This Is the Most Important Part of the Hiring Process

January is a huge month for hiring, thanks to replenished budgets and corporate commitments to new ideas. Anyone who's ever managed the process knows it can be an astounding amount of work. There's lot of advice for both job seekers and job-fillers floating around, but if both can focus on one principle, everyone will get the best out of their new investment.

Every workplace, no matter what the industry, relies on clear communication. An interviewer can understand how best to match a candidate to the company's needs by focusing on clarity. Before a resume ever crosses HR's desk, the company needs to fully understand what it wants from the position, what candidates are likely to actually offer, and how a nontraditional candidate might present surprising, innovative solutions. Everything about the hiring process becomes far less tortuous for all parties if the employer knows what they want and the prospective employee knows what to expect.

After all, in an ideal dynamic, an interviewee is also exploring what you have to offer them. If you are clear about your company's goals, your expectations for this position, your company's culture, and your plans to invest in the candidate's career, you also set up the candidate to be transparent about their background and aspirations. With more and more accurate knowledge, both of you can make the best decision.

"Once you know precisely what you mean to say," writes Josh Marshall in Talking Points Memo, "writing it is usually straightforward, if not always easy." Clarity gives everyone a head start. The more you understand about the purpose of the new hire, the smoother the process of hiring will be — not to mention once the candidate joins as an employee.