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Improving Your Hiring Process

By Simon on

It’s fair to say that we’ve spent years watching companies recruit marketers from fashion empires to engineering outfits, and everything in between. We’ve also watched some do it with grace and others, well, let’s say they may have got it a bit wrong. We’re far from perfect as well.

We know it’s hard.  Hiring is emotional, not rational, we’re operating in unusual waters, and because of the deteriorating candidate availability it’s never been more important to get it right. Having less access to candidates can have a severe effect and is restricting many businesses’ ability to grow.   Companies and their processes vary, but the ones that get it right do have things in common and have a lot more success than attracting talent than others.

They start with a fair and honest job description. A well-written one provides employees with a compass and clear direction. Try to avoid a generic overview and provide more insight on people, culture and company history. It does work.

They provide a specific salary and benefits guide and don’t deviate. A role suggesting the salary is negotiable is beyond painful and never ends well. Imagine doing your weekly shop and every price tag is negotiable – the pain of the queues is akin to someone looking at your job ad with a negotiable salary guide.

Savvy employers don’t rush the process but, hellfire, they keep it fluid. In this market, procrastinate, and you lose. They’re fair to everyone and keep interviews open and relaxed. They’re proportionate and sympathetic and for most roles, one person conducts the initial interview not three or four – it’s intimidating. Most of all, they are honest about the role and culture, warts and all – nowhere is perfect.

At all costs, avoid long and drawn-out interview processes. Try to get it done within 2 rounds, it is sometimes worth having a long first interview.  Rounds and rounds of interviews are a huge turn-off, just as much as, filling out long and arduous application forms. Hiring is human – keep it that way.

On the subject of keeping the process fluid. It’s worth noting that the best and most active candidates are off your radar within 5 to 10 days, if not updated, sometimes quicker. It’s very important to act quickly, especially when you know you’re interested in a specific candidate(s) because they will have other options and will become disengaged, quickly. Even if you haven’t made a decision yet, you should follow up with the candidate often, discussing progress and further details of the position that you may not have covered in the job description. This ensures you are on their radar. Also, respond to any questions or concerns right away to keep them updated throughout the process.

Show dignity and humility at interviews. It’s worth noting that that failures exhibited by new employees may result from flawed interview processes. Too many interviews are one-sided and focus on the wrong things. The process can sometimes focus on making sure new hires are technically competent, rather than manageability, emotional intelligence, temperament, and the key attribute, attitude. These intangible and sometimes most important assets are too often, overlooked.

It’s very important to allow someone to speak about themselves so give them time and let them ask you questions which will give you a chance to see what’s important to them. You can then see if you are the right for them and also see if any red flags pop up, too. Always, be open and honest about what it’s going to be like to work for your company which avoids nasty surprises in the future.

Please don’t think for a second, they are only interested in you. As hard as this is to take, the most credible and talented candidates, will most definitely have other options. It’s best to factor this in to avoid disappointment. Sometimes, things aren’t meant to be, but it is a great pity to miss out on someone because of a flawed interview process. Also, only hire people that are committed to moving and not just window shopping. By asking – ‘what would you do if you receive a counter offer’ is a good way of determining how serious they are.

Finding the right person isn’t easy because it involves finding someone who has the skills, knowledge, and expertise to fulfill the role and fit seamlessly into the culture, but if you get the small things right – it goes a long way and enhances your reputation.