Could it be that our economy is finally beginning to right itself?
Consistent job growth is certainly a positive sign, and with the economy having added 200,000 jobs or more  over each of the last three months, there is no question that businesses are beginning to hire again.
As a result, job seekers are jumping back in to the marketplace--which means that your business could have a large selection to choose from as you hire. Here are three important themes to keep in mind as you begin this journey:
Defining the job is the most often overlooked step. With the pace of change in almost all industries these days, if your job description is even six months old, it needs to be reviewed. When you review your job description, tighten up the requirements using specific measurable expectations rather than vague wording. Replace "must be friendly with clients" with "typically interacts with 50 customers on any given day and must maintain an 8 on our client satisfaction survey." Be clear with expectations.
Finding the right fit is more important than ever. A large number of interested candidates for a position with your company is a good thing--but it can be a problem, too. More candidates means more time spent sorting through resumes and setting up interviews… and as a result, business owners and under-staffed or overworked HR departments may feel the need to cut corners and simply get the job done quickly. But hiring candidates who aren’t the right fit for your position will ultimately cause you to waste significant amounts of time and resources. Take advantage of online applications that are easy to use and inexpensive to allow candidates to apply and take job fit assessments in order to streamline the process to screen for those that are truly qualified. Then use your precious "time" resources to thoroughly interview and evaluate these candidates.
Candidate experience  can be the difference between hiring the best and the brightest… or losing them to the competition. It is important to remember that you are not the only business that is hiring again. While there are plenty of job seekers out there, you’ll still face intense competition for the “cream of the crop.” In addition, keep in mind that every candidate is a potential consumer of your products and your services… so treating them well has repercussions for your company brand. Be open and honest with candidates. Do your best to keep them informed. Take advantage of online applications that will actually provide automated feedback to each candidate, so even the ones you don’t hire have a positive experience with your brand. Treat your applicants like customers--not only does this improve your chances of landing the best possible candidate, but it ensures that even those you do not hire will have nothing but good things to say about your business.
It’s exciting to see our economy beginning to recover--and if your business is ready to hire, you’re in a prime position to land a highly qualified individual. Focus on clearly defining your job, finding the right fit, and on providing a great experience for all of your candidates, and you’ll be well on your way.
[Image: Flickr user JanneM ]