Hiring has a lot of moving parts, which makes it prone to speedbumps, hiccups, and bottlenecks. But when you’re trying to find the best fit for a critical position in an unstable labor market, you can’t afford missteps in your hiring process. Here are 11 tips for streamlining your recruitment to ensure your process helps, not hurts, your chances of hiring the right person for your organization.
1. Reevaluate the role with a new lens
Often, a position’s responsibilities grow around an employee’s strengths. The longer they’ve been with the company, the more unique their role can become. When that person leaves, organizations often fall into the trap of seeking out a carbon copy of the person that just left. But clones are hard to come by. So while it’s valuable to use the previous person as a benchmark, see the open position as an opportunity to reassess your needs and what the right fit looks like now.
2. Resist embellishing the job
We get it. You want to attract the best talent possible. So perhaps you stretch the truth of the role slightly. Perhaps you make the position seem more challenging than it is to weed out the less qualified. Or you make it sound more exciting and impactful to generate increased interest in the role. But misrepresenting the position in your job posting works against you, either by driving away potentially great candidates or disappointing your new hire. Being honest and realistic in your job posting will ensure you attract the right person to the right seat.
(Additional reading: How to write a great job description).
3. Review previous candidates in your ATS
If you use an applicant tracking system (ATS) in your hiring process, you likely have a pool of potential employees already at your fingertips. Just because they weren’t the right fit for a previous role that doesn’t mean they’re not the right fit for any position at your organization. Instead of starting every hiring process from scratch, take a look at your past candidates. You know they’re already interested in working at your organization. And if you’ve taken detailed notes, you should be able to quickly refresh yourself on their strengths.
4. Set and communicate a realistic time frame
Finding and hiring the right fit takes time. No matter how long or how short the process is, that time is precious to you, your company, and your candidates. Estimate a time frame and set milestones before kicking off your search and communicate them to both promising applicants and key internal stakeholders. If they know what to expect, they can better plan their schedules and prepare for the next steps.
If schedules do have to be adjusted, make sure to let everyone still in the process know. As a candidate, there’s nothing worse than waiting anxiously for an answer only for the decision deadline to pass without a word.
5. Ask for help when you need it
Whether you’re hiring for an organization of three employees or three hundred, trying to handle the entire process yourself can often be an expensive mistake. Even though it feels like you’re saving time and resources, the cost of a bad hire can be astronomical. To find the best fit possible, make sure you get input from people who work closely with the open position, including direct reports and supervisors. And for specialized jobs or if you’re already overwhelmed in your day-to-day, consider additional support from an outside firm.
6. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good
Bad hires are expensive. And so is waiting for “the one.” When down a team member, other employees have to pick up the slack. Over time, the additional workload often leads to increased stress and decreased morale. Left unfilled for too long, and one exit can snowball into exits across the organization.
Instead of waiting for someone to check every box, think about which skills are required and which are teachable. And don’t fret about over-qualification. Some believe overqualified hires will get bored and have fast turnovers, and others may feel threatened by bright new talent. But candidates who may be “overqualified” for a position could have the most to offer to improve the company.
7. Prepare everyone for effective interviews
Interviews can be a minefield of recruitment mistakes. Avoiding the wrong questions can mean anything from leaving out surface-level questions that can be answered on a resume to double- and triple-checking for discriminatory inquiries. Be sure to prepare for your interviews by compiling questions and knowledge about the position and company and preparing the candidate as well — with whom are they interviewing? How long should they plan to meet?
8. Take references with a grain of salt (but don’t ignore them)
Some recruiters swear by references as the best way to get to know a candidate. But references aren’t fail-proof. If a listed reference has nothing but praise for a candidate, it’s okay not to take it at face value. And if their reference isn’t glowing? That’s okay too. Everyone has quirks and flaws, and that’s not always a negative.
That’s not to say you need to throw the baby out with the bathwater. As many as 25% of employers never look at an applicant’s references. Failing to check in with references means you’re missing out on a piece of the hiring puzzle. Use as many provided resources as possible to get to know the entire picture of a candidate.
9. Think beyond the position
Don’t forget the impact a new hire will have on their team and the entire company. When weighing candidates consider whether or not they’ll positively contribute to your organization’s culture. Keep your mission, vision, and values at the forefront when recruiting any position at your company. Also, consider your organization’s future growth. Just because you need a specific skill set now that doesn’t mean you’ll always need it. Ask yourself if this person will be the right fit for your company today and tomorrow.
10. Better understand your top choices with a validated assessment
Speaking of using all available resources, hiring assessments have become a critical part of many organizations’ recruitment processes. (So much so, there’s no lack of options on the market.) They can be a valuable tool in learning how your top candidates think and how they potentially would collaborate with others within your organization.
(Additional reading: How to choose a hiring assessment.)
11. Invest in training and onboarding your new hire
So, you’ve hired a new employee: one who’s excited about the work is well-qualified and ready to dive in. But throwing them into a new team without training or preparation could spell failure, no matter how qualified they are. Training and onboarding new employees is critical to helping them succeed in their new position, and asking them to do too much might have them packing up their desks before they get started.
The key takeaway is this – you’re not just looking for someone to fill a role; you’re looking for the right fit for your job and your company. Streamlining your recruitment process is key to making sure you don’t have any missteps along the way. With these tips, you’ll be several steps closer to a better talent search and recruitment process, meaning a faster time-to-hire and new hires who are better fits for your organization.
Need help streamlining your recruitment process? Learn about our talent acquisition services.