Hiring can be a daunting task. You are responsible for finding the right person for the right job. Whether they’re knocking down your door for an interview, or it’s like pulling teeth to get them in, the whole process can be made easier if you follow some simple guidelines. Hiring can be overwhelming, but if you know the basics, you have a strong foundation on which to build your hiring skills.
Get the word out there …but be as specific as possible. Over selling a position can cost you days of weeding out some seriously underqualified candidates. By posting on industry specific sites, and ensuring that your description accounts for both culture and skill within some predetermined parameters, you narrow down your pool of candidates. When creating your listing, create a realistic overview of what is expected of them as well as what they can expect from the work environment. This helps potential candidates to self-select or opt-out of your process if it’s not for them. Check out this great post on crafting job ad copy for tips!
You’re ready to start the screening process! Whether you choose phone screens, email exchanges or video interviewing, make sure to let the candidates know what to expect as they move forward. Now, you’re working with a smaller pool and the decisions will start to get harder. Create a streamlined and consistent interview around the main functions of the job. Make clear the benefits as well as the challenges of the position. Keep in mind that they are also interviewing you. They need a clear look at what they will be joining. Put your company’s best foot forward, while keeping expecatations transparent. Startup Nation has a great primer on screening right.
Get online and view their professional profiles. Often professional networks can give you a better sense of what your potential applicant can bring to the table. Look for employment history and recommendations (LinkedIn), professional achievements (Dribble, GitHub) or thought leadership (blog, Quora). This post on Under 30 CEO gives five great reasons to seek out your candidates online.
Dig deeper . Now that you have your pool of candidates and their resumes, look for breaks in employment, check references and do background checks. Yes, this can be time consuming, but it will be a whole lot more time intensive to hire a replacement for this position in three months. High turnover means high costs and no one in a small business wants that. If there is a break in employment, ask why. The Glass Hammer has some great answers that recruiters can listen for when the subject of time out of the workforce comes up.
Call their references with a set of consise, quick questions. Background checks can easily be outsourced, especially if you are in an industry that requires extra caution. If you are in a regulated industry, like insurance or finance, find out if your applicants have the propoer licenses and certifications. Been Verified offers free initial background checks.
Now it’s time for face-to-face interviews. With an average position, you should only need to do between 3-5 of these. If you are doing more than that, examine your screening process more thoroughly. Don’t get overwhelmed, take a deep breath and focus on what you’re really looking for. Bring in a hiring manager to assist with the job specific questions. What you need is a good balance of qualifications and the right attitude. You can improve upon skills, but you can’t improve upon a personality. On the other hand, you’re not hiring with just Christmas party fun in mind. Intelligence + Skill + Cultural Fit = Employee Retention. The founder of pdxMindshare’s career community states why you should hire for fit over skills.
Don’t be afraid to ask your candidate to demonstrate their skills right on the spot. You have a lot of candidates and to take all of them at their word would be poor HR practice. Ask for a demonstration of a job specific skill or knowledge. Present case studies to solve or request references and portfolios where applicable. This will require the candidate to prove their worth as well as display their confidence in their field. However, you should only require this at later stages of the interview process.
Hiring the wrong person is a much bigger waste of your resources than than taking the time to recruit and hire the right person. You probably have someone breathing down your neck to fill that position, but in the end, all that will matter are your consistently great hires who build the company. No one will remember pitching in while you choose the right candidate, they’ll simply remember how good you are at your job.
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