As we enter 2017, US economic news seems encouraging: job growth prospects are promising, the US dollar is showing signs of strength and job numbers–though modest– maintain a positive trend.  All of these factors will have an impact on organizations looking to expand this year, particularly when it comes to hiring new employees.

Some organizations will use the same candidate-sourcing mechanisms they have in the past, filling job openings with those who apply first and can start the soonest. (I call this the keep-the-roster-full approach.) In the short term, managers will feel good about these quick gains in capacity, but in the long run, this approach may limit a company’s ability to capitalize on talent opportunities that could be gleaned from a larger candidate pool.

Below are some ways to help ensure that each new hire in the new year is a high-quality addition to your operation:

‘Tried and true’ can sometimes be a bad thing

  • Think about when your organization last revised its selection process. In today’s constantly-evolving business environment, it doesn’t take long for a deep-rooted practice to become a throwback.
  • Are you supplementing your sourcing of candidates with social media?
  • Are the competencies you are seeking in a candidate current with the needs and responsibilities of the position going forward?

Look beyond today’s openings

  • Think beyond simply interviewing for the position available; make sure you and your hiring managers gauge capability for upward mobility.
  • Do you have a formal plan in place for identifying the future needs of your business?
  • Have you isolated the roles that often serve as feeder positions for your future leaders?

Due Diligence: drilling down with your interview questions

  • Go beyond just checking the box after asking each interview question. Have drill-down questions on hand to quantify the quality of responses. This allows you to better understand a prospect’s capabilities and it provides a depth from which to differentiate candidates.
  • If your interviewing methods seem outdated or inefficient, consider implementing the latest structured behavioral interviewing techniques, such as those found in the Devine Group’s InterviewRight

When hiring, it’s important to prioritize the quality of your hires over time savings. Chasing the time-to-hire metric increases the likelihood of making a poor selection decision without focusing on the long-term strategy of properly developing your talent pool. Experience shows that adopting a quality-of-hire strategy will work for the short and long term, creating successful company outcomes not just today, but far into tomorrow.