20+ ways to improve your hiring strategy tips# 1 & 2


At Stone, we are on a mission to improve the hiring experience.

For our clients, that means lower costs, better quality of hires, less wasted management time, easier lives and great results.

Each week, we will be expanding on this mini series and sharing our top 20 employee-hiring steps that we feel are paramount to the recruitment process. Some are more obvious than others. Some are easy to implement and others more complex, but they are all parts of the same process.

Here are our first points to consider when initiating your hiring process:    

# 1: Advertising Copy – 3 tips

A – Sell your employer brand – A recruitment advertisement is also a platform to promote your employer brand; an opportunity to focus on overall corporate culture and reasons to work at your company. The calibre of your employer brand needs to shine here before the role specifics are even discussed. A corporate video, outlining the reasons to work with you, further amplifies brand resonance and builds affinity with your company early in the process. This is a labour-intensive process, but once completed can be utilised for all future advertising.

Click here for an example of where we employed this effective tool in conjunction with one of our client’s, Rhino-Rack.

B – Remit above responsibilities – Once you have the employer brand values established, it is important to define a remit for the role you are hiring. Why are you hiring someone? What is the purpose you are looking to achieve – or put another way, what is the point of them once they join? Examples could be to open new markets, prepare the business for an IPO, improve cash flow, rebuild morale, clean up the tax position, etc. Outlining the purpose of a role is important to create context for the responsibilities, and often overlooked.  

C – Keep it real – If you highlight some of the actual challenges in a position, it helps to frame the criteria you are seeking. For example, ‘this is a new team that will require hands-on support to get up to speed’ is a realistic piece of advice and a far cry from the standard fare of ‘dynamic, fast-track employer of choice with a track record of internal promotion…’ jargon that makes up 70% of the ads we read. We all know that jobs have boring and challenging aspects yet outlining them as part of a balanced brief is a refreshing change, demonstrates employer self-awareness and interestingly, creates a comfort level with applicants, as they don’t need to go hunting out the ‘real job’. Another way to think of it is this – if you are worried that someone will be put off by the real role description, are they the right hire?     

Collaborate to establish definitives for the role

# 2: Non-role-functional competencies

You will often see job descriptions that outline the need for X years of experience in a role, followed by technical skills that are non-negotiables. Lastly there will be reference to the ‘soft skills’ required. Standard, commonly targeted ‘soft skills’ are; team player, motivated (by what or why is often missing), ambition, autonomy, leadership etc. These are often valid requirements which shift the role from a technical shopping list to a human being. Generally they relate to the current role being hired and will be driven by the hiring line Manager.

However, once we start to view the hiring process in the context of the two-year growth plan for the business as a whole, the target competencies will start to shift. For example, if the business is growing rapidly, then a level of comfort with change and challenging/being challenged by your peers should be a core requirement for anyone joining. The overarching needs of the corporate growth curve should dictate a part of the culture drivers in the business, which then feed into every hiring brief.  

The unprepared Hiring Manager often battles with mounting pressure

What we often see, however, is that the corporate culture drivers may be watered down by a line Manager who is under pressure to deliver results, is time poor and who is not being guided or supported in the process. Naturally, they will gravitate to their short-term team requirements as opposed to the overall company culture, and who can blame them.

How do we alter this approach? It needs to start from the top. Managers must see that it is ok to take perceived risks in order to break the cycle of short-term hiring mindsets. Leadership teams need to stress a communal approach to the traits required to grow the business and stick to these. Cross pollination through peer reviews and joint interviews will also strengthen these bonds and ensure everyone is across all bases of the business.   

As this utopian approach must be balanced with real world commercial demands, some roles will inevitably veer towards the technical skills over core traits, however if this is recognised and managed, you are already on the right track. Secondly, these can be flagged to the applicant during interviews as areas of development of which you are prepared to invest in, to support the applicant’s personal growth, in turn benefiting the company. 

Talk to us today to see how we can help you plan your hiring strategy!