Improve Your Hiring Process With These 6 Steps

If your hiring process and recruiting methods haven’t changed in the past few years, you’re probably missing out on great hires. Even with all of the technological advances and research on the topic, some of the same outmoded practices still permeate sourcing and hiring. Old habits are hard to break, they say.

Efficiency and a goal-centric focus help eliminate bad hires and turnover, which saves both time and money. So instead of posting the same tired job ads and working through uninspiring interviews, try out these 6 tips for a better process for everyone involved.

#1: Identify Your Goals Early

Unless you’ve lived under a rock since the late 1980s, you’re familiar with the bestselling book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey. Number 2 on his list is, “Begin with the end in mind.”

The only way to hit the mark with your hiring process is to identify the goal. That’s why it’s so important to understand what you want before you start, but it’s not as straightforward as it sounds. You have to dig deeper than merely aiming for great hires. That’s too broad. What does your perfect hiring process accomplish and what are the qualities of those great hires? Begin there – at the end – and work your way back to find the best path.

#2: Frame the Key Accountabilities for Each Job

Some qualities are admirable and preferred for almost every job. But each different position also has its own key accountabilities. “Identify what the key accountabilities are to do the job well, as well as how much time each task takes in a typical workweek,” says Chris Young, CEO of The Rainmaker Group at AmEx Open Forum.

Accountabilities differ from the job description, says Nielson Group. They can better define why the job is important to the company’s success. This process requires some evaluation by people already in the company who “explore, validate and quantify” what the job means to the company.

#3: Save Time by Taking Time

Time-to-hire is a genuine concern for most companies. But some companies look at hiring as a series of individual events. Shortcuts make their way into the process to save time, and that leads to bad hires. Instead, Young suggests that hiring should be an ongoing process where you’re always looking for great talent.

That’s the theory behind the talent pipeline. When you continually source the best talent, more of the right people will be in your pipeline whenever a job vacancy arises. Take more time to source, and you’ll save time and errors when you need to hire.

#4: Screen for Personality

A personality screening can help you find that perfect combination of the right job-related attributes and the right personality to work effectively within the company. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EOC) explains that an effective personality assessment can reveal traits such as dependability and cooperativeness as well as help you find markers of poor traits such as absenteeism.

Caveat: The EEOC says the use of such tests can place the company in violation of anti-discrimination laws. To avoid that risk, rely on tried-and-true assessments that companies around the world are already using. Some of the more commonly used tests include Caliper, Gallup’s StrengthFinder and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

#5: Craft a Better Interview

Robert Half lays out the framework of a solid interview.

  • Only interview people who “dovetail with your desired skill set
  • Know the questions you’ll ask before the interview begins.
  • Throw in a “curveball” question if the interviewee seems to have “all the right answers”

In addition to asking great questions, Robert Half also says that there are things you should avoid.

  • Don’t talk too much
  • Try not to add unnecessary stress to the candidate
  • Leave distractions at the door
  • Ask all of your candidates the same set of core questions

Young says too many companies turn a blind eye to the abundant research from the past 30 years that shows flaws in the “typical hiring process.” With a deeper understanding of what each recruiting and hiring step means to the prospective employee and the company, you can craft your own efficient, effective process that works better.

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