As you grow and need workers to support your expansion, it can be challenging to know how to hire the best candidates for your organization. That’s why it can be a good idea to create a systematic hiring process for your business. With a plan in place, you and your HR team will be better able to attract and bring on high-quality employees.
Identify your need. Start by understanding what you’re looking for and what you’re trying to achieve with the new employee. Do you have a gap you need to fill from a recent vacancy? Are you trying to expand into new markets? Do you need to better distribute tasks and work among employees by bringing on additional help? You’ll want to consider how the role aligns with your goals and plans.
Determine your recruitment strategy. Create a standard method for recruiting. Consider, for example, which channels you’ll use to promote the position, how you’ll determine the candidates you want to interview, and who will actually interview applicants, among others. Knowing this upfront will speed and streamline the process.
Write a job posting. When writing a job posting, it’s important to craft one that will attract top talent while limiting the number of unqualified applicants, so you have a focused pool of candidates to review. Start by making a list of the skills, qualifications, and characteristics you’d like the ideal candidate to have as well as their job responsibilities. Then compile this information along with company-specific details such as the potential for advancement, salary and benefits information, and cultural attributes.
Advertise. Once you’re happy with your job description, publicize it. Know your outreach strategy ahead of time. Do you plan to post the role in professional associations, in trade publications, at colleges, through job search websites, via your local department of labor and training, or through your personal network – or all of the above? In today’s tight labor market, it’s important to tap all available resources to spread the word.
Review submissions. As you sift through resumes, eliminate candidates who don’t meet the minimum requirements for the job or otherwise aren’t the right fit. Once you identify some qualified applicants, have a second reviewer take a look to evaluate whether they’re a promising applicant worthy of an interview. If your company has an applicant tracking system, that can take care of some of these steps.
Conduct interviews. Be sure to prepare a list of questions, being careful to avoid those that could prompt a discrimination lawsuit. You’ll want to keep the questions the same for each candidate so you can compare them fairly. When you start each interview, begin with general information about the company to make the candidate feel comfortable. When you ask questions, be sure to pay attention not only to what they say in response but how – their non-verbal behavior like eye contact – as well as to the questions they ask.
Perform assessments. Depending on the position you’re trying to fill, and the skills required, you may want to have applicants complete standardized tests or assign them a task. For example, if you’re hiring an editor, you may want to have the applicant perform an editing exercise. Keep in mind that these assessments can also be done before you conduct interviews if you’re looking to further refine your list of potential candidates.
Check references. While most candidates wouldn’t list a reference without first knowing that they’d get a positive recommendation, it’s still a good idea to contact an applicant’s references to confirm their duties, job performance, and workplace conduct. You may want to ask if the reference would hire the candidate again to gauge the experience with them.
Make your decision. Once you’ve reviewed your short list of candidates, you and anyone else involved in the hiring process should consider the applicants’ attributes, skills, and potential for cultural fit to identify your top choice as well as your second choice in case your first pick doesn’t accept the position.
Extend an offer. 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. Keep in mind that you should prepare for some likely negotiