The quality of your employees can have a major impact on the success of your business. Although you may be tempted rush through the hiring process to find new staff and get them onboarded as quickly as possible, hiring the right employees is a critical task that shouldn’t be rushed. Skipping steps along the way can cost you in the long run. Here are some best practices for a solid hiring process.
It’s important to be flexible with the hiring process timeline, because you might find you need to adapt it based on the requirements of the role, your industry or your company. However, you shouldn’t necessarily customize the selection process for each candidate. Doing so often leads to excessive time spent with candidates for high-level positions and insufficient time spent with candidates for low-level positions. You need good people at all levels. Remind yourself that finding the most qualified candidate is worth the effort, no matter the job level or business environment.
With that in mind, when you’ve identified the need to hire someone, use this model to guide you through the process:
Embed video here
A standardized hiring process can help reduce hiring errors or discrimination that may occur due to unconscious biases.
According to Get Hired by LinkedIn News, the hiring process takes about three to six weeks, on average. However, the timeline for completing the hiring process, from the initial job posting to the acceptance of an offer, varies among industries and companies.
For example, five industries with some of the longest hiring timelines include government, aerospace and defense, energy and utilities, biotech and pharmaceuticals, and nonprofits.
The industries with the shortest hiring processes are those with dynamic staffing patterns and a greater emphasis on abilities than educational credentials, such as restaurants and bars, private security, supermarkets, automotive, and beauty and fitness.
Your company’s hiring timeline will be unique to your business, and possibly even the department or position you are hiring for. In addition to looking at the average hiring timeline for your industry, you can get an estimate for how long your hiring process will take by asking yourself these three questions:
Although these three instances can add extra time onto your hiring process, it’s important to assess each position carefully.
You may be tempted to rush through the hiring process, but the last thing you want is to make a panic hire or accidentally hire a deepfake because you didn’t do your due diligence during the hiring process.
Your HR team must create a hiring process that is comfortable for both the company and job applicants. Tests of general intelligence and specific knowledge have their place, especially in identifying candidates who do not meet the minimum qualifications. Nonetheless, the final decision on a candidate typically depends on the judgment of a hiring manager or senior executive.
Hiring managers oversee all steps in the selection process, including recruitment, screening, scheduling and holding interviews, testing, and, finally, the negotiation of job offers. But senior executives can also be involved in the hiring process, at least in an advisory capacity. After all, they are ultimately responsible for who works at the company and how well employees perform.
The ideal hiring process needs to be flexible enough to heed the wishes of senior executives. Companies with the best people tend to be those in which an HR specialist and a CEO talk to each other.
The complexity of your hiring process will depend on various factors, including the following:
Taking the time to hire the right person can prevent mistakes, but it can also give your favorite candidate the chance to wander off to a different opportunity. In addition, a leisurely hiring process means other projects may not get the attention they deserve.
The description of the role should be complete but not laden with details of every possible demand that the new hire will face. The right job description can act as a road map for the entire hiring process.
Be true to your screening process, and bring in only select candidates for interviews. Trust your instincts about candidates after reading their résumés. A certain candidate might look interesting, but will that person really be a good fit for your company? Instead of scheduling five to 10 people for a first interview, you might want to go with three to five. Avoid interviewing too many candidates who might look interesting but do not meet the minimum qualifications for the role.
Internal candidates may not be perfect, but neither are external applicants, despite their impressive résumés. And even if an internal candidate is interviewed but not hired, at least that person will not feel taken for granted. “Recruiting” people who are already on board is a way to build better communication links within your company. [Read relate article: Why You Should Promote from Within Your Company]
Go the easy-apply route, instead of requiring detailed information upfront in a lengthy application, which can discourage would-be candidates. At the outset, ask simply for a cover letter and a résumé. It takes only a few minutes to glance at this information. If you like what you see, you can get more detailed information during the next stage of the hiring process.
Contact job references earlier in the hiring process, rather than later. Tacking this step onto the end of a series of interviews can delay hiring. (A key contact might be on vacation, for instance.) Also, checking references is an important way to evaluate talent and should not be treated as an afterthought. Knowing more about a candidate who comes in for an interview will help your HR team ask better interview questions, leading to a richer exchange of ideas and information.
If a candidate does not have a particular advanced degree or the same background as everyone else at the office, must that be a dealbreaker? If you cling to too many preconceived notions about the ideal candidate, you might overlook someone who could bring new ideas to your business. This is especially true as Gen Z makes its mark on the workforce, many of whom don’t subscribe to the belief that a college degree isn’t needed to have a successful career.
If you anticipate becoming overwhelmed by the hiring process — and that might happen, for reasons out of your control — outsource some of the process to a professional staffing agency.
Here are a few common questions — and their answers — many small business owners have about hiring new employees.
The cost of a new hire depends largely on their starting salary and any immediate perks. There are, however, nearly universal costs associated with hiring that occur even in dramatically different industries.
The average cost for hiring a new employee is roughly $4,700, according to SHRM. That includes the cost of HR to process the new employee, payment to the employee that will likely not yield productive work (such as during orientation or training), and myriad other expenses that are part of the process.
Applicant tracking systems are popular. They help HR post job listings, they parse and organize candidate resumes, they identify well-qualified candidates, and they help companies track candidates throughout the hiring process. Other, more comprehensive, highly rated HR software can also be used to streamline the hiring process if you want something that can help hire, onboard and manage workers through their entire employee lifecycle.
Another useful tool is a good old-fashioned referral. Employee referral programs require an investment to set them up, but they can generate big rewards by attracting quality hires to your company who may not otherwise hear about your company.
Yes, the hiring manager is the final decision-maker when selecting which candidate will receive the job offer. Recruiters or other HR professionals may be involved in the hiring process, but the hiring manager has the final say.
Although HR and hiring managers will often work closely together throughout the hiring process, the hiring manager will be the one to reach out and extend the job offer to the selected candidate. They are the ones who will be working directly with the candidate after they are hired.
Tuesday tends to be the most popular day of the week for employers to extend job offers. This is because Mondays are typically reserved for catching up on administrative tasks, yet hiring managers want to get to viable candidates as soon as possible. If a decision is made later in the week, many managers also opt for Thursday, so they can get the offer in before the weekend.
The most popular time of day for extending an offer is 11 a.m. It is considered late enough in the morning that most people are awake and alert. It is also before lunch, which gives offer recipients a likely opportunity to respond to the offer.
Skye Schooley contributed to this article.