5 STEPS TO BETTER HIRING PRACTICES
If your business is to be successful, you must find the best possible people to help you run it. The best candidates can help you implement your business strategies flawlessly, so your company continues to thrive and grow.
So when it comes to the hiring process, don’t slack off. Each new person you hire can either help to build your company up or help to tear it down — and you don’t want to tear it down. From composing a solid job posting to conducting good interviews, testing applicants and checking references, your hiring process is fundamental to your company’s success.
1) Prepare Your Hiring Team
While you might certainly be involved in the hiring process yourself, you shouldn’t be the only one doing the interviewing and hiring. You should put a team of two or three of your best employees on the job – employees who deeply understand what your company is about and what kind of candidates would not only best fit the needs of the open position, but also fit well into the overall company culture. A candidate who looks great on paper might have all the skills, training and experience you require and then some, but he or she won’t thrive or be happy if he or she doesn’t fit in.
Your interview team will need to know what to look for in a resume as well as what to look for during the interview process. Good candidates should do more than simply give the right answers to your interview questions — they should appear open and honest and present themselves confidently through their body language and tone of voice. They should also come prepared to interviews and follow up afterward. Taking the time to train your hiring team will pay dividends in the form of better hires.
2) Write an Excellent Job Posting
A good job posting is more than just a job description, although an accurate description of the job’s duties is an important component. Be clear and specific about what you want and don’t be afraid to be exacting when it comes to your requirements. Describe the job duties and expectations fully, but also be sure to describe the requirements and qualifications you’re looking for. You’ll always get a few resumes that are just way off the mark, but the more specific you are about what you’re looking for, the better your chances of attracting good candidates.
Speaking of attracting good candidates, don’t shy away from mentioning the perks and benefits of working for your company in your job posting. If you have a fun company culture, great benefits or are offering schedule flexibility, say so. Great candidates will be more likely to apply when they can see up front what’s in it for them.
3) Make the Most of Your Interviews
It’s always a good idea to get another person, or even two or three more people, involved in your interview process. A panel of interviewers can help you examine each candidate with an unbiased
perspective and can help you avoid hiring someone just because you liked him or her, regardless of whether or not that candidate is the best fit for the position.
You should base your hiring decision not on a candidate’s resume but how well they interview; structure each interview so that you can get all the information you need from it. Ask open-ended questions and don’t be afraid to conduct long interviews. Let applicants ask questions after the interview and wait until you’ve interviewed everyone before you start discussing the candidates.
4) Make Sure Applicants Have the Skills They Claim
It’s a sad fact of the working world that some candidates exaggerate or completely misrepresent their skills in order to get their foot in the door with a company. You can weed out these candidates by testing applicants as part of the interview process. Just make sure that each applicant is given the same test and keep the test as short and simple as possible while still allowing you to assess the applicant’s skills. If you’re looking for a programmer, have each applicant write a short piece of code; if you want a PR professional, have each applicant write a sample press release. You’ll be surprised how many applicants don’t have the skills they claim on their resumes.
5) Always Check References — But Choose Them Yourself
It probably goes without saying that candidates aren’t going to give out references that will speak poorly of their abilities. You should always check your candidate’s references, but you should also choose a few references of your own to check — former colleagues or employers that aren’t listed, college professors or anyone who knows the applicant well in a professional capacity. Ask the candidate for your chosen references’ contact information and pay attention to their body language and tone of voice when they respond.
You should keep in mind that, to avoid legal trouble, most references will avoid saying anything negative even when they don’t have anything positive to say. When speaking to references, pay attention to their tone of voice and listen for what they’re not saying.
Solid hiring practices are the bedrock on which a successful company is built. Take care to vet candidates carefully before you make an offer and build a loyal team that will help your company grow.