Changing times call for more innovative approaches to business and society. As work values change and Millennials become a more prominent demographic in the workforce, businesses are looking for new ways to shape and grow their workplaces. Part of a productive workforce and work space is to hire the right candidates for the job. However, some of the traditional criteria for employing new talent has become somewhat obsolete, as there are now a myriad of contemporary factors to consider when hiring candidates that fit your business ideals and culture. As a business leader, one of the most important tasks is the hiring process.

Here are the essential criteria business leaders use when hiring the perfect interviewees for the job:

  • Improve your job descriptions

Searching for a job is stressful for most candidates. Sometimes job descriptions don’t appeal to job seekers. The wording might deter them from applying. It’s been reported that long lists of detailed work responsibilities and requirements make many qualified candidates feel overwhelmed, alienated, or unqualified.

In fact, a study reported on 56 job ads, which were rewritten by researchers with two different approaches: A “Needs-Supplies” approach, which highlights what the company can do for a employee, and the “Demands-Abilities” ad, which focuses on the expectations of the business. The candidates who applied to the “Needs-Supplies” job were better-performing ads that garnered more applicants.

Pro tip: Use inclusive language in your ad that clearly states what you can do for the applicant and what the applicant should provide for the job. Try to include phrases like “We want to provide our employees with…” and “You will have opportunities to…”. When you state what your company can do for candidates, you may attract a more diverse range of talent.

  • Focus on soft skills

In a vastly changing world that focuses on sustainable business models, soft skills are important for cooperation and productivity. Traditionally, employers sought the most qualified candidate in terms of talent. However, in today’s world, it’s true that skills can be acquired and developed over time and with guidance. However, an equally, perhaps more, important factor is if a candidate has the personality or social intelligence for the job. Navigating social situations and working well with others is extremely important.

Pro tip: Nowadays, managers understand that experience doesn’t necessarily qualify a person for the role. During the interview process, see if candidates have the necessary interpersonal and communication skills, thought, and emotional intelligence for your clients and coworkers.

  • Fit the personality to the job role

Decide what the most important qualities are for a particular type of job. Personality traits can help improve performance for specific roles. For example, if you’re hiring a social media guru, expect to find someone who is very detailed and a good communicator. Make sure they like to be up-to-date on current digital media trends.

Pro tip: It’s important not to stereotype anyone into a type of role since humans are very complex. However, be open and honest about what type of personality this role requires. See if you can identify what your candidates interests are as they pertain to the job.

  • Have an open dialogue during the meeting

Get to know your candidate during the job interview and lighten up the mood by actually understanding their wants and needs. A Leadership IQ study determined that perceived failures of new employees often result from a flawed interview process. In fact, 82% of 5,000 managers said that interviewers are too focused on issues and pressed for time. Many often lack confidence in their interviewing capabilities so they miss potential red flags when hiring candidates.

Pro tip: Offer a realistic overview of the work environment. After you go over job technicalities and hard skills, make sure to talk about their expectations for the job. Also ask them imperative questions like “Why did you leave your last job?”. If they say they had a problem with someone ask for them to explain the situation. It’s also important to see how much responsibility they’re willing to accept for any problems they may have had in the past. Ask them what makes them motivated and what goals they want to achieve while working for your business. Ask them a question that allows them to stand out!

Don’t forget to liven it up with a joke or two. Sometimes you can break the ice and relax the candidate when you offer a mix of professional and personable!

In addition, you should also let the candidates interview you. This allows you to see what interests them and what they value in employers. Plus, you can see how their interests align with your own or your other coworkers. If they don’t have many similar interests, but have interesting ideas, this step can also help you determine if you need to diversify your work team.

Growing your team to be the best possible is a long and complicated process that may require an overhaul of your current systems. However, make sure you balance change with staying true to your business goals, workplace satisfaction, and clientele. Studies show that the emerging Millennial generation focuses more on a group dynamic than an individual approach and so the future dynamic of idea sharing, cooperative work environments is stronger than ever before. As the new generation of professionals grows and technologies advance, business dynamics will constantly evolve along with skill sets and leadership roles. As any skillful entrepreneur knows, finding the right candidate for your job just takes patience, support, and an open-mind.