Every open position is an opportunity to strengthen your team and capabilities. Take the following steps before you begin interviewing to maximize the success of your next new hire:

Set a timeframe for when you’d like to have your new hire on board –
Weigh the importance of finding all of your ideal new hire qualifications—which may take some time—with how long you can manage with the vacancy. Set your timeframe and commit yourself to its completion. Remember that “stalled” hiring processes are the least effective.

Select sources for your talent search –
Depending upon the skill level required, you may choose to communicate your opening within your organization, with your personal network of contacts, and/or with a specialized recruitment firm. Typically, the broader the source, the broader the quality levels of candidates. Know that posting your job opening with an online job board may flood your inbox with unscreened resumes.

Determine the salary range –
Research the local employment market to evaluate if your compensation is competitive—a factor that is critical to avoiding a cycle of turnover. “Competitive shopping” to determine how others structure pay, bonuses, and benefits is also helpful.

Evaluate required skills –
Make a list of required skills vs. preferences. You may find that it’s an opportune time to upgrade or otherwise modify the position to better suit current needs.

Write a clear job description –
When possible, enlist the help of the person leaving the job for practical input on what the position entails. Include an overview of daily responsibilities as well as long-term projects.

Identify selling points –
Interviewing is a two-way street. Be prepared to explain how your organization is an attractive employer and why the role is desirable, particularly to someone who may not be in an active job search.

Share timely and detailed feedback –
Give your HR group or your recruitment firm timely and detailed feedback on specifications of the job (as they may change), on major company news, especially if it can be construed as negative, and, most importantly, on candidates being considered. The more clear and detailed the feedback, the more efficient and effective the process.

Have an acceptance/on-boarding checklist –
Once you’ve extended an offer and the candidate has accepted, make sure that all of the required testing and paperwork is completed prior to the start date: drug tests, background checks, credit checks, reference checks, etc. Make a checklist of the items that need to be completed in advance so that your new hire can hit the ground running: desk, phone and computer set-up, security access, training, and orientation. As the hiring manager, make a personal phone call prior to the start date to reaffirm your enthusiasm about the person joining your team. If possible, take the new employee to lunch either on or before his or her first day on the job.