Hiring a new employee can be a daunting task.
It’s an important decision that can have a significant positive or negative impact on your business. It is also a costly one. Various sources estimate the financial impact is anywhere from 9 months to 3 years’ worth of the position’s salary in recruiting costs, lost productivity, training and other aspects of the hiring process. Creating and implementing a consistent hiring process that includes best hiring practices will ensure your resources are used efficiently and reduce liability. Following are best hiring practices for each part of the process.
Identify and define the need
Whether you’ve recently identified a gap in your workforce or you’re replacing a terminated employee, start by creating a job description. If you already have one, ensure it is accurate and updated. A job description should define the position. Include job duties, as well as required skills and knowledge. Involve the reporting manager in the process from the beginning. Consider:
- Duties and responsibilities: What will this employee be required to do on a daily basis?
- Requirements: Which qualifications, education, certifications or attributes are required and which are preferred?
- Compensation: Determine the compensation and understand how it compares to in the marketplace.
- Culture: What type of environment will the candidate experience? What attributes will work well inside your company culture?
Establish an interview process.
When you organize the process, you are sending a clear message that you value the time of everyone involved. Consider:
- Who the candidates will meet during each stage of the interview process
- How many interviews will most likely occur
- Who will make the final hiring decision
- Establish which tests, if any, candidates will undergo. Remember, it is unlawful to use tests that are not related to the skills, knowledge, aptitude or characteristics essential for the job.
- Develop a list of questions you will ask candidates consistently. While individual’s experiences may lead the conversation down different paths, you will find it easier to compare candidates when they answer the same questions. Develop interactive and telling interview questions. Avoid illegal or inappropriate interview questions, particularly referring to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, birthplace, age, disability or marital/family status. Making a hiring decision based on this information is illegal.
- Institute a rating system that will allow you to measure candidates’ strengths and weaknesses within various criteria. This will help assign a value to each candidate worth discussing when it comes time to make a decision.
- The target date for a hiring decision
Determine the screening criteria.
What qualifications are necessary to warrant an interview? Use the job description to develop your screening criteria. It will be different for each unique position. For example, you may require a different level of communication from a sales representative than you would from a data entry clerk. Consider:
- Past experience
- Personality traits
- Communication skills
- Technological skills
- Physical labor requirements
- Geographic location
- Education and certifications
Advertise the opportunity.
Once you have the process and screening criteria nailed down, it’s time to advertise. In addition to online and print resources, utilize internal employees to advertise the opportunity. Studies show numerous benefits to hiring an internally referred candidate over one found on a job site, which is why 70% of companies offer between $1,000 and $5,000 in cash incentives.
Review the applications.
As the resumes come in, begin the screening process. Use your criteria to assess which candidates warrant a phone screening. Then, use the phone screening results to determine who you will schedule for a face-to-face interview.
Conduct the interviews.
While asking your predetermined questions, document answers to accurately keep track of candidates. With multiple interviews, it can become confusing.
Verify, verify, verify.
Starting with your top candidates, verify background information and references. Surveys report that 30-50% of applicants either lie or exaggerate on applications and resumes. Verify any information pertinent to the job duties including employment dates, titles, and degree or certification completion.
Now it’s time to select your final candidate. With the aid of your rating system and interview notes, you can conduct an informative dialog with the other decision makers involved in the process. Consider identifying the top two or three candidates, as it’s possible your top pick may decline your offer.
Once you’ve had a candidate formally accept the position, follow up with all other candidates. No one likes to be left hanging. If you met other impressionable candidates, keep their resumes on file. Don’t hesitate to let them know you’ve done so.
To set your employee up for success, create a seamless onboarding process. Announce the new hire before their arrival, so all employees welcome them on their first day. Get the new employee’s workspace ready for their first day with all of the equipment and supplies they will need. If your company has swag, set it in their workspace with a note welcoming them to the team. Follow up with a stellar training program, and you’re setting yourself up for a successful tenure with your newest addition!
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