The unemployment rate dropped to almost a 50-year low in 2018. Coupled with the competition for top talent and millennial preferences for working with socially responsible companies, it’s becoming harder to recruit and retain talented people. That’s why it’s even more critical to hire the best people available.  Talented employees take less time to train, demonstrate greater loyalty and reduce the costs of replacing new hires who can’t handle the work.
1. Promote Your Company’s Culture
In today’s competitive hiring environment, looking for top talent isn’t enough. You’ve got to sell potential employees on your company and its culture. Statistics show that more and more people are willing to work for less at a company that supports their favorite causes. 90 percent of workers favor companies that show a sense of social responsibility, and 10 percent are willing to take $5,000 to $10,000 less annually to work for a socially responsible and environmentally friendly company.
You can attract top talent by building an attractive company culture, carefully screening your applicants and matching the right person to the right job. The following five tips are some of the best practices for hiring qualified people:
2. Be Organized
Companies can make better hires with a highly organized hiring process. This can eliminate oversights and ensure that each job candidate is properly vetted. Creating a checklist helps to keep your efforts on track and ensures better communication with applicants to keep them interested and engaged.
Proactive approaches should also be part of the process – developing relationships with strong candidates is an ongoing process can speed hiring when positions become available.
3. Screen Candidates
It’s important to screen job candidates to avoid wasting time on clearly inappropriate or unqualified applicants. In today’s litigious culture, it’s critical to verify references, timelines and other resume information. Depending on the job, running background checks is also important.
Social media are a rich source of holistic information about job candidates. No matter how qualified a candidate may be, he or she might prove unacceptable based on careless social media posts that reveal troubling attitudes, drug or alcohol use or controversial opinions in certain jobs. Relying on social media too much can be risky, but online information is fair game for developing a stronger profile of job applicants.
4. Use Pre-employment Assessments
Pre-employment testing ranks among the most important hiring strategies. Despite the challenges of hiring top talent in today’s markets, it’s more important than ever to make good hires to reduce the need to replace turnovers. You can test personality, honesty, job skills and attitudes while verifying that applicants really mean what they say.
Pre-employment testing can help you determine which job candidates match the company’s culture and which show signs of incompatibility. Tests can reveal personality traits, leadership qualities, cross-training potential, and workplace attitudes. You can create custom hiring profiles for each job based on past hiring experiences.
Objective pre-employment assessments like those at Berke can determine which candidates are padding their resumes. Interviews resumes, and references can often result in mismatches for many reasons. The Center for American Progress found that the costs of replacing an employee who earns less than $30,000 annually run about 16 percent of his or her salary. It costs 20 percent of an employee’s salary to replace him or her if he or she earns more than $75,000. 
4. Use Employee Connections
Your staff members can be a valuable resource in the hiring process. Employees today usually network extensively and develop relationships with industry professionals and like-minded people. Reliable staff members can make relevant hiring recommendations based on knowledge of the industry and highly qualified business associates who might be open to changing employers.
5. Develop Your Company Brand
Appealing to the most qualified job candidates requires company branding. About 75 percent of the most highly qualified professionals aren’t looking for new positions. These passive candidates, however, can be open to new opportunities with companies that have appealing cultures and strong brands. Glassdoor found that 69 percent of survey respondents were likely to apply for jobs at companies that responded to reviews and shared information about the company’s culture and the work environment.  If you build your company’s reputation, enlist staff members to promote your company’s culture and engage industry professionals in social media, you’ll get more unsolicited applications from qualified candidates to create a hiring pool.
A Proactive Assessment Process
The most important factor in hiring good people is developing a strong assessment process. Resumes, references and even personal interviews don’t tell the whole story. Skills can be developed, but personalities and work attitudes are difficult or impossible to change. Choosing qualified candidates with compatible work attitudes is the best way to hire loyal and productive people.
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