13 basic steps to improve your hiring process

13 basic steps to improve your hiring process


1. Write a job description that accurately reflects your hiring needs.

A job description is one of the first interactions a job applicant has with your organization. Make sure you are writing good job descriptions that accurately reflect your brand and the role you are hiring for.

For example, you want to be clear about the specific responsibilities and requirements, and use some brand-specific language that gives the job applicant a feel for your company culture. Explain what you need from them and what you can provide them in return.

A well-written job description will help weed out candidates who aren’t the right fit, so it should leave you with a more focused group of resumes to evaluate.

2. Advertise and recruit for the open position.

Once you have your job description, the next step is to advertise it and recruit for the open position. Post it in multiple locations such as your careers page, job boards, job fairs and social media. Encourage your staff to reach out to their networks for the position as well.

Zuraida Curtis, employment law editor at XpertHR, advises businesses looking to create a good recruitment strategy to follow these tips:

Analyze. Take a close look at your business needs as well as your goals and objectives.

Identify. Know your long-term plans for expansion or reduction in staff, critical roles in the business, and any gaps that need to be filled. Be on the lookout for seasonal fluctuations in staffing requirements.

Determine. Figure out the best recruitment method for your business. Job searches via social media are increasing, for example, so you could use this method to target candidates with specific skill sets.

Secure. Provide a competitive salary and opportunities for personal growth within your business. In a Citation survey, 13% of employers said salary is the most important factor in employee retention.

Establish. Choose and implement a method to measure results and test whether your strategy is working. Establish a training budget to develop and enhance your employees’ skills and knowledge.

3. Analyze candidate resumes, cover letters and applications.

As applications start flowing in, you’ll need to come up with a process to review them. You can allocate one or more people to review applications and narrow down your viable candidates. You can also use some form of recruiting software, like an applicant tracking system (ATS).

An ATS helps analyze candidates and searches for any flaws in the hiring process. It filters candidates according to hiring needs and makes it easier for recruiters and hiring managers to view an applicant’s performance. The software can’t make wise decisions about who to hire, but it simplifies relevant keywords in a resume, aligning candidates with your business’s needs and wants.

With automatic rankings, you can compare resumes against your job description. The software then forwards the resumes with the highest matches to the next stage. It’s also a powerful solution to coordinate the candidate pipeline and ensure quality candidates are not lost in the shuffle.

4. Conduct a phone interview for initial screening.

After narrowing down your pool of job applicants, conduct a phone screen interview with each of the top candidates. A phone interview is a brief preliminary screening that takes about 15 to 30 minutes. Keep phone screens as uniform as possible. Ask a few basic “get to know you” questions, as well as inquiries about their skills and experience and their interest in the company and position. This interview should give you a sense of who the person is and what soft skills they possess. [Related: Illegal Job Interview Questions]

When conducting phone screenings, look out for red flags such as negativity, unpreparedness, lack of curiosity or poor cultural fit.

5. Conduct final-round interviews.

Your phone interviews should narrow down your pool of candidates. Conduct in-person interviews with the candidates remaining (or video conferencing interviews, if recruiting remotely). These interviews are more in-depth, helping you select your top candidates. Have multiple people partake in these interviews to get a broader picture of how well each candidate will fit within the organization and role.

6. Have the job applicant perform applicable assessments.

Depending on the role you are hiring for, you may want job applicants to perform applicable assessments. For example, if you are hiring for a copyediting position, you may have the candidate perform an editing exercise. Someone hiring for a sales position may have the candidate give a sample sales pitch based on a specific product the company sells.

Assessments aren’t always necessary, but they test whether the candidate can perform the responsibilities of the role. The assessment can be performed before, during, or after the formal interview.

7. Run a background check and check references.

Contacting references and running pre-employment background checks is an important part of the hiring process, often as one of the final steps. There are many great background check companies that can help you run legally compliant background checks.

The purpose of a background check is to ensure the candidate is legally fit for the position; however, you should avoid discriminating against candidates based on their results. For example, refusing to hire a candidate with multiple traffic violations would be valid for a truck driving position, but it’s not relevant to a marketing position.

8. Make a hiring decision.

Use the knowledge you’ve gained about your job candidates throughout the hiring process to make a final decision about who to hire. Consult all parties who spoke with each candidate to make a more informed decision. Consider qualifications and cultural fit, but don’t make decisions based on biases or discrimination.

“Try to avoid hiring on gut instinct,” Curtis told Business News Daily. “Have a structured hiring process with an effective interview process. Verify qualifications through the interview process and complete background checks such as references.”

9. Extend a job offer.

Extend a job offer to your top pick. Highly qualified candidates are typically not on the market for long, so extend the job offer quickly once you’ve decided who to hire. Include information regarding salary and benefits, and be prepared for some negotiation during this time.

10. Hire and onboard the new employee.

Your employee onboarding process can make a big difference in how successful your new hire is within your organization. First, send the necessary paperwork to the candidate for them to sign. If you use recruiting software, it will likely have e-signature capabilities, allowing new employees to accept an offer and complete onboarding paperwork remotely.

Comprehensive programs take it one step further, automating the entire onboarding process and providing your new hire with all the training and materials they need. This will not only set up the employee for success, but it can also improve employee retention.

Most hiring processes include basic steps like recruiting, interviewing, screening, hiring and onboarding employees.

How to improve your hiring process

If you already have a hiring process in place, there is a good chance it can be enhanced to better serve your business needs. Here are 13 tips to improve your hiring process.

11. Build a strong employer brand.

According to Officevibe, more than 75% of professionals are passive candidates who aren’t currently looking for a job but are open to new opportunities. Building a strong employer brand not only reduces employee turnover by 28%, it also attracts these passive candidates to your company over others.

A Glassdoor survey found that 69% of respondents are likely to apply for a job if the employer actively manages its brand by responding to reviews, updating the company’s profile, and sharing updates on the company’s culture and work environment.

When you focus on building a well-known employer brand, you won’t have to do as much active recruiting. You’ll be a highly sought-after organization, teeming with applicants.

12. Answer candidate FAQs.

Another excellent recruitment strategy is to create a page or section on your website that addresses questions candidates often ask. Many candidates may be reluctant to apply for jobs because they still need answers to certain questions before they apply. You can either take specific questions new candidates have asked you or ask your present employees what questions they had before they were hired. This will help you create a page that covers the concerns candidates may have, saving you and your candidates time while also making applicants aware of what the job entails.

13. Move as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Officevibe reported that the best candidates are off the market in 10 days. Act quickly, especially when you know you’re interested in a specific applicant. Even if you haven’t made a decision yet, follow up with the candidate often, discussing further details of the position to ensure you’re on their radar. Respond to any questions or concerns right away to keep them updated throughout the process.

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