Hiring is hard. First, you’ve got to find the right person and then convince them to make a big commitment to your business—without guaranteeing that it’ll work out.

Add a highly competitive market (since everyone seems to be hiring right now), and you suddenly feel more sympathy for HR managers. 

But a lot has changed for candidates too. They get to be a bit pickier, but it also becomes more difficult for them to choose the right path. 

What you want is the right person to stick around long enough to impact your business, and grow themselves.

How do you do this—successfully? This article looks at 5 hiring best practices to help you attract (and keep) talented employees.

1. Call less, text more

Who would’ve ever thought professionals would be recommended to text more? 

Millennials and Gen Z are taking up more space in the talent pool as the market evolves. It’s time to start adapting to their needs. There are lots of jokes about them being afraid to pick up the phone or being wary of unknown vanity numbers— it’s time to take those jokes seriously.

75 percent of millennials prefer text over a phone call. Texts are more convenient and less disruptive. You can’t really take a call from a recruiter while working in your current office, but you can answer a text. It also doesn’t seem as unprofessional to them—on the contrary: 89% of Gen Z college seniors are comfortable texting with potential employers as part of the job interview process.

Great for them, but what’s in it for you?

Texting is less time-consuming

Hiring processes are long enough—phone calls only drag them on even more. You’ll miss a call, or can’t reach someone, or they tell you it’s better to email because they like a written confirmation. Phone calls aren’t necessarily the best thing when you’re hiring.

You get to assess their communication skills

Chances are, most of the communication you’ll be having with your new team member will be written. Email and Slack are booming businesses with the rise of remote work. But not everyone is as gifted in expressing themselves with the written word.

Using chats and texts in parts of the interview process lets you check what it would be like communicating with this candidate. Can they be concise and clear? What is their tone like?


2. Test your talent

Many new employees start their first day on the job nervous. Not necessarily about meeting the team—they’ve memorized their water cooler icebreakers—but about their skill level. 

It’s hard to know if you’re the right person for a job without actually doing it yet. It isn’t possible to find out if your skills are a match by simply reading a generic job description.

Let’s say you’re hiring a new HR manager—because you could use a little help. The interview process is a tricky one—as a fellow HR manager, they probably know exactly what you want to hear. But how do you find out if they can actually implement those skills?

With a skill-specific assessment like a talent acquisition test, you get to see their resume in action. How they go about sourcing. What do they look at when evaluating a candidate’s experience? Can they read recruitment analytics on the spot?

The major benefit of a test like this is that it’s more true to life. For interviews or even assignments, people can prepare differently. With a test, they have to showcase their skills, showing you—and them—whether they are up to the task.

Skills-based tools are also a great addition to your hiring process if you want to reach more neurodiverse talent (e.g., people with Autism).


3. Double down on employer branding 

A positive rating on Glassdoor and a picture of your smiling team on your About Us page doesn’t cut it anymore. Candidates care about the work environment just as much as about the job they’ll be doing. Give them a taste of what it’s like on your careers page.

A solid career page can make a difference in who applies to your open positions. Picture this: you are honest about who you think is the right fit for your organization and the perks they’ll get. 

Let’s say your team thrives on extroverts and people who run side projects. What they get in return is a culture with a lot of communication and flexibility to plan your own hours.

Someone who needs more structure and is a stronger employee at working independently will think twice before applying—saving both of you time. When you make a careers page, don’t just try to show off—it should paint an honest picture of your company.

So, what should a great careers page have? Well—in the best-case scenario, everything. Talk about what you offer, but also about what you look for. Answer questions before they are asked and give a glimpse of your culture.

A career page we love

Hotjar knows how to impress and inform candidates like nobody else. We’ve yet to find a more complete career page than this one. Let’s look at some of the elements that make this an example to follow:

A recruitment FAQ

We’re in help center heaven. Hotjar answers all the questions someone might have about the hiring process and working at Hotjar on an FAQ page. They answer all questions you might be too shy to ask in the interview. Plus, they give everyone access to documents that explain what working at Hotjar entails, from rules to working hours. Most companies only give you that after you’ve signed a contract. 

Clarity about compensation

Hotjar doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to compensation. They are honest about salary ranges and even explain why they chose that range. And, they give concrete information about benefits. €2,500 Home Office Budget? Don’t mind if we do. 

Content about culture

Hotjar impresses candidates with a video from their past meetups—that looks almost more fun than a regular holiday. But, a company retreat in Malta isn’t what a day in the life of a Hotjar employee really looks like. So they’ve dedicated time and resources to explain different parts of their culture in blogs and interviews. From what they think matters when working remotely to their core values—you find out everything. 

4. Make the most out of your recruitment data

Some recruitment managers trust their gut with their life, and even if a candidate doesn’t seem right on paper, they’re willing to risk it. Sometimes that works out, but other times you want to make decisions like this with a little more confidence. 

Nobody can predict the future, but data can help you predict it (a little). Combine that with AI, and you’ll save yourself tons of time.

Think AI-powered background checks, where bots analyze a candidate’s resume and crossmatch it with past candidates and success rates, to let you know whether they’re worth pursuing. 

If data-driven recruitment peaks your interest, we think you should read about how data driven recruiting tools give you concrete numbers to shape your hiring decisions.


5. Let candidates interview you

If you want to build a long-lasting relationship, two-way communication is key. A lot of companies overlook the fact that candidates are also evaluating you. Except they don’t really get the opportunity to do it as thoroughly as you do to them. When, in fact, they are making almost a bigger commitment to you than you to them. They’re offering you their time, something they can never get back. 

It’s only fair to allow candidates to interview you too. Asking “do you have any questions?” at the end of the interview (when there’s only 3 minutes left before you have to talk to the next candidate) isn’t fair.

So, if you really want to up your hiring game, incorporate a reverse-interview round in your hiring process. Let candidates pick who they talk to. Maybe they want to get to know their desk buddy better, or are they really valuing what type of person the CEO is: make everyone accessible.

best hiring practices

Disclaimer: none of the tips mentioned above will guarantee success. It is crucial that you first investigate what your hiring process lacks, or why people leave before you’re ready to say goodbye. Then take your pick from fitting solutions and build a solid team!


Why I wrote this?

One of the most effective hiring best practices is scanning your job descriptions to make sure they are effective and bias-free. Ongig’s software automates this process. Please request a demo to learn more.

This is a guest post by Vicky Frissen.

Vicky is a freelance copywriter based in Barcelona. She helps brands and businesses stand out from the crowd by putting some personality in each piece of copy she writes—whether it’s a 1,000-word blog post or a short and snappy Instagram caption.

Vicky Frissen


  1. Feature image by Tim Mossholder

by in Hiring