Whatever the job, we cannot overstate the importance of hiring the right employee. Hiring managers know that selecting the right person for the job has a significant impact on the overall productivity and work environment.
What are the best hiring practices for selecting the right employee for the job?
- Carefully define the job description. Go beyond the job description listed on job boards or other means of recruiting candidates. A good hiring manager needs an in-depth description and understanding of the position they are hiring a candidate to fill.The rest of the hiring process will depend heavily on this description, so make sure you talk to people who will oversee the position (or those who will work closely with the new hire.
- Establish your recruitment strategy. A one-size-fits-all does not work well in job recruitment because recruiting practices change depending on the specialized skills and experience you need. If it is for a highly professional position, you will need a recruiter specially trained for the profession you seek. Decide at this point if you wish to hire an outside recruiter and where you will post the job.
- Carefully review resumes. Resumes are the first glimpse into the person who is applying for a position. To ensure a good fit, you need to choose the best candidates for the interview process. Carefully scan resumes to determine the best job candidates:
- Remove any resumes that have mistakes in spelling, grammar, or appear overly sloppy. If someone doesn't invest the time to make sure they present a good resume, the odds are high that they are not a top tier candidate.
- Remove resumes from applicants who lack the basic skills necessary to do the job.
- Look for red flags that let you know this candidate is probably not the best choice for the position. Red flags would include things like lack of a cover letter or an overly generic cover letter or asking about a job that does not match the opening. Other red flags include things like frequent job changes, especially if they are lateral moves.
- Conduct pre-screening interviews. These interviews can be in person or via telephone. Pre-screen your candidates to narrow the field of potential hires. Factors to consider in the pre-screening interview include:
- Do their salary requirements match those of the job?
- Can the candidate verify the experience on their resume?
- Do they seem genuinely interested in the position, or do you detect disinterest?
- Use the pre-screening interview to ask basic questions that will reveal snippets about the personality of the prospective candidate.
- Interview three to five top candidates. Interviewing too many candidates can make the hiring process more difficult and make it harder to determine the best applicant for the job. If you do not find a good fit in the first five interviews, you can always pull more candidates from your list of applicants and continue the interviewing process.
When it is time to interview, make detailed notes as you conduct the interview. You know the importance of hiring the right employee, so keep that your focus throughout the meeting. Hiring managers frequently encounter prospective employees that they genuinely like, but are not the best fit for the job. You must trust your instincts, but do not let the hiring process become personal. The person you like the most may not be the best candidate for the position.
- Start with open-ended questions such as, "why do you want this job?" These types of questions give you a feel for the person you are interviewing and set a conversational tone for the interview.
- Seek to establish a rapport with the candidate. Job interviews are stressful for all candidates. By working to make the conversation less formal and stressful, you are more likely to get genuine answers instead of tinned and practiced responses.
- Don't waste time asking questions where you already know the answer. Instead, focus on information that isn't in their resume. Use the information on the resume as a guide to lead the rest of the interview. You know they worked at ABC Industry, so have them describe their job. What part did they enjoy the most? What was their greatest struggle while there?
- Invite questions and provide detailed responses. You can often learn a lot about a potential candidate from the questions they ask. The questions will reveal what is important to them about the position. Use the candidates' questions to continue the conversation and learn as much as possible about the interviewee.
- Be candid about the rest of the process. Give the interviewee a specific timeline in which they can expect a decision. This step is a standard professional courtesy you should extend to anyone you interview.
- Have a second person involved in the interview, if possible. It helps to get someone else's viewpoint on the candidate. It is also a good idea to talk to anyone else the candidate interacted with, including receptionists and secretaries. If they were rude to the receptionist, then you can count on them being rude to coworkers if hired.
- Make detailed notes immediately after an interview. After interviewing two or more people, it's easy to confuse impressions or even answers to questions between candidates. You will want to review your detailed notes before making a final hiring decision.
- If, after the interview, you are interested in the candidate, make sure you check their references. Even better, use your contacts to find out what you can about the work history of the applicant.
- You can either do a background check before extending an offer of employment or make the offer contingent on the background check. Background checks have become commonplace in the hiring process and for a good reason. Background checks are easy, inexpensive, and provide a level of protection for your company in case the potential employee has a history that might cause issues.
Once you have identified the best candidate, you want to reach out personally and formally offer them the job. The formal offer must contain all relevant information for the candidate to decide. Included in the offer should be the salary, additional compensation, bonuses, benefits, and a more detailed description of the exact position you are offering. Human resources may want to provide an employee handbook or have the person sign a non-disclosure agreement with the offer.
Hiring the right people means hiring those who genuinely want to work for your company or firm, so make sure you give them a reasonable time-frame to accept or decline the offer. Invite them to ask questions they might have before they accept the offer of employment.
Take the time to carefully review resumes, pre-screen candidates, and do in-depth interviews. This prep work will significantly increase your chances of hiring the best candidate for a job. Take as much time as possible. Investing the time to choose the right person for the job produces long-term benefits for the company.