7 Ways to Improve the Hiring Process

Hiring is a bit like dating with the intention of marriage.

7 Ways to Improve the Hiring Process 

Hiring is a time consuming and expensive process. And as we discussed in 6 Hidden Costs of a Poor Hire, the most expensive hire is a poor hire. 

Avoiding a poor hire requires a thoughtful and intentional recruiting process. A process that is a bit like dating with the intention of marriage. Both parties are exploring who they want to spend their days with, excited by the future potential, while nervous about unknown risk. And although we often think we know the qualities we want in a partner, sometimes the infatuation that accompanies a new relationship can blind us to the less desirable qualities of our date. 

So how do you determine if it is infatuation versus a relationship that will last? Here are seven ways to improve the hiring process and achieve hiring success.

1) Take your time with the job description and involve all internal stakeholders. 

Like a dating profile, a job description summarizes your expectations, values, and goals. Knowing and understanding the needs of all the stakeholders will clarify to you and your potential candidates the essentials. And it may seem obvious, but communicating the essentials will weed out candidates that are not a fit. 

At the end of the day an accurate and complete job description leads to sorting through say fifteen qualified resumes versus sifting through hundreds of applicants who are less qualified. 

A good job description will include: 

  • How success will be measured 
  • What success will look like 
  • How success will be rewarded and compensated for 
  • What the individual will do with most of their time or sample work schedule 
  • 3 to 7 specific skills a person needs for the job 
  • How much experience / education is required 
  • What can they expect to learn/how might they grow after being hired

2) Do more than post and pray. 

It is extremely tempting to throw money at whatever job boards we can find hoping to find a bunch of suitors from which to choose from. This may bring in more traffic and applicants, but volume does not equal quality. Not to mention wastes time sifting through unqualified candidates. 

Before posting it is critical to consider: 

  • Who is your ideal candidate? 
  • Where will they find your ad? 
  • What would motivate them to apply for the job? 

The goal is to efficiently reach the ideal candidate, while speaking their language.

3) Properly phone screen prospective candidates. 

Rushing through the courtship stage can undermine the goal of building a lasting long-term relationship. The temptation, once we find qualified candidates, is to eagerly move them to the next step before they are properly vetted. 

A proper phone screen should be a candid conversation where both parties can ask questions of each other. It important at this step to gauge the candidates who fit, identifying red flags and provide crystal clear expectations along with an accurate roadmap of the next steps. 

At this stage everyone is looking to verify credibility and establish trust. Therefore, providing the candidate a timeline or roadmap of what to expect next shows the candidate that your organization is trust worthy.

4) Involve your key decision makers, only. 

How many opinions do you need to confirm you have found “the one”? Involving a wide variety of hiring managers and other employees in the interview process might seem like a good idea. However, at some point it becomes impossible to gain agreement on any one candidate. The rationale is to avoid making a poor hire, the reality is it can also eliminate the ideal hire. 

No hiring decision be should so difficult or time-consuming. Involving more people in the process can waste time and build roadblocks. If necessary, consult with multiple parties when creating the job description while leaving just a select few in charge of the final hiring decision.

5) Streamline and define the process (roadmap) 

Octavio Gillian and Adrina Martinez married in June 1969 in Mexico City at age 82 after being engaged for 67 years. It is safe to say that their vetting process had a few too many steps. 

Too many steps in the hiring process only compels candidates to look elsewhere. In order to streamline your own hiring process, first identify the steps in your current hiring practices, then consider the following: 

  • What steps can be cut or integrated into others in order to streamline how you hire? 
  • Do you really need to bring the candidate in for multiple interviews? -Can you make the first interview meaningful enough to eliminate one or more future interviews?

6) Avoid “magic bullet” questions. 

Just as there are no foolproof pickup lines, there is not one question that allows us to peer straight into somebody’s soul. It may make interesting conversation to know that if your candidate could be an animal, they would be a German Shepherd, but this is not relevant to how they may be a fit for the job at hand. The same can be said for random, gimmicky or improvisational questions. 

We recommend a structured format of relevant questions and scorecards for each of the interviewers. All interviewers can rank candidates with respect to things such as: cultural fit, skill set, education and experience, industry and subject matter knowledge and expertise. 

Using consistent questions from interview to interview will help you construct a more accurate framework to compare candidates and compensate for individual biases. Although gut instinct can be powerful, it should generally not trump structure and logic.

7) Strive to create a great candidate experience 

All of us have expectations of how we would like to be treated. Great candidates have options. Therefore, if we do not treat solid candidates with respect, we will lose them no matter how much we like them. 

Candidates are your customers and will remember their experience with you in the hiring process. This is even more important for those you end up not employing. The candidate experience is an often-overlooked opportunity to grow your brand as an employer. If you do not get the process right it can sour a candidate’s view of the company and negatively affect your reputation. 

It is commonly cited that we tend to remember negative experiences more clearly than positive ones and it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience. Therefore, to preserve and build your organization’s reputation, it is imperative that those negative experiences are few and far between.

It is not easy to recruit and retain quality professionals that fit your corporate culture but it begins with a thoughtful and intentional process that leads to a lasting relationship. At Health Talent Solutions we utilize our industry network and decades of experience to seamlessly introduce clients to the top 1% of vetted and qualified professionals. Let us help you refine your hiring process and retain the best talent to help your organization thrive. 

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