Best Practices for Hiring Locally – What To Look For

Best Practices for Hiring Locally - What To Look For

Looking for great local talent to join your team? Hiring locally is the key to building a reliable and motivated workforce. In this guide, you’ll find tips and tricks for making sure you get the best candidates from your local area. Learn what factors to consider when recruiting locally and how to make sure you hire the right person for the job.

Identify Your Hiring Needs

Before recruiting locally, you should first identify your hiring needs. Make sure you have a clear idea of the skills and expertise required for the position and what kind of cultural fit is necessary to promote a successful and productive team environment. Additionally, consider any non-negotiables such as education requirements or experience level that would help narrow down your search. With a clear understanding of what you’re looking for in potential hires, you can more effectively target local candidates that meet your needs.

One of the best ways to ensure that you find qualified local job candidates is to cast a wide net by utilizing job posting platforms such as Indeed and ZipRecruiter, as well as social media sites like LinkedIn. Many local universities also have extensive alumni networks that can be tapped into through their careers page. Even targeted Google searches for key phrases related to the position you’re trying to fill, combined with your locality, may yield promising results for your search. By exploring these various options, you will be able to reach a broader pool of quality talent from near or around your area.

Use a Variety of Recruiting Tools

Utilizing a variety of recruiting tactics is essential to finding the best local talent. Take advantage of online job postings, social media channels, and industry groups to market your open positions. Don’t forget about local events like university career fairs and networking mixers as well – these are great opportunities to expand your reach and get in touch with potential candidates face-to-face. Be sure to make use of applicant tracking systems like Greenhouse that can help organize and track your recruiting efforts.

Establishing relationships with university and college career offices is a great way to find local talent. Most schools have career services staff that actively assist students and alumni in their searches for impactful job opportunities. Making a connection with these offices might enable your organization to access the resumes of graduating seniors as well as alumni. It can also be a good idea to post jobs on universities’ and colleges’ websites, staff newsletters, and bulletin boards – these on-campus resources attract recent and soon-to-be graduates who are eager to start their careers after graduation. Additionally, many universities host networking events or host relevant networking groups such as majors or industries – leveraging this support can give you direct access to top talent.

Conduct Thorough Interviews and Reference Checks

It’s important to take your time in the interview process and get to know applicants on a deeper level. Ask follow-up questions that go beyond the stock questions you pre-plan to assess their knowledge, experience, and professional behavior. Additionally, when interviewing local hires, don’t be afraid to ask for references from community members or past employers who can provide valuable insights into the applicant’s character and performance. This whole process can take longer than simply running through stock questions, but it is well worth taking the time if you want to find the right fit for long-term success.

Don’t rely solely on the applicant’s responses when it comes to references. It’s important to contact past employers or community members to ensure that they have an authentic experience with the person. When reaching out, don’t be afraid to set expectations upfront and focus on job-specific questions. Keep your conversations positive, but probe into the detail of their accomplishments, professional behaviors, and overall work ethics. Doing your due diligence will increase the likelihood of finding a successful local hire who can make a valuable contribution in the long run.

Assessing Qualifications

While it is important to learn about the candidate’s professional background and hard skills, don’t forget to ask about their skill set related to the qualities of specific roles. Ask if they have any experience with collaborative platforms like Slack or Zoom, as well as their ability to handle interpersonal relationships. Additionally, assess the applicant’s work history; look for gaps in employment that aren’t explained satisfactorily and length of service in prior positions. An efficient employee-employer relationship needs mutual respect; enter into this process with an open mind and look for individuals who could be assets to your business.

After you’ve identified the employee you’d like to hire, contact their references. Not just a list of past employers, but colleagues or peers who can speak to their work style and personality. Don’t forget to make note of any interesting certificates, honors, or awards that may be relevant. It’s important to understand the applicant’s capabilities in order to get a better picture of how they will fit into your pre-existing team dynamically. Looking for soft qualifications as well as hard ones can help you decide if the individual is a great match for the current job opening and business culture.

Reach Out to Professional Networks and Communities

Reaching out to professional networks and communities is another great way to find the right people for your open positions. If you’re hiring in tech, there are likely several local meetup groups and events related to the niche you are recruiting in. Make sure your candidate sources include these key players in your industry, as doing so will increase your chances of finding people with the specific skill set and personality you’re looking for. Additionally, when talking to potential hires at networking events, be sure to ask about items related to the role that goes beyond technical qualifications – such as their experience being part of a team or working on challenging projects.

Professional networks can also be great sources for referrals. If a few members of your team already have contacts in your industry, they can help you get connected with potential candidates or connect you to the right people. Additionally, look into job boards and local newspapers, as well as online resources like LinkedIn and Indeed. When using these platforms, make sure you include an accurate description of the role, salary range, and other details so potential applicants will know what they’re getting into before applying. Lastly, review your previous applicant pools to see if there are any qualified candidates who were not selected previously who might now fit the bill – though don’t forget to reach out to new pools of potential hires as well!

Now that you’ve considered why using a professional network is a good idea, have you considered using NESC Staffing? We have an A+ grade from the Better Business Bureau, were awarded by Forbes as America’s Best Recruiting and Temporary Staffing Firm, and have been successfully putting people to work since 1984. You can see the industries we staff for at NESC Staffing’s specialties.