If you’ve ever participated in hiring someone in a large organization then you know what a struggle it can be not just to find great candidates, but to get them hired and seated behind their desk. The larger the team, the greater chance for disorganization, but even small teams face challenges balancing their typical responsibilities with the added stress of a hiring project. During our time recruiting talent and managing hiring projects, we’ve developed a recruiting process designed to alleviate the stress of finding and placing candidates. Below are some valuable insights into our process.
Build a team with specific roles
We’ve worked with a lot of teams with many stakeholders and we know that a significant contributor to inefficiency is a lack of clear roles. Who will be in the interview? Who will conduct the interview? Did anyone reserve the conference room? Sometimes the lack of organization is such that you might wonder how the candidates even knew where and when to show up. Define the role of everyone involved and set down expectations for who will screen candidates, who will participate in the interview and who will be responsible for managing the onboarding of the new hire. Discuss how human resources will work with hiring managers to ensure the interview questions meet the entire team’s requirements. If you’re working with a recruiting firm, discuss what parts of the process they will manage.
Setting clear roles and expectations prevents the burden of managing the hiring project from falling disproportionately on a few team members and makes clear everyone’s responsibilities. Further more, a solid team defined from the start helps prevent the creep of new stakeholders getting involved as often happens with disorganized, drawn-out hiring initiatives.
Plan your interview strategy
With your roles defined, the next step is to create your interview questions and assessment strategy. Work with HR and your recruiter to decide what the ideal candidate will look like and how you will evaluate their skill and experience.
Write down what material the candidate should provide during the interview, who will greet them and bring them to the interview, and the interview agenda. Schedule a day of the week to conduct interviews so your team can arrange to be available. Establish this process early so you’re prepared to move forward quickly with the interview when candidates are presented to you.
Working with a recruiting firm to attract and place candidates
Working with a recruiting firm or consultant adds members to the team but can significantly reduce the burden on your employees. A successful recruiter will have a plan for coordinating with HR to avoid bottlenecks between recruitment and onboarding. Some recruiters will present you with candidate resumes and offer limited support during the interview process, while executive recruiters who place senior leadership and other highly-skilled roles may offer a suite of services to manage the process.
Interview with intent
Since you took the time to develop a clear picture of your ideal candidate and drafted your interview questions in collaboration with all departments, all that’s left is to execute your strategy. Send reminders to all interview team members the day before and the morning of the interview. Distribute copies of the candidate’s resume, candidate profile, interview questions and any other relevant information. No one has any excuse for showing up unprepared or out of the loop. We’re all looking at you, Bob.
Don’t neglect the candidate and leave them with a poor impression of your company. Prepare for their arrival as you would a minor celebrity. It only takes a little effort to exceed the reception they’ll get from your competitors, and will make a stellar first impression. Assign an interview buddy to greet the candidate, introduce the company, and escort them to the interview.
During the interview itself, stick to the agenda and takes notes in a notebook or on an interview scorecard like the one we use. Once the interview buddy has escorted the candidate out of the building, compare impressions with your team or schedule a follow-up meeting to discuss your scores.
Follow up with your chosen candidate quickly
Before the candidates leave, let them know what the next step is and how soon you’ll be in touch. The competition for skilled talent is fierce right now, so follow up within 24 hours if possible. If you’re working with a recruiting firm they can help you maintain timely contact with the candidate.
Now comes the time when you are most likely to lose the best talent to other offers, including a counter-offer from their current company. Don’t let the candidate forget that they’re joining you for good reason. We like to send gift baskets or company hats and t-shirts for the kids. Anything that tells them how pleased you are to be bringing them on-board will be welcome and appreciated.
Prepare for arrival
The last step is to enable your hire to hit the ground running. Use an onboarding checklist to gather the equipment, supplies, and information your new hire will need and assign a team member to welcome them on their first day. The position is now filled. The project is over. Treat yourselves to cupcakes.
Want more details on optimizing the hiring process?
Early planning and a clear strategy are the keys to a successful hiring project. We’ve built our recruiting process around this idea and have developed tools that make it easy to attract and evaluate talent quickly. Fortune 500 clients and others have relied on us to place C-Suite executives, locate talented engineers, and staff entire manufacturing operations using these tools.