Getting ready to begin searching for your next great employee? Hiring is exciting, but it’s also an involved process that’s full of potential missteps and errors. Start out on the right foot using this hiring process checklist as a template for your search.
While this hiring process checklist is a good place to start for laying out a timeline and task list for recruitment, it should be adapted and customized to the needs of your company. No two processes will ever look the same, even for the same position.
- Identify which position or positions need to be filled
- Meet with the hiring team to develop and prioritize position responsibilities and key skills. (Include recruiter, HR manager, hiring manager, the position’s superior, as well as anyone who may have important insights, such as a talent management professional)
- Develop or update a job description that will inform the rest of the hiring process
- Research and determine an appropriate salary range, benefits package, and other compensation logistics
- Determine which forms will be required for internal records and regulatory compliance
- Decide which, if any, hiring assessments will help you gain a better understanding of the candidate’s suitability for the position and company
- Determine which supplementary materials to request along with a resume (cover letter, references, portfolios, etc.)
- Create a job posting that includes a description of the position, compensation, and any unique benefits or opportunities that are included.
Learn more about how to create and optimize your job posting here.
- Decide whether or not you want to post the job opening internally before advertising it externally, post it internally and externally simultaneously, or only advertise it externally
- Set expectations for a hiring timeline
- If posting internally, notify employees via multiple channels (email, newsletter, bulletin, etc.)
- Notify internal employees’ superiors if they are being considered for the position
- If advertising to internal and external candidates simultaneously, note this in the job posting
- When posting externally, determine which sources candidates in your industry use to search for jobs (word-of-mouth, online, print, professional associations, job fairs, talent management services, etc.)
Screening and Interviews
- Screen applications and resumes for position requirements and stand-out skills. Pay attention to grammar, spelling, and irrelevant or unverifiable experience, skills, and achievements
- Select a short list to share with the hiring team
- Meet with the hiring team and discuss short list candidates
- Determine when to administer hiring assessments, if applicable
- If desired or necessary, do a round of phone screening with selected candidates
- Develop a list of relevant interview questions
- Schedule first-round interviews with selected candidates
- Schedule additional interviews if required
- Check references, background checks, and/or other qualifying documents and statements
- Meet with the hiring team after all interviews are completed to discuss candidates’ qualifications and suitability for the position and company
- If the team reaches a consensus, reach out to the selected candidate to confirm his/her continued interest in the position
- Proceed to draft an offer letter, with input and approval from the entire hiring team
- Determine which factors are negotiable—reasonable negotiation should be expected
- Prepare an official offer letter from the supervisor that states and formalizes job responsibilities, salary, reporting relationship, exemption status, job hours, benefits, etc.
- Receive the signed offer letter from the candidate to indicate the acceptance of the offer
- Schedule a start date
- Begin familiarizing the new employee with the company’s values, goals, and culture early, ideally during the hiring process
- Before their official start date, send the employee a document outlining what to expect as he/she begins the new role
- Plan the first day and week to begin to engage and empower the new employee
- Set timelines for training and first-year performance expectations
- Set up a mentor relationship with someone who can answer questions about the company
- Solicit regular feedback
Learn more about onboarding best practices here.
A successful hiring process requires careful planning and a significant investment of time, but putting in the work to find the right person for the job pays off in the long term. This checklist should help you get started with your next search.