“If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.”

To say that New York City represents the proverbial land of opportunity for workers would be the ultimate understatement. With nearly four million private sector jobs in NYC as of February 2019, jobs are aplenty in the Big Apple right now.

Conventional wisdom would tell us that a booming job market spells good news for businesses hiring. After all, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to finding talent, right?

Honestly, it depends.

Businesses hiring today need to take particular care when it comes to scouting talent. From embellished resumes to potential fraud, there are always security concerns present when bringing in a new employee.

Additionally, the inability to hire top talent could actually cause long-term problems for your business if you’re not careful.

To ensure that your New York-based business is hiring with peace of mind, we’ve broken down five key tips to spotting talent that you don’t have to second-guess about.

1.Run a Background Check

For starters, conducting a background check on any new hire is an absolute must-do. From their employment history to potential criminal activity, there’s arguably no easier way to see whether someone is really who they say they are.

As part of modern background checks, it’s a smart move to likewise take a deep dive into a candidate’s online history including social media activity.

Don’t think of doing so as being sneaky or invading anyone’s privacy, but rather making sure anyone you bring into your company is on the up-and-up. Rather than do the legwork yourself, consider hiring a private investigator in NYC who can do the job efficiently and thoroughly.

2.Set Specific Job Requirements

Believe it or not, there’s a direct correlation between the quality of your job description and the quality of the resumes you’ll receive.

Think about it. Vague, short-form descriptions could potentially attract people from backgrounds of all shapes and sizes, many of which are irrelevant to what you’re actually looking for.

On the flip side, writing a proper job description involves writing a long-form (think: hundreds of words) outline of what you want from a role. You should also try to use industry jargon (think: terms only someone suited for your role would know) to help weed out candidates as well. For example, you wouldn’t hire an “engineer” that doesn’t know what AutoCAD is, would you?

Additionally, you can use requirements such as years of experience or a certain number of references as a sort of “barrier to entry.” Again, you aren’t gatekeeping: you’re just narrowing the field to find people you can trust. This is going to help reduce the high cost related to employee turnover and help attract talent that’s legitimately interested in your company.

3.Be on the Lookout for Red Flags

Although trust issues with employees can be spotted as soon as the application, others might not be uncovered until you bring someone in for an interview.

Keep an eye out for specific interview red flags including…

  • People who have no questions about your role or clearly haven’t done their own homework on your company
  • The inability for a candidate to reference specific events at work or recall details about their previous roles
  • Anyone that doesn’t show you respect or has a personality that clashes with your company

Of course, red flags have varying degrees of severity and may not matter as much to your company versus another.

For example, you might not be a hardliner about interviewees being on-time, especially if you’re located somewhere that’s not exactly easy to find on a map. Similarly, you might not choose to scrutinize someone for gaps in their employment history. When in doubt, use your common sense and trust you gut.

4.Don’t Neglect the Question of Culture

As a side note, finding a good cultural fit is almost as crucial as someone being a proper candidate “on paper.”

Toxic employees and people who can’t adapt to your mindset can poison your workplace and drag down your current talent. By conducting a cultural interview that emphasizes attitude and teamwork, you can weed these people out.

5.Do Your Own Homework, Too

Finally, consider your own role in researching candidates. Calling references and a quick Google search can uncover some surprising insights and information. If someone seems to tick all of your boxes but you’re still not 100%, don’t rule out doing additional research or having another one-on-one meeting before bringing them onboard.

Hiring in a high-population area can certainly be a challenge and New York City is no exception. For the sake of protecting your business and avoiding needless turnover, make sure to stick to the tips above during your next employee hunt.