard to be a good fit for your organization – and for your organization to be a good fit for the candidate!

Here are five steps you can take to find that special someone for your open position:

1. Make a Good First Impression

Believe it or not, first impressions make a huge difference: in dating, and in effective hiring. So please, make sure you wear a big smile. Show up on time. Make good eye contact – but don’t stare! Be respectful and courteous.

The point is, you want to put your best foot forward with each applicant you screen, and each candidate you interview. Remember, you’re not the only one who’s making a judgment call during the hiring process. One bad experience, and a promising candidate may decide to go with a competitor instead. So keep your appointments with them. Be punctual. Dress professionally. Leave a good first impression, and you’re more likely to hire the right person for the job.

2. Be Real With Them

If you want to attract top talent to your business, then you’ve got to be your authentic, genuine self with them. Don’t try to put on a show. Be transparent about all the highlights and benefits of working with your company, as well as your expectations for a new hire. You have to sell yourself and your company without allowing deception or embellishment to enter the picture.

Think of it this way: Don’t be the person on the online dating site who posts a fake photo of themselves just to get more attention. Be positive. Be real. The person you end up hiring will be happier – and stay with your company longer – if you are.

3. Demonstrate Your Interest

There’s an old saying that goes: “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” That principle definitely applies to the dating scene, and you can bet it applies to hiring, too. 

You want the candidate to understand what they will get out of a relationship with your company. Ask questions to find out what their goals and interests are. Find out what they’re looking for. Then, explain how your company can fill those needs; and if it can’t, be honest about that fact. 

4. Keep the Lines of Communication Open

It can be really awkward when your date hardly opens their mouth for an entire evening. As in, slide down your seat, crawl into a hole, make for the nearest emergency exit awkward. But do you know what’s even worse than that kind of silence?

You guessed it: “ghosting.”

No one likes to be ghosted, especially when they think things are going really well. But in the dating world, ghosting is (unfortunately) all too common – and it can quickly leave a bad taste in the other person’s mouth.

Don’t be that person with your candidate. Sure, you’re busy with a ton of other things; but if you wait too long to reach back out to a promising applicant, odds are they’ve already “lost that lovin’ feeling” – and “now it’s gone, gone, gone, woooooooo…” Yes, they could even be lovin’ up on one of your competitors! (Yikes!)

Instead of snuffing out that flame, you can easily set expectations for the candidate as to when they’ll hear back from you. And make sure they have a way to get in contact with you should any questions or concerns come up in the meantime. If you’re serious about finding the right person for the job, don’t let lack of communication put up a wall between you and them.

5. Be Prepared To “Make it Official”

Imagine that you go out on several dates with the same person, and each date is absolutely wonderful. You two just “click.” It seems like there’s some serious potential for a long-term relationship here.

That’s a good start… but what would happen if you drag your feet, and never make things official with the other person? Eventually, you could lose out on a wonderful opportunity, right? 

In the same way, once you identify a really promising candidate, it’s important to “lock them down” to a job offer (or at least further negotiations) as soon as possible. It’s a hot candidate’s market right now, and let’s face facts: your company isn’t the only fish in the sea. Ask the candidate if they’re interviewing at other places, and don’t be surprised if the answer is “yes.” If they make a really compelling case for themselves, consider giving them a job offer on the spot!

Then again, if you’re not comfortable with bringing them on as a direct hire yet, see if they’d be willing to work on a “contract-to-hire” basis. That could be a great way for both parties to see if the “marriage” would work out in the long run.

At the same time, remember that you’re not into “speed dating.” Candidate quality is more important than quantity, so only commit to someone if you’re confident they would be a good fit for the position, your team, and your company’s culture.

And there you have it: five steps to find the perfect hire for your open position! It’s true that effective hiring (like dating) is an imperfect process; but with some good planning and perseverance, you can succeed in your candidate search. And if you’re feeling stuck, our team of staffing experts at The Doyle Group can help. Reach out to us today to learn more.

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