Selecting the best candidate to join your team can be an overwhelming and difficult decision. So how can you ensure you're hiring the right person for the job? Hire smarter and more efficiently with this list of hiring do's and don'ts.
Have you ever felt buried as you try to weed through hundreds of employee applications? Whether you're a startup, large enterprise or HR manager, selecting the right people to join your team is one of the biggest and most important challenges. The success or failure of your business is directly affected by the people you select to join your team.
After 24 years of running my own business and hiring many employees, I would like to share a list of do's and don'ts to help you hire smarter and more efficiently.
Include a task-based exercise.
They can talk the talk, but can they walk the walk? You've had a fantastic interview with an employee and their resume is outstanding, but do they really have the skills you're looking for? Integrating pre-employment tests as part of your interview process is an excellent way to measure a candidate's skills and core competencies. Including tasks as part of the initial application process also helps weed out less motivated or unskilled candidates.
Being professional and to the point is a good mindset to have when conducting an interview, but don't forget to bring your personality too. Interviews are stressful for many candidates, but a sense of humor and friendly personality creates a more relaxed environment, allowing them to give the best interview they can.
Be organized and prepared.
Nothing turns qualified candidates off more than an unorganized interview and hiring process. According to a study by IBM, people who are satisfied with their candidate experiences are 38 percent more likely to accept a job offer. Once a candidate is selected for an interview, be clear about your processes and timeframe.
There's nothing worse than showing up for an interview while the interviewee is scrambling for paperwork and shuffling through files. Using checklists and keeping all of your onboarding files stored digitally ensures everything is organized, consistent and easily accessible.
Recruit with company culture in mind.
An employee has the skills, but how do they fit in within your company culture? According to Monster.com, a strong company culture attracts better talent and retains it. You need to define what values, norms, and practices are important to your company and incorporate them into all of your communication with candidates. An employee who has the right skill set but doesn't share your company's values won't be a good fit.
You should have a detailed and accurate job description in place before you even start the recruitment process. Define exactly what your company is willing to offer in terms of pay and benefits. Being vague or creating false expectations misleads candidates and prolongs the hiring process.
Ignore the idea of video applications.
One great way to screen employee applications is to require a short video introduction to be sent along with an online application. For many people, spending the time to record and rehearse a video is a daunting task. Videos will most likely dissuade unmotivated or less creative candidates, leaving you with a more interested and committed pool of applicants. Videos also humanize the application process, giving you a better feel for a candidate's personality and creativity.
Wait too long to make a decision.
You should never rush hiring for an open position, but if the process takes too long, you risk losing strong candidates. Once you start the process, you need to move as quickly as possible. You should also communicate a realistic timeline to candidates. In the event the process is taking longer than anticipated, send a follow-up email to prospective employees. Communication goes a long way in the recruitment process.
You might receive hundreds of applications for a single job posting. It's tempting to bring in a substantial selection of 20-30 candidates for interviews, but after a while, you may start to forget important details. It's best to start with a pool of 8-10 candidates and go from there.
The hiring process is certainly not one-size-fits-all. Best practices vary among different industries and positions. However, in my experience, the best way to attract top talent is to create a strong company culture and implement a positive, clear hiring experience. A good hire saves thousands of dollars and dozens of hours – and helps your company succeed.