Business people work on process with papers scattered on a conference table.

5 Key Components of an Effective Hiring Process

Abbie Martin

There is no denying the fact that the people you hire have a significant impact on the success of your company. The time spent defining the role and training your team to run a smooth hiring process can make all the difference in hiring a real game changer. For you to create an effective hiring process, we combed through our collective expertise to provide the following things to consider.

The Role
Before you get too deep into hiring for a role, it’s important to consider the need and the impact of the position. The first thing to define and communicate is why the position is open. Sometimes it’s an easy answer and other times it’s not. Is everyone clear on the need for this role? Next, define the outcomes that are needed from this position. If your team is aligned at this stage, they know what to interview for and how to gauge if the candidate is a fit because they started with the end in mind.

Consideration for who this role will impact is also important as you are determining who will be involved in the hiring process. It’s not uncommon for team members to quietly worry about how a new role will impact their place in the company ecosphere. Make sure those people are involved, but don’t let them drive away the right hire simply because they may cause (constructive) discomfort in their work life.

The Process
Now that you know why you need the role, and you have defined it and who it will impact, it’s time to decide who will be involved in the hiring process. It’s important to be crystal clear about who has a voting voice and who is involved for feedback only. Consensus voting can derail your entire search and net you the wrong person because people got tired of advocating for who they knew would be the right hire. It’s not necessarily comfortable to tell people, “your opinion is valued, but you won’t be voting.” However, teams prefer clear guidelines and boundaries, and in the end, you’ll be freed up to make the best decision for the company.

Ensure that you have a point person who will run the search and that you have commitment from the team to make time for interviews. Define and communicate the process that each candidate will go through and each team member’s role in that process. (Include how referrals will be handled as well.) Each member of your hiring team should have the ability to help the candidate move through the process with the same consistency as the next team member.

The Interview
Hiring is a lot like dating. You are both worried about making a good first impression, feeling insecure, waiting by the phone for the next call. Why haven’t they called? Is this the right partner for me or are they just the best person that has asked me out? Treat the interview process like it’s a dating process. Make sure the candidate is greeted in a professional and timely manner – not left waiting for thirty minutes in the lobby. Does the team know the schedule so you are perceived as organized and well-coordinated?

Before the candidate leaves the interview, the following should have occurred:

  • Confirmation as to whether the candidate has the knowledge to do the job
  • Assessment as a culture fit
  • The candidate should be sold on benefits and that the company is a great place to work
  • Alignment on what the follow up and next steps will look like

Your hiring team should have their resume and any questions prepared before the interview so they aren’t reading it as the candidate is walking in the door. Save some time to review the candidate work history and understanding the impact they have had in each of their roles. Since you spent time understanding the key outcomes for this role in the beginning, you should be able to ask questions around the key outcomes to ascertain the candidate’s skill set.

In our recent webinar, we covered  more detailed components of the interview, like conducting a failure autopsy, discussing challenges of the role, 30/60/90 plans, and how to ask the classic, “what’s your weakness” question.

Continuing with the dating analogy, the worst part after the first date is not knowing if you are going to get a second one. Make sure the point person schedules follow up times and keeps the candidate and those in the interview process up to speed. Even if you are going to reject the candidate, give them closure. They will speak so much more highly of you in the market that way.

The Decision
A good interview is only as good as the feedback of the interviewer. If they don’t capture the data right away, after multiple candidate interviews, they will have forgotten what the first candidate said. You want to make sure your decision is based on facts and not who the team enjoyed visiting with the most. A simple scorecard to complete after every interview with notes of what went well and what didn’t will make everyone’s life much easier during the decision stage. Then compare your candidates equally against the key outcomes and the scorecard.

Ready to make the offer?  Remember, a good negotiation process is the equivalent of a fantastic proposal. Don’t ruin it by having the candidate feel like they are suddenly buying a used car or giving them the tiny ring when you promised a huge one.

What happens in the new hire’s first ninety days can make all the difference in their long-term success. When our placements aren’t working out, we often see the breakdown within the first ninety days when communication flows stopped and expectations weren’t clear. Key outcomes are important in this phase, and having regular scheduled times to discuss priorities and how they are doing can really change how long you stay “married.”

A well-defined and documented hiring process will help keep your team on track and increase your success rate in hiring great people. If you are interested in learning more about this important topic, let us know by clicking the button below and sending us an email. We will send you a link to a much more in-depth webinar on how to put together your hiring process, in addition to templates and e-books on the topic.

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