“Find the best employees”, “hire the best people”, “how do I get the best to work in my organization?” –  We’ve heard it all! And if you’ve ever tried to make any of these statements a reality, you know how difficult of a task it could be!

We all know the basic formula for hiring the best employees: job-fit, organizational-fit, and team-fit. Basically, if you have an employee who’s a good “fit” on all aspects, then there’s really very little that could go wrong.

But wouldn’t it be perfect if you just had a list of all these simple tricks to hire the best employees? Luckily for you, you’ve come to the right place! Here are 4 for you to keep in your back pocket!


Trick #1: Want to hire the best? Know what you’re looking for!

First thing’s first; you need to know what you’re looking for! I know this sounds silly, but you always hear people say they want to hire the best, and when you ask them what that means, they rarely ever have a comprehensive answer.

If you want to hire the best talents, you need to know, through and through, what that entails. Their background, education, experience, learning mode, adaptability, resistance to stress – all of it!

Remember: what’s best for someone else might not be the best for you! Know what you need, what their core competencies should be, their skills, values, and strengths.


Do you want to hire the best, or the best right now?

That’s a question you should really think long and hard about. Do you want someone who is ready to be the best employee right away? Or does “the best” mean someone who has the natural talent to learn, be developed, and become your all-star?

If you want the best right now, do you know what you’re looking for? And if you want to develop your all-star, do you have the capability to spot him/her?


Trick #2: Know them as well as they know you

Let’s assume you have the first trick down pat; you know what you need and what you’re looking for, but now what?

If the candidate walking through the door is someone you would consider, then it would be someone who has at least done their research. They’re prepared, have answers to your questions, know about the company, its culture, vision, mission, and about the job and its requirements.

That’s quite a candidate though, don’t you think? But although they might seem good, you’re not looking for “good”; you’re looking for “the best”!

So why not look it from a different view? Why should a candidate know more about you than you do them?

Don’t let that be the case. If you want to hire the best employees, study their resumes, check out their online profiles, have them do a technical test, and review their psychometric profiles.

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but thank goodness you’re not feline 😉


Trick #3: Don’t be selfish – Give back!

The first two tricks are clearly to help you find and identify the best employee for you, but what good are they if the candidate doesn’t sign your offer?

On the bright side, however, the second trick can actually help you here! If you know more about the candidate, what they like and don’t like, their strengths and weaknesses, and what motivates and demotivates them, then you would be able to  offer them exactly what they’re looking for.

Say, for example, your best candidate is an adaptable, results-driven machine who also thrives on recognition, competition and monetary incentives. All that’s left is to offer them a non-rigid work environment where they can compete for results and receive employee-of-the-month ribbons and cheques! Okay – so maybe it’s not quite as simple, but you get the picture.

The bottom line is: don’t be selfish. If you want their best qualities, you need to give back.


Trick #4: Check your plumbing

Tell me if this sounds familiar; you get a 100 resumes for a job posting, pick out the 10 that seem capable, interview 4 of them, and then pick the best one out of those. But is hiring the best out of 4 candidates really the best employee for you?

This is why you need to have a good pipeline. If your recruitment and selection process or pipeline is good, then you’re more likely to be successful in your attempts to hire the best employees.

If you want your recruitment efforts to be effective, make sure your job description is working for you to attract the right people. And definitely don’t forget about your employer brand. It is never too early or too late to ensure your employer brand is communicating what you want it to communicate!

And there you have it. Four simple tricks to hire the best employees. Make sure you know exactly what it is you’re looking for, get to know the candidates even before they walk through the door, make them an offer they can’t refuse, and make sure everything is running smoothly, all the time. Hiring the best employees is not an easy task, but with the help of your new bag of tricks, there’s no stopping you!

Do you have any tricks of your own? Share them in the comments below!

  • Lily Thompson

    That’s a great blog, Leen. Your inputs on Trick #1 say it all. A top mistake that most recruiters make is that they aren’t patient and often rush through and compromise on the quality of the candidate. It needs to be understood that the cost of a bad hire is huge and therefore the
    inability to screen out the right candidate can adversely impact the bottom line. I have to add that not everyone has an eye for talent and most of the times, people are pushed to perform the role of hiring managers. By leaving it to the experts, you can save a lot of time, effort and money that goes into hiring and training talent.

    • Leen Sawalha

      Well said, Lily. It’s sad to think that there are still many who don’t recognize how expensive a bad hire can be. Low productivity, cost of training and onboarding, and the adverse impact on the team’s dynamic and morale are just some of the factors that are ignored when thinking about the cost of a bad hire.

Leen Sawalha

Leen Sawalha’s interest in the effects of motivation and behaviour on businesses has led her to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Human Resources Management. Currently in the process of acquiring her MBA, Leen’s expertise lies in the integration of both disciplines to enhance the effectiveness of an organization’s human capital.


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