The Ultimate Hiring Guide

Table of Contents

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Creating a Hiring Strategy

two business persons plan a project. team work in office

Having a solid hiring plan in place is absolutely essential. A bad hire can cost a company tens of thousands of dollars, drain moral, and push pause on the momentum a team has built surrounding big initiatives.

Here are the reasons why companies hire the wrong people:

  • Poor understanding of the job’s function and responsibilities
  • Lack of specific job-related objectives in place
  • Inadequate communication with candidates about job expectations
  • Overselling the company values, benefits, training, or career development potential
  • Weak values/personality match
  • Unsatisfactory initial screenings and/or reference checking

So, how can you develop a winning hiring strategy?

Assess your company or team’s specific needs:

  • Do you need a contractor, consultant, or a permanent employee? How many?
  • Plan for how you’ll replace employees who leave unexpectedly

Spend time developing roles before posting job descriptions:

  • List clear job expectations, metrics, and objectives (check out our job descriptions in the next section!)
  • Collaborate across departments and get everyone’s input on what’s important
  • Only write an exciting job description after you’ve figured out every aspect of the role you’re hiring for – that way you can clearly communicate those factors to candidates

Determine the “How’s”:

  • How you’ll get qualified applicants (HR, an external recruiting agency, job posting sites, etc.)
  • How you’ll conduct interviews (Topgrading or another method?)
  • How you’ll negotiate and close the deal with candidates (salary range, intangible offers, etc.)
  • How you’ll on-board a new employee (training, point-of-contact, weekly plan, etc.)

Build hiring & retaining into your budget:

  • External hiring resources like recruiting firms or job posting sites
  • Internal costs around new hires, promotions and backfill
  • Training
  • Career development for employees

There are a lot of micro steps within these 4 larger points. So, check out the posts below and read on for more specifics on how you can plan for and build your dream team.


Writing Job Descriptions

It may feel like you’re in a constant battle to win the war on talent. Maybe you’re struggling to get quality applicants. Or, you seem to keep losing great candidates to your toughest competition. What is a hiring manager to do?

Write A Quality Job Description

Writing a great job description is the first step in attracting valuable talent. According to a study by TheLadders, job seekers only spent an average of 49.7 seconds reading a job ad before they dismissed the role as a poor fit. So, you’d better draw them in and keep them interested if you want a shot at hiring the best candidate.

Job seekers only spent an average of 49.7 seconds reading a job ad before they dismissed the role as a poor fit.

Sparking interest in your job is just one piece in the puzzle. First, your job description needs to be found. Pay close attention to the title you choose and ensure that it clearly conveys what the role is and the general level of experience required (ex. Email Marketing Coordinator vs. Email Marketing Manager). Potential applicants are also searching for job opportunities using keywords. Ensure that your job description uses keywords and phrases that match the type of skills and experience you’re seeking in your next hire.

Help Candidates Visualize Your Opportunity

According to Lever, 72% of hiring managers think they’re providing clear job descriptions while only 36% of candidates agree. Some job descriptions are an attempt to be too clever and come off as disingenuous to the potential applicant. Other job descriptions are so generic and impersonal, potential candidates aren’t able to envision themselves working for you. Here are some tips to help your job description stand out:

  • Ensure job descriptions are written in your brand voice and match your company values.
  • Be specific about the job responsibilities so the candidate can see themselves in the role.
  • Make the post about the candidate, not you. Why should they want to work for you? What can you offer them? What do they get to do daily?
  • Stay away from using jargon or making the post too long (or short!)
  • Make sure you list your top 3-5 must-haves and clearly label your desired skills.

Read These Job Descriptions for More Information About the Typical Roles We Fill!

Find out what each of these roles entail. As a bonus, we’ve included a downloadable job description template + essential bullet points for each position!

  • Account / Project Management Recruiting Account / Project Management
  • Content Recruiting Content
  • Design Recruiting Design
  • Development Recruiting Development
  • Executive Recruiting Executive
  • Marketing Recruiting Marketing
  • Motion / Video Recruiting Motion / Video
  • Studio Production Recruiting Studio Production
  • UI / UX Recruiting UI / UX

Motion / Video - Click a title below for the job description, salary information, and more.

Looking to hire one of these positions?

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Looking to hire one of these positions?

Contact Us

Looking to hire one of these positions?

Contact Us

How to Find a Job's Salary

Great – you’re on to Step 2! You’ve written an excellent job description that is sure to bring you quality talent. Now, you’ve just got to figure out what to pay them…

Relaxed business man working on laptop holding a pen in his mouth looking concentrated

Aligning Salary Expectations with Your Budget

You’ve got a budget. Candidates have salary expectations. How do you ensure that you’re offering the right pay for your open position’s role and responsibilities? By finding your job’s market value!

