Smiling person in an interview with a potential employer.
While hiring candidates with industry experience and market expertise is important for success, hiring for soft skills and a mission-oriented mindset is just as important. — Getty Images/Inside Creative House

If your business is scaling at a reasonable rate, you should be looking to invest in new employees. Hiring new team members gives your company the opportunity to expand into new areas and grow where you’ve already been successful.

If you’re looking to hire when your company is in growth mode, follow these six strategies.

Search for career-oriented candidates

Hiring new team members is a long-term investment in your company. Therefore, you should seek out candidates who have a big-picture mentality, as opposed to those who simply fit the job description. Growing companies need to hire career-minded people who have the skill sets to accomplish the job they’re hired for and fit into your long-term vision for the future.

When interviewing candidates, ask them about both their long-term professional and personal goals. The ideal candidates will have ambition not just for themselves to move up but to grow the company at large.

Define your company's mission

The most talented candidates want to work with a company with a clear and inspiring mission. However, some companies may have a strong brand presence and memorable products or services, but do not have a clear mission, hurting their appeal.

Clearly define your mission and market it to new recruits. Your mission should reflect a commitment to your business, industry, customer, or charitable goal and can be shared through social media, in your job listings, and in person when candidates come in for an interview.

Determine the types of employees you’re looking to hire

When adding new people to your team, remember that not every hire needs to be a full-time employee. As you map how you’d like your team to look and function, think about the types of employees you’d like to hire. Your options for types of employment are full-time, part-time, temporary, or contract.

Review your budget to know if you have the expenses to hire new employees, including their salary, benefits, and payroll taxes. You can get creative with your hiring practices to fit your needs. If you're looking for loyal, long-term workers, invest in full-time employees. If most of the work is flexible and project-based, consider hiring a team of freelancers.

[Read more: Hiring Part-Time vs. Full-Time Employees: 4 Things to Consider]

As you recruit new employees, prioritize those with advanced soft skills, as hard skills can always be taught and learned.

Look for people who think outside the box

As you continue to grow your company, it helps to hire more innovators who think outside of the box. Hiring those with industry experience and market expertise is very important, but you also want someone who aligns with your company's values and matches your ambition. These creative thinkers can grow your company in new ways and help you become a leader in your field.

Prioritize soft skills

Companies should hire for soft skills first, then consider a person’s technical background. Soft skills are interpersonal attributes that help workers interact effectively and seamlessly with both peers and customers. Some of the most valued soft skills include listening, critical thinking, flexibility, leadership, collaboration, teamwork, and work ethic.

Hiring a candidate with strong soft skills can help grow your company, improve morale, and improve customer relations. Because soft skills are less quantifiable and more personality-based, they are more difficult to develop than technical skills. As you recruit new employees, prioritize those with advanced soft skills, as hard skills can always be taught and learned.

[Read more: What Are Soft Skills?]

Check your hiring biases

As a leader and person in a hiring position, it's important to discover and acknowledge any unconscious biases you may have. Once you recognize what they are, you can then take action to correct them in your hiring process. Prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion in your hiring practices to help drive your company's growth.

You can take different steps to ensure that biases are not coming through in your hiring practice. This includes using gender-neutral language in your descriptions, not adding unnecessary qualifications, and using blind-screening software to find the best candidates for the role.

Get more hiring tips in our guide to recruiting employees.

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Published July 25, 2022