For a majority of business owners, hiring and finding great talent is one of the most difficult parts of owning a business. You know the basics of hiring and have read all you can on the topic to help prevent the common hiring mistakes. But you may still struggle when it comes to your particular industry or niche. You may wonder what you should be looking for in your candidate pool that others may not deem necessary. So today, I wanted to share with you some role-specific tips to hiring the right candidate. 

Client Facing Positions

Hiring for a customer service or client facing position? Don't skip right to the face-to-face interview process. Instead exchange a few emails back and forth asking about their experience or what they are looking for in a new position. While their answers will give you some insight into their abilities, pay close attention to the way that present themselves via email or phone. Are they articulate? Do they use proper grammar and punctuation? Do they have confidence in their voice when speaking? All of these things matter in a client facing position and taking this extra step can go a long way to helping you narrow down your candidate pool. 

Sales Positions

If you are hiring for someone in a sales capacity, chances are they are going to excel at a phone or face-to-face interview and their resume is going to be top notch as well. After all, they should be able to sell themselves. For this type of position, you want to make sure to ask and follow up with their references to get a good idea of what their sales capacity was. And when interviewing them, don't ask about hypotheticals. Most job applicants know what "should be done" in certain situations. Instead ask them to tell you about a time that they experienced a certain situation and then ask them how they actually handled it. The distinction is slight, but makes a difference. 

Technical Positions

When it comes to technical positions, the biggest issue you are going to come across is finding out that a particular applicant doesn't have the skills outlined in their resume. Their idea of "proficient' and yours is very different. So when it comes to their skill set, don't be afraid to test for proficiency. This could be a CRM or database program or equipment or tools necessary to do the job. If an applicant needs to be good at writing sales copy for instance, ask them to write something for you (and offer to compensate them for their time.) If it is on your must have list, test for it during the interview process. 

Enlist The Help Of Your Assistant

"But David, I barely have time to do interviews ...much less test for proficiency or do extra interview steps!"

The majority of the tips listed above can be outsourced to another person on your team if necessary. Your assistant could easily email the candidate or screen them via phone, they could administer proficiency tests or check references. 

So don't let the extra step or two get in the way of finding your perfect hire.

Published on: Oct 1, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.