Hiring Well in 4 steps . . . Step 2

Hiring Well in 4 steps . . . Step 2

We help our clients dramatically improve their hiring in 4 simple steps. None of the steps are rocket-science.  None of them require large investments.  They do require leadership and a serious time commitment before you begin interviews.

The first step is to Recruit Constantly.  (If you missed that post, don’t skip Step 1.  Hit the PREVIOUS POST button below.  Yep, right now.)

Step 2: Hire Methodically

Once you have created a page on your website, implemented a referral program and begun sharing your job postings on Facebook, you’re ready for Step 2.  Hire methodically.   Now is the time to gather your key team members  and brainstorm the best way for your company to move a potential employee from interested to hired as quickly as possible.   Why as quickly as possible? Two reasons: First, when you need an employee, everyday that passes without a good employee in place, you are losing traction and other employees are losing engagement.  Second, the best candidates won’t be on the market long.

One of the most effective ways to do this is to start by writing your current process on a white board noting how many days pass between each step. For many companies, this will present a serious dilemma because the do it differently every time.  For some, if they’re honest, the current hiring effort is more a reaction than a plan and might look something like this:

Be honest.  List your current process and the time it takes–the good, the bad, the ugly.  The truth.

Our experience is that most of our clients were experiencing delays between identifying a need to hire and filling the position on low the end of 4 weeks to as long as 6 months before we helped them. IThose who were hiring quickly were often taking a shortcut just to get a warm body on board; and losing those employees almost just as quickly.) According to several sources, the average time between interview and hire is 2 weeks.  We have not found that to be the average of companies who come to us for help. (While that could be why they were having trouble hiring, it seems more likely that the industry averages are based on surveys with companies that have full HR departments and/or outsource their hiring.)  Regardless, the goal is to get your timeline between interview and offer to less than 2 weeks while hiring even more effectively.  Even if you get this part of the process down to 2 weeks, you will lose the best candidates.  As employment becomes more competitive, a shorter timeline becomes more critical.

With your team together, ask how they found out about your company hiring for the position they have now.  Ask how they think other people look for job openings.  Discuss the plans you developed in Step 1.  Ask for ideas about how to expand your pool and how you can quickly and effectively post job openings.  Looking for good employees from a file folder of applications from people who  stopped by to drop off a resume or to fill out an application over the last six months is  NOT a good approach.  It’s a bit like trying to find a wedding dress at a donation center.

Once you have brainstormed how you will expand your reach to the best pool of applications / resumes, you need to create a methodical process for quickly identifying candidates to be interviewed and researched.  This is a part of the process that tends to get skipped–and it costs deeply. We recommend reviewing (or creating) the job description for the position and listing every required and preferred quality (education, experience, skills, languages, etc.) in an employment screening chart which will be used to evaluate candidates quickly and consistently.  Also list the mandatory employment process steps with a place to record information and the dates completed.  You and your team should also identify  points throughout the process when the candidates will be contacted and updated on the hiring process and whether they are still being considered for the job or not.  The first contact should happen within 24 hours of receiving the application or resume and then updates should be sent weekly to candidates being actively considered.

Because the resources needed for interviewing are substantial, we advocate researching the top candidates first and engaging the candidates to facilitate that research.  (According to a benchmark report by HireRight’s in 2017,  85 percent of employers found lies on  résumés or applications from potential job candidates.)  For example, if a position requires a college degree  and 5 years of experience, we contact the candidates we wish to interview, let them know we want to interview them,  set their interview time within a very limited list of available dates and times, and explain that they will not be able to be interviewed until you  have confirmed graduation through the University registrar and validated they have the minimum years of experience with previous employers.   Also let them know that you will be seeking references from previous employers and ask them to help you expedite the process by notifying  employers and the registrar to ensure they have permission to provide verification to you.  Their response will indicate their interest and their approach to problem-solving.

We also recommend asking candidates to complete one or more assessments to bring the power of objective data to your hiring process.  The SOS II, a 15-minute online assessment  measures an individual’s basic work-related values, providing valid insight into  their work ethic, reliability, integrity, propensity for substance abuse, and attitudes toward theft.  The flagship in our suite of assessments and management tools, PXT Select assesses a person’s cognitive abilities, behavioral traits, and interests and compares the results to a specific job using a “performance model” built specifically for your job using a library of performance models and your team’s input. PXT Select can be used to hire for positions and job types at any level and across all industries. (Full Disclosure: we sell both of these as well as other assessments that we have researched and found to be powerful tools for helping companies find and keep great employees.)  Bot these assessments’ reports provide key questions based on the candidates responses that you may use in the interview process.

The next step is to work with your team to create a simple process for setting the interviews, defining the interview process, drafting questions to be asked of every candidate,  the decision-making process for selecting the best candidate as quickly as possible, and the method you will use to contact the selected candidate and make the formal job offer.  You will need to determine the steps you will take if your first choice does not accept the offer.  Finally, be sure to include how you will notify candidates who were not selected.

Once you and your team have outlined the new plan for methodically hiring quickly and effectively, create the document and email templates you will need for each step so that they can be easily customized to current and future job openings.  We are big believers in translating procedures into a simple checklist to keep everyone on track.  (We’ve even found a free app for that!  Stay tuned for that blogpost soon!)

Next? Step 3:  Onboard intentionally.