When the labor market tightens up, deficiencies in hiring skills become glaring. It’s particularly important to recognize there is not a shortage of people; rather, there is a shortage of people who know how to hire.
Some of the common hiring mistakes we’ve seen include having no hiring system in place, rushing the recruiting process, having poor follow-up processes, failing to build value into the opportunity and letting desperation take over. Avoiding these pitfalls and coming out of the hiring process with a great fit is a team effort that requires a duplicatable system.
Here are 10 steps to help you create a duplicatable hiring system that will benefit your team, your company and your bottom line.
1. Define the job and special skills or qualifications needed
Start the process with the basics. List the job responsibilities, standard hours and desired skill set for your candidates. Providing clarity from the outset sets both your hiring team and interested candidates up for success.
2. Create an ad that's specific to what an applicant yearns for
Let’s use salespeople as an example. To start, think about some of the main reasons salespeople leave a company. They may be getting few leads or too many unqualified ones. They may be feeling used, underappreciated or overworked. They may not be making the money they anticipated, or they may be lacking quality time off to spend with loved ones. They might notice a lack of integrity at the company or a lack of care and concern for the customer.
There are plenty of reasons a salesperson—or any employee—may leave, but it’s your job to consider those reasons and craft a job posting that addresses them for future candidates. In this example, in addition to the basics, you need to mention keywords such as “respect,” “talent,” “honest” and “family time.” You could mention that all installation personnel and sales consultants are employees and that generating referrals from your high-quality work is key to your success.
And of course, include what job candidates can expect to receive from your company, including any reimbursement or retirement programs, commissions and other incentives. Overall, your advertisement should be crafted in a way that will get interested candidates excited to contact you.
3. Target the audience wherever your applicants spend time online
This includes platforms such as Indeed, Monster, Facebook, Craigslist and LinkedIn.
4. Script the initial communication
First impressions count. Emphasize using a bright, cheerful voice to those who will be handling calls from interested candidates. Thank the candidate for calling, and gather key information regarding where they live, a brief employment history, any past training and—most importantly—what specifically led them to call.
Then, provide them with information about the company that will further excite them about the job opportunity. Mention opportunities for advancement and create scripted answers to common questions.
If your company representative wants to pursue an interview with a candidate, test the waters. Ask them to rate on a scale of 1 to 10 how well the opportunity fits them; if not a 10, ask them what keeps it from reaching that level. Offer to relay any relevant information about the candidate’s strong suits to the hiring manager, and close by encouraging the candidate by saying that they sound like a person who would do well at your company.
A final point on offering interviews: Be selective about handing them out. You should only interview people you want to hire; you shouldn’t schedule mediocre candidates simply to fill a schedule. Doing so disrespects your company’s time and the time of the candidates.
5. Interview to understand the applicant
Find out everything about the applicant before you tell them about the opportunity and the information about your company. An interview is a conversation to get the applicant relaxed and to learn more about how they interact, think on their feet and fit into your organization. You want to learn about their skills, abilities, knowledge, personality, interests and character to determine if they can and will do the job.
6. Utilize a hiring book
Use graphics, color and pictures to show growth and opportunities at the company and why people want to work for you. You should also outline work schedules, pay, benefits and time off.
7. Ask them to complete a DISC profile and evaluation
Employees are most effective and have a better chance at success when their personalities and interests align with job requirements. Evaluations aren’t perfect, but they will weed out candidates who don't align with your business. They also help reveal the qualities of candidates that directly impact cultural fit and suitability for the position and the team.
8. Provide printed highlights of your hiring book
These materials reinforce excitement about the job opportunity and gives them a reference guide to take home to interested spouses or other family members.
9. Close with the "takeaway"
At the end of this interview, employ a phrase that sums up your thoughts on the interview and next steps. We link to use something along the lines of, “I have really enjoyed our time here today. I believe you could do exceptionally well. I'll be finishing my initial round of interviews next week. When I'm done, I will be calling people back for a second interview. As we move ahead, could you tell me, on a scale of 1 to 10, how well does this fit what you are searching for?"
There will unfortunately be times when you need to end an interview early because it becomes clear the job is not a good fit for a candidate. In these situations, we suggest using a statement such as, “I can tell this job is not for you. The last thing we want to do is hire someone for a job that does not closely align with their value system. That leads to a difficult break up, and I don't want to put you in that position."
10. Schedule the second interview
A second interview is generally used for above-entry-level positions. It gives the chance to explore anything that was missed in the first interview or about which may need more detail or context.
This is also a good opportunity to involve other team members in a get-to-know-you session. Such a session should be casual but structured and gives your team some say in who they work alongside.