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Hardwood Executive

The three stages of successful hiring

In their effort to find, hire and keep good employees, business owners are looking to trade associations, industry publications, and Human Resource professionals for help. In an LBM Journal article entitled, “The three stages of successful hiring,” entrepreneur, recruiter, author, and speaker Rikka Brandon offered insight and guidance on the matter.

“Simply put: Hiring is hard. After all, there’s a reason staffing is a $140 billion industry in the U.S., and a $400 billion industry worldwide. Unfortunately, finding and hiring great people isn’t as easy as throwing up a job posting. But it doesn’t have to be quite so daunting. As with anything, knowledge is power.

Three main stages of a successful hiring process:

Clarity & Reality – Clarity, the work you do before you post the ad or start networking, is the effort put in to ensure the best ROI for your payroll dollars. During this process, you clearly determine:

  • Why you need this role (the key responsibilities);
  • What results you expect from the new hire in this role;
  • What activity levels they will need to maintain to get those results.

At the end of this stage you should have a job description and clearly outlined activity and performance expectations for the role.

Attract & Recruit - Once you know what you need and expect, you need to find your ideal hire. There are basically two ways you can find great talent:

  • Attract: Think of this as marketing applied to hiring, posting ads in the places you believe have the best chance of being seen by your ideal hires. (Examples: job postings, newspaper ads, Craigslist, social media, and trade journals or association publications.)
  • Recruit: Think of this as recruitment meets sales. In this method, you’re identifying your ideal hire; actively and intentionally seeking him or her out; getting the conversation started.

At the end of this stage, you should have developed and executed a strong recruiting strategy, specific to the ideal hire for this role, and have several qualified candidates to choose from.

Interview & Offers - This is where you take all of those applicants and decide which one is the most qualified for the role. Note: One of the most common mistakes is that hiring managers are uncomfortable talking about money, so they just avoid it. This is a huge risk. If you can’t afford the person, you’re simply wasting your time and theirs.

  • In the Interviewing stage: Review and rank applicants; Conduct phone interviews (during which you should be learning their compensation expectations); Conduct face-to-face interviews (during which you should review their compensation expectations); Use pre-hire selection tools like pre-hire projects and pre-employment assessments; Conduct final interviews.
  • During the Offer stage: Develop an offer that meets your budget AND will be enticing to the candidate; Deliver the offer verbally; Deliver the offer in writing; Conduct any background checks and other screenings; Pick a start date.”

Information source: LBM Journal, a media company serving lumberyards, building material distributors, wholesalers, manufacturers, and service providers in the lumber/building material (LBM) distribution channel. Visit them at

About the author: “Rikka Brandon is a serial entrepreneur, recruiter, author, and speaker. She is the founder of Building Gurus and,, and the creator of popular programs like Hire Power, In-House Headhunter, and Hiring Mentor.” To learn more, visit