Top 6 Hiring Tactics in Screening Highly Skilled Candidates

Recruitment is one of the critical processes that can make or break a company. This aspect of the business entails choosing the right people to handle crucial operations and administrative tasks within an organization. Talent selection is critical since picking the wrong person for a job is detrimental to your company’s progress.

In the past few years, hiring trends have shifted into something that puts more importance in the following elements:

  • Excellent employer branding
  • Better candidate experience
  • Smart inbound recruitment
  • The use of artificial intelligence

All of these trends still work, so long as they are executed properly. Employer reputation, for instance, can help you reach more talents, but only if you bolster a positive company culture to go with it. Similarly, efforts in using smart inbound recruitment and using AI to reach potential applicants are moot if you don’t conduct interviews to determine company culture match efficiently.

Whether you’re an expert in talent acquisition or not, you might find that sorting through a sea of highly skilled candidates to be daunting. To help you overcome this and make sure that you pick the best candidate for the position, below are the six top hiring tactics you should incorporate in your recruitment process:

1.   Develop an Employee-Friendly Work Culture

Arguably the most crucial of all recruitment strategies, establishing an employee-friendly work culture is an investment you mustn’t forgo. Keep in mind that great talents seek a work environment where they can grow in.

Spending time in nurturing a positive company culture will not only ensure that skilled employees who are already on board will stay but also help you attract excellent additions to your workforce.

Although company culture itself isn’t considered as a form of recruitment strategy, the fact remains that having this setup for your business can help you go a long way in gaining excellent talents for your team. Of course, if you already have a good work environment, be sure to add it to your recruitment pitch to bolster your chances of snagging highly skilled candidates.

2.   Hire for Work Culture Compatibility

After establishing a work culture that can attract a wide range of talents, the next step is to look for candidates who have compatible work ethics and values with your company. You’ll want someone who can do well within a team setup and is able to get along with people, particularly with existing staff members and managers.

To determine this, you can ask how the candidate is managing his existing clients. Keep in mind that a person’s willingness is something that you should be looking for. If he isn’t willing to get along with his current or past clients, there’s a good chance that he wouldn’t be compatible with your work culture as well.

3.   Seek Employee Referrals

While this may seem commonplace and unimaginative as far as recruitment tactics go, employee referrals are actually quite efficient in talent acquisition. Aside from speeding up the search for viable candidates for a position, you also get an insider’s viewpoint of that person’s work ethic, values, and actual skills.

Of course, you have to keep referrers motivated in vouching for good candidates to add to your company roster. You can incentives, but you should never forget to recognize their efforts if their referrals become successful hires.

4.   Review Your Interview Methods

Interviews are probably the oldest and most widely used methods in recruitment. Unfortunately, this part of the hiring process is often poorly executed, typically due to employers’ adamant use of canned questions. This leads to fast employee turnaround and, ultimately, higher recruitment expenses.

Remember that reading generic questions won’t get you answers that can offer a full view of what applicants have to offer. Plus, it also leaves a bad first impression on the applicants, which can lead to a negative company reputation.

To determine if your interview process needs an overhaul, you should answer the following questions:

  • Do you take your time to get to know the candidates?
  • Could your questions really help you make an informed decision for the recruitment?
  • Do you customize your interview questions for every position you’re hiring?

If you answered “no” to at least one of these questions, then it is high time that you reform the way you interview applicants.

5.   Assess Learning, Analytical, and Job-Specific Skills

Confident candidates carry themselves in an excellent way, but are they really what you need?

Talent acquisition is named so for a reason. Successful companies hire based on what applicants can do, not just what they brag about.

This is why it is crucial that, during every recruitment process, you should verify each candidate’s skills that their resumes say they have. Never forgo testing their learning, analytical, and job-specific skills to make sure that they can perform the job well once you welcome them onboard.

You can use different methods in doing this, depending on the skillset you require. For example, if you’re filling up a position that entails a lot of writing tasks, you should ask candidates to undergo a writing test. Similarly, web design positions should be filled after you ask applicants to write code.

6.   Don’t Forget to Evaluate Soft Skills

While they were neglected in the past, more companies now realize the importance of assessing soft skills right at the beginning of talent acquisition. Among the skills that almost every type of business need includes communication and teamwork.

In fact, a study by Millennial Branding states that 98 percent of employees seek candidates with excellent communication skills. This is mainly because this skill gives them the ability to listen and pay attention, rather than just talk.

Communication is often the bridge needed to fill any gap in business growth and development, so having people who can “build” that bridge is a smart way to run a company. Plus, it can also help you avoid becoming one of the businesses that have 46 percent of new hire failures in the first 18 months of tenure, most of which is due to a mismatch in company culture.

Remember: a good communicator who can offer positivity and has the capacity and willingness to learn is a much better hire than someone with a perfect set of skills but is uninspired to do better.

Aim for Continuous Improvement

Like urging your employees to aim for continuous improvement, you shouldn’t stop developing your recruitment tactics as well. Researching more information about the latest hiring techniques and methods is a good start. Still, you can always seek expert help to bolster your chances of successful and long-lasting talent acquisition.


David Mackenzie, a recruitment professional with over 20 years’ experience in the field and a record of entrepreneurial accomplishment, is Managing Director and Head of HR at Mackenzie Jones. As the Group MD, David is responsible for the overall direction of the Mackenzie Jones Group, including Mackenzie Jones, MumsAtWork, MENA Solutions, Simply Digital and ThinkTech.



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