The hiring of a new employee is not only time consuming, but quite costly should the wrong individual be selected. For many businesses, a systematic approach to the process of hiring usually ends with the creation of a job description or set of job duties. From there, the process can and often does go in any number of directions depending on the nature and level of the job, internal hiring practices and the preferences of those assigned responsibility to make it happen.
Below are six key steps that can help your hiring process become more systematic and successful in terms of ensuring that the best person is hired for the job.
1. Have a defined job description or set of job duties. This document should clearly spell out what is to be the specific role and set of responsibilities to be undertaken by the person you hire. This should include reporting relationships as well as desired education and work experience. background checks
2. Create an “ideal” profile of the desired candidate. Armed with a job description or set of job duties and without any particular individual in mind, write down on a piece of paper all the characteristics that you would want in the “ideal” candidate for the job. Don’t worry about relative degree of importance at this point; just list every characteristic you would want.
3. Designate each “ideal’ characteristic as either a “must” or “want”. Now that you have a list of “ideal” characteristics, you should next designate each as either a “must” or a “want”. For purposes of clarification, a “must” is a characteristic that is mandatory, measurable and realistic while a “want” is a characteristic that is highly desirable. For example, in seeking to fill a director level position, a “must” could be a MBA degree and a “want” could be second language capabilities. The critical point here is that you challenge yourself as to what is a “must” and what is a “want”. One rule of thumb is that if you cannot decide, make the characteristic a “want”. With your designations completed, you now have the foundation for the selection process. Your “musts” will serve as the initial candidate screen (i.e., a candidate is either in or out in terms of further consideration based on their meeting of your “musts”), and your “wants” now become the basis of the interview process.
4. Use a multi-interview approach and a systematic interviewing process. As you proceed to the actual interviews, it is often valuable to have several people interview each candidate. This should include the hiring manager, HR and even several co-workers. The purpose is to gain multiple insights and perspectives that can only help in the selection process. Just as important is having a systematic plan or approach to the interviewing process itself. Development of open-ended questions and assignment of specific areas to be explored by each interviewer will ensure a comprehensive examination of the candidate’s qualifications. Questions should focus primarily on your “wants”, but can touch on some of your “musts” should you desire further information or clarification. While it is appropriate for each interviewer to ask some of the same questions, you should employ some variety in questioning so as to keep each interview fresh and conducive to information flow. Keep in mind that good note taking on the part of the interviewer is critical. An excellent source for the construction of interview questions and the interview approach is DDI’s Targeted Selection process.
5. Hold a post-interview meeting. Once all interviews have been concluded, you should meet with all those that participated in the interview process to gain their thoughts and insights. It is here that you want to confirm that your “musts” were met and learn more about the number and degree of “wants” that a candidate possessed. You can hold such a meeting after all candidates have been interviewed or following each candidate interview. It is recommended that you hold a meeting after each candidate interview when information and impressions are the freshest.