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Recruiting 101: Best Practices for Finding and Hiring the Right Candidates

Hiring sometimes feels like searching for treasure without a map. You know what you want but you have no idea how to find it. Then there are the times you stumble on an ideal candidate and it ends up being fool’s gold. Getting burned in the hiring process stings. It feels like you wasted all your time.

If you’re tired of being lost in your processes or getting burned by candidates and third-party recruiters, it’s time to update and refine your hiring process.

Let’s break down what recruiting is—and how to find candidates that are the cream of the crop.

What Is Recruiting?

Recruiting is the process of finding qualified and eligible candidates to fill open roles at your company. It’s a constant search for new talent that’ll keep your company running smoothly or take it to the next level. Employees make your business go, but they’re also your biggest expense—so make sure you choose new hires wisely!

Different Types of Recruiting

Recruiting doesn’t have to be a wild-goose chase. With the right recruiting strategies you can find what you’re looking for in potential employees. Use these three main types of recruitment to help you staff your team.

Internal recruiting is a great way to make important hires and build a culture of growth. By filling open positions with current employees, you’re opening doors to new opportunities and promotions that improve retention and morale.

External recruiting is when you fill open roles with outside applicants. You can find applicants by:

  • Listing openings on your website
  • Sharing open roles on social media
  • Posting on job boards
  • Hiring a staffing agency
  • Revisiting old applicants (especially runners-up)

Side note: Never externally and internally recruit for the same position at the same time. Always start with internal recruits, or you’ll kill morale and trust. Boom! Dead. And that’s the last thing you want.

Referral recruiting is when you interview people because they were recommended by one of your current employees.

This recruiting strategy is a huge boost for your company culture as well since it naturally brings like-minded people together to contribute to your company’s mission. We thrive on referrals at Ramsey Solutions—21% of our team members were referred by another team member.

12 Tips for Finding and Hiring the Right Candidate

Finding candidates is only half the battle. Now, you need to sift through your lists with a fine-tooth comb to figure out who you want to hire. Like we said before, employees are your biggest expense, so don’t rush this process. Take your time choosing the right candidate.

In our webinar the 12 Components to a Good Hire, Dave Ramsey breaks down the hiring process for HR and business leaders into bite-sized pieces. His 12 tips are tried and true principles that the Ramsey Solutions leadership team follow when they hire new team members.

1. Pray.

Prayer might not fit your company culture. But since the very early days of the company, Ramsey Solutions has included prayer in our big decisions. And hiring is a massive decision. We pray to find the right candidates and that everyone involved will make the right decisions.

2. Get referrals.

Our team members know what it takes to work here, and we encourage them to refer friends who could be a good fit at our company. We take referrals seriously because they are a big source of quality hires.

3. Do a 30-minute drive-by interview.

The very first interview should be a short 30-minute call that helps you figure out whether you want to continue with an applicant. It’s basically a phone screening.


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During these calls, we like to use the 2:1 ratio. We all have two ears and one mouth. So we should only talk for 10 minutes and let the applicant talk for the other 20 minutes.

4. Check the résumés and references.

All hiring managers know people can stretch the truth on their resumes. We still read them, but we also call references. Why? Mainly to see whether applicants took the initiative to let their references know a hiring manager might call them. It’s not hard to do, but so many people don’t. Do your due diligence and call references!

5. Use testing tools.

We have potential hires take a personality test called the DISC assessment. The results don’t rule a candidate out from joining our team. We just know team chemistry adjusts every time a new hire comes on board, so it’s important to know a candidate’s personality type and communication style ahead of time.

6. Ask yourself, do you like them?

Have you ever sat in an interview with an applicant and thought to yourself, Thank goodness they’re not joining my team! It’s never a good idea to hire someone you don’t like. You’re going to work with this person every single day. Being good at the job isn’t enough. The whole team has to get along.

7. Look for passion.

You can’t fake passion. You see it when a candidate’s eyes light up when they talk about what they do—whether they’re a web developer, writer or house framer. And ideally it doesn’t stop there. It’s even better when you can see the passion for what they do in the context of doing it for your company and your mission.

8. Review their personal budget.

We ask applicants to make a budget with our proposed salary to make sure they can live on it before accepting it.

It sounds weird, but here’s the deal: We don’t ask for a budget to invade a candidate’s personal life. Ramsey leaders are servant leaders. And one of the ways they serve their teams is to make sure no one accepts a role they can’t afford to take just because they’re bought into our company’s mission.  

9. Discuss compensation.

Benefits and compensation are a big reason people apply to jobs. You could waste their time (and yours) if you don’t talk about compensation within the first few interviews.

We also go over our core values with applicants. Reviewing our core values gives applicants a chance to see what our business is like before they start. People may find they don’t align with certain things and take themselves out of the interview process, which simplifies our job!

10. Create a Key Results Area (KRA).

A KRA is a simple document that lists what a team member is responsible for—what they primarily do in their normal, everyday work. It’s a great tracking method for employees and employers that gives role clarity and sets clear expectations for what winning in the role looks like.

11. Go on a spousal dinner.

A spousal dinner is not an interview for the spouse, but it’s an important part of the hiring process. It’s an opportunity for the hiring leader and their spouse to get to know the potential new hire and their spouse. Why is that important? Spouses can have a lot of insight on whether the role, mission, values and personalities fit. It’s another step that makes Ramsey’s hiring process unique—and effective.

12. Implement a 90-day probation.

Although new hires might only meet with HR for two days for onboarding, all new team members have a 90-day probationary period. That means both the employee and employer make sure the new job is a good fit for everyone. And if it doesn’t work out for one reason or another within the first 90 days, we part ways.

How Will You Change the Way You Hire?

Directionless hiring will burn you out and leave you with the wrong hires. It’s time to change your hiring strategy and find the right talent for your business. With the right plan and strategy, you’ll know who you’re looking for and how to get them.

Knock your hiring game out of the park by changing the way you recruit with the conversations you have and the tools you use. Go to to learn new ways to serve your team.

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About the author


Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners. Learn More.

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