Hiring Like a Boss in the Digital Age

A strange phenomenon is occurring in the tech world. Despite less than ideal unemployment rates and the sizable crowd of recent grads looking for work, the talent pool seems to be a bit dry these days when it comes to digital people. Companies are struggling to find the right people to fill roles that didn’t exist ten, five or even two years ago.

But as we find ourselves in a digital age full of yet-to-be filled digital jobs, maybe instead of complaining about the lack of talent, we need to change the way we go about finding the right candidates.


Chicago company 37signals has a different approach when it comes to hiring. “For one thing, we ignore resumés,” says co-founder and president Jason Fried in an article he penned on his company’s hiring process (definitely worth a read if you have the time). “In my experience, they’re full of exaggerations, half-truths, embellishments — and even outright lies. They’re made of action verbs that don’t really mean anything. Even when people aren’t intentionally trying to trick you, they often stretch the truth. And what does ‘five years’ experience’ mean, anyway? Resumés reduce people to bullet points, and most people look pretty good as bullet points.”

If we take Fried’s opinion to heart, resumes are out as talent detector. How then are companies supposed to find the perfect digital salesperson, web developer, digital marketing mind or analytics whiz?

We’ll be the first to admit it’s not easy to find top talent, but after going through a bit of a hiring kick ourselves, we’ve compiled a list of your six best friends in the hiring-like-a-boss process.

6 tips for finding the right hire

1. Use LinkedIn for all it’s worth

LinkedIn recently announced that it has reached the 150 million user mark, and supposedly 60% of these members hold at least an undergrad degree. The numbers alone are appealing enough to swoon employers, but LinkedIn also has a wealth of helpful tools to help find the right candidates.

The most obvious function of the professional network is the user profile, which you can use to check out candidates’ qualifications, recommendations and connections. When we interview people at lonelybrand, we toss those paper resumes aside for LinkedIn profiles because they act as a live, connected version of the CV.

Want to be more proactive in your employee search? LinkedIn has a very precise search tool that allows you to look for specific skills and job titles like “public speaking” or “content curation.”

LinkedIn also has a job posting function, which, given the user and educations statistics above, can be a worthwhile resource. Postings run a bit high at $295 for a 30-day posting.

2. Get on the right online job boards

As you probably know, LinkedIn isn’t the only digital job board out there. Depending on the type of position you’re trying to fill, Indeed.com, Craigslist, Media Bistro and other specific professional associations can be great places to place job postings.

3. Employ your employees

If you’ve already got great people in place, why not employ them when it comes time to find more of the best? Referral and reward programs often turn out to be cheaper than a full blown recruitment process.

4. Show off your cool factor

Cool workspace? Known for your office shenanigans? Communicating your office culture can do wonders for attracting not only the best talent, but also the people who truly fit in your environment.  Depending on what you want to say, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr and Instagram can all be great platforms for this. If your social platforms are curated correctly you’ll be a known quantity to the best talent in your space, and that makes a big difference the next time you want to make that new hire.

5. Embrace social media

These days a high salary isn’t necessarily the number one wish for job candidates. According to Cisco’s Connected World Technology Report 40% of college students and 45% of young employees said they would accept a lower-paying job that had more flexibility with regard to device choice, social media access and mobility than a higher-paying job with less flexibility. Keep that in mind.

6. Use nouveau job tools

If we’re talking digital employees, well, let’s really get digital.

Maybe resumes are a thing of the past. Maybe it’s time to ditch the pen and paper once and for all and ask candidates to show their talents via video, social media and infographics. This article from the Wall Street Journal shares the stories of several firms that think outside the box when it comes to required application materials.

But what if we brought all that digital goodness together in one place? Turns out someone already has. Gethired.com is a new career website that streamlines the job search process for employers and candidates. The free tool allows employers to view multimedia resumes, videos and other resources from candidates, interview online with audio or video and keep track of everything all in one place.


Has your company revolutionized its hiring process for the digital age? Will you defend that paper resume to the death? Share your thoughts and tips with our community on Twitter.