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Putting the right team together can make or break a project before it even begins. The “wrong” team members are not necessarily bad people, just ones who don’t fit what this particular team or project needs. The negative effects can include disruptions, a negative atmosphere and also a significant drain on resources, as it has been found that the majority of employers believe poor hiring costs anywhere from $25,000 – $50,000.

To make sure you get things right when hiring employees, you need to know what you’re looking for. Every project manager will have their own personal hiring tips, but the most important thing is to try to constantly develop your understanding of the needs of a project and also your ability to get to the core of a potential employee’s character and competencies.

This will come with your own personal experience, but it’s never any harm to also learn from the experience of others. So, we’ve put together some excellent hiring tips to reduce your margin of error and to help you find exactly the team members you need.

  1. Understand your needs

If you don’t know what you’re looking for, by definition, it is very difficult to find it. A gap that needs to be filled is either something that a contractor is currently doing, or other team members are covering, even if it’s not their best role. Along with the primary specifics, try to take into account additional skills which would benefit or complement the team’s current productivity.

  1. Create an attractive and accurate job description

You want to be choosing your candidates from a wide pool of suitable applicants. That means you need to bring together an attractive description that encourages people to apply, while at the same time being clear enough that under-qualified people don’t, to avoid wasting time. Set things up properly with a great title and leading introduction, let prospective hires know what they can look forward to and how the role will advance them personally. Reinforce the message that they should apply, like any sales literature the move to action is what your job description should be encouraging.

  1. Identify the most appropriate locations to find candidates

There are literally hundreds of job search sites and recruitment companies out there but not all of them can provide you what you need. When hiring employees, make sure that you go looking in the right places. For example, for very specific positions a specialist site or recruiter might have a smaller selection, but they will be better fits for your needs. On the other hand, if you need short-term or very flexible employees then a freelancing site, such as UpWork or freelancer.com may be more appropriate.

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  1. Establish an interview process that reveals what you need to know

Once you’ve whittled down your list of candidates comes the interview stage. This is valuable time, both yours and your candidate’s, so one of the most important hiring tips is not to waste it. Study the information each candidate has provided you and don’t be afraid to ask further questions pre-interview if something is unclear.

Your questions should be tailored to address at least a couple of your needs each. For example, finding out how they would react to a colleague informing them they won’t be providing an important deliverable to them on time might show you both how they react under pressure and how effective they are at mixing cooperation and responsible reporting.

  1. Be dedicated about employee onboarding

Hiring employees can be tough but the job doesn’t stop there, they also have to be successfully integrated into a new team and environment. Try to be clear about the organization’s culture and behavior charter. However, it is also vital to have them hit the ground running, so it can be advisable to introduce them to the team members they will be dealing with immediately and informing each of their responsibilities and how you envision them working with each other.

Becoming excellent at building the team you want and hiring employees is not something that’s going to happen overnight. However, by following some good hiring tips, having patience and using your experiences to learn and improve, this area of project management is something that can become a great strength.