5 Steps to Better Hiring

5 Steps to Better Hiring

Hiring is tough right now so leaders might be tempted to fly by the seat of their pants and grab the first warm body they find.  But that strategy has a significant chance of making things worse if in fact, your new hire turns out to be the employee from he**.

If you are hiring a key position and want to avoid that trap, here’s a hiring process I use with my own clients that you may want to consider:

Step One:  Screening interview

This is a 15–30-minute phone or Zoom interview to confirm basic, non-negotiable qualifications.  Questions you might ask are:

What are your pay requirements?

When are you available to work?

Do you have reliable transportation?

Do you have high quality/fast internet at home (if they’ll need to participate in Zoom meetings)?

Also Consider:

  • Were they on time for the interview?
  • If verbal communication is an important part of the job, how were their speaking skills?
  • If they don’t meet your basic needs, cut the interview short.  But if they seem like a fit – be prepared to schedule the next interview.

 Step Two:  Deeper Dive Interview –

This should last about 1 hour and take place either in person or via video.  This is where you confirm their skills and ask a few behavior questions (both based on the skills & aptitudes you’ve identified in the job description.)  Let them do most of the talking!  Only “sell” the organization once you’ve decided they might be a fit – not at the beginning of conversation.

Also Consider:

  • If certain technical skills are required to do the job, this interview should START with testing. For instance – If the candidate must have office computer skills, test them on the basics (Excel, Work, Email, PowerPoint, etc.)  Don’t waste your time with the remainder of the interview if they can’t pass the test and don’t take their word for it!
  • Again, cut the interview short if they don’t meet your needs. However, if they’re a good candidate, have options ready to schedule the next interview ASAP.

Step Three:  Assessments

If you’ve narrowed down the field to 2-3 candidates, you can invite them to take an assessment before the next step.  There are hundreds of assessments that are proven to identify communication styles, job related skills, and many other factors.  An assessment can help eliminate “bad fit” candidates up front and/or help determine further questions for the next interview.

Step Four:  Final Decision Interview

This interview is reserved for only your most serious candidates and where I recommend involving a small panel of interviewers made up of people they might work with.  Each interviewer has the chance to ask a behavior-based question or two (determined in advance.)  Once again, this interview should take approximately 1 hour.  At the conclusion of this interview, discuss each candidate.  If you can decide, have an offer letter prepared.  If not, have options ready to schedule a “job shadowing” opportunity with each candidate ASAP.

Optional – Step Five:  Shadowing

This step can be done routinely or as a tiebreaker.  It’s designed for you to see how well they’ll “fit in” outside the formal interview process and give them a chance to experience the job and your culture by spending time with someone already in that role, or with someone who can demonstrate a few tasks related to the role.  When job shadowing is done right, it should make your final choice crystal clear.

A Few Final Pointers:

  • Have all interview questions prepared in advance.  You can always ask MORE questions, just make sure you have a good base.
  • Identify potential interview appointment times, in advance – especially the group interview.  You will lose candidates if you pause too long trying to figure it out.
  • Create a technical test, if needed.  Identify the necessary skills and figure out what needs to be done to ensure they are proficient. The test should be timed.
  • Create a basic plan for job shadowing in advance to help identify what you’re hoping to discover during the process.

I hope you find this helpful! Let me know if you have any questions or need assistance.

Happy Hiring!