In the last part of this 3-part series, we’ll offer you five tips to help you hire someone to build your HR department.

1. Write a Great Job Description

Check out local HR job postings on Glassdoor and Indeed to see how other people described the role and then customize it to what you need. Make sure you talk about your company culture, what your office environment is like and what the day-to-day might be like. For example, if your team is small and extroverted with an open floor plan, put it in the description. If your business is more conservative with closed office doors, write that in the description.

A great section to include is “What our Ideal Candidate Looks Like.” This is a short paragraph with the ideal qualifications, background and personality traits of the right candidate.

2. Post it in the Right Places

You should make sure that your open role is posted in the right places. Indeed is still top dog for any U.S.-based job, plus it’s free, so posting your job on Indeed is a great place to start.

Use unpaid social media platforms like Twitter and encourage your employees to send referrals.

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You might also check local job boards, like those on Craigslist. LinkedIn is a great resource for posting jobs, but only if you’re willing to spend $250 or more per month and the job is located in a major city. To post on LinkedIn, you will have to select a city/ zip code where the job posting will appear, so remote jobs often get lost in the shuffle and don’t receive any traffic at all.

You should also use unpaid social media platforms like Twitter and encourage your employees to send referrals. You could even add an employee incentive like a bonus for referring a candidate who is later hired.

3. Review the Applications/Resumes

Once you have a pile of resumes, you’ll need to sift through them. Look at the resumes and set aside the ones that match about 70 percent of your needs for the role. These resumes should also check the normal boxes like good grammar, spelling and a professional tone.

4. Phone Screen your Candidates

Once you have a list of top candidates, you’ll need to schedule them for a phone screen. Develop a reusable email template that you can send to candidates to get the information you need to schedule a phone interview, like their availability.

Then think of the 5-10 questions that you absolutely want all of the candidates to answer. This way you can then compare them apples to apples after all of the phone screens are done. The phone screen is also the chance to ask about any red flags on a candidate’s resume, like a large employment gap.

The phone screen is your chance to ask about any red flags on a candidate’s resume.

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You can either create a spreadsheet where you keep interview notes, or you can work with a recruitment software like Greenhouse and track the candidate’s progress through the interview pipeline and keep shareable notes.

5. Interview Top Candidates in Person

Once the phone screens are done, pick your top 3-5 candidates to invite for in-person interviews. Decide who on your team should interview them, how much time they each should spend with the candidate and what you want to figure out in the in-person interview. Create a list of questions or agree on a set of questions for each interviewer to ask the candidates. This will help you and other interviews to have a more constructive discussion about the candidates by comparing them equally based on their answers.

6. Make an Offer (and have a backup plan)

Remember that candidates can always say no. Have a backup candidate in mind and continue interviewing. Until someone has signed on the dotted line, keep recruiting!

About the author

Christy Hopkins

Christy Hopkins

Christy Hopkins, PHR, is a Human Resources consultant and writer at Fit Small Business. Her areas of expertise include recruiting, performance management, organizational change, and implementing HR systems. In addition to writing for Fit Small Business, Christy maintains an HR consulting and recruiting firm that boasts over 30 small business clients across the United States.

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