To determine the appropriate market value of your open job, you’ll need to consider elements like:

  • Office location
  • Candidate experience and skills
  • Company size
  • Job responsibilities

Some other factors to think about include soft skills, values, and special software or industry skills. You’ll also want to recognize other forms of compensation like bonuses, benefits, work/life balance, and other intangibles you offer employees.


Attracting Top Talent

Attracting and retaining talent isn’t easy – especially in a competitive marketplace. You’ve already read about how you can begin to attract talent by writing great job descriptions and offering market value compensation in the above sections. But what else can you do to attract and retain talented workers?

Startup Diversity Teamwork Brainstorming Business Meeting Concept

Attracting Talent: Beyond Salary

Contrary to popular belief, a high-paying salary is not always the top priority for job seekers. And, if job seekers are seeking great pay, it is not the singular factor they consider when weighing job options.

The top factors many job seekers care deeply about include:

  • A purpose for their job and career
  • Work/life balance
  • Career growth opportunity
  • Leadership and/or cross-functional training opportunities
  • Benefits (intangible and tangible)

Other elements that candidates pay close attention to are your company’s work environment, values, and diversity.

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Interviewing Candidates

A key component in ensuring a successful recruitment process lies in the interview. Not only does the candidate have to be prepared, but the interviewer must do the same. It’s easy for an interview to become all about the candidate and their answers but the interviewer’s ability to ask the right questions, learn the right information, and sell the opportunity to the candidate is just as important.

Tips for Success

Knowing beforehand what you want in a candidate and knowing how to discover these things is crucial to a successful hire and fit for your company. Here are a few of our top tips for interviewing candidates:

  • Focus on the candidate’s soft skills – not just their experience
  • Be open and conversational
  • Don’t fear silence
  • Read their non-verbal language

You can learn a lot about a candidate, by the how they answer even the simplest of questions. If you focus on being open and conversational, your candidate is more likely to feel relaxed and open up to you as well. To gauge the candidate’s level of interest and honesty, read their non-verbal clues. And, don’t try to fill the silence with meaningless chatter. Candidates can use the silence to consider their answers and to think of new questions they’d like to ask you.


Choosing the Right Candidate

Sometimes, hiring managers worry that they’ll choose the wrong candidate. Or, they’re stuck feeling like they need to choose between two strong candidates. Hiring managers should take some time to think about things that are equally, or, more important than a candidate’s skills and experience.

Two women shaking hands at a meeting in an open plan office

It’s About More Than Skills & Experience

In the end, there are five questions that hiring managers should be able to answer before extending an offer to any candidate:

  • Can the candidate do the job?
  • Are they motivated to do the job?
  • Is the candidate interested in learning new skills?
  • Is the candidate coachable?
  • Are they a fit for your team values?

Hiring managers need to evaluate their specific need. Sometimes, skills and experience are what matter most. But, finding a candidate with a good work ethic, a great attitude, and a passion for learning are often the best hire. With room to grow, candidates with potential can bring a new perspective and a fresh outlook for your team projects.


Closing the Offer

You did it! You found the perfect candidate for the job! Now, how can you make sure your candidate accepts your offer?

Shaking hands after job interview

Always Be Closing

Have a “closing” type of mindset throughout the process. As you write your job description, interview, and present offers, you want to you want to think about what it is that the candidate needs to accept. Closing consists of:

  • Setting appropriate expectations
  • Selling the allure about your opportunity
  • Making the candidate feel wanted
  • Successfully negotiating an offer
  • Meeting the needs & desires of the candidate

And remember, candidates in a tight talent market don’t need to wait around for offers. So, you’ll want to ensure that your hiring process is quick and efficient. And, you’ll want to prepare for the possibility of your star candidate receiving a counteroffer from their current company.

Trouble finding talent?

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Retaining Your Talent

Retaining employees can be tough – especially when candidates with skills that are in high demand are bombarded with messages from recruiters and HR professionals daily. The employed population is also especially attractive to companies looking to hire top talent.

Job Seekers & Current Employees Want The Same Things

Many employees are seeking the same things that job seekers are looking for in new roles. In addition, they may also be looking for a bump in their salary.

Recall that beyond salary, job seekers look for:

  • A purpose in their job and career
  • Work/life balance
  • Opportunities for training and development
  • Career growth opportunity
  • Leadership and/or cross-functional training opportunities
  • Benefits (intangible and tangible)

The most important thing to remember? Ensure you’re offering what you can to valuable employees – and do it before they come into your office to hand in their resignation. You don’t want to be in the position of putting a counteroffer together under pressure. Plus, counter offers don’t generally end up being the best option for employers or employees.

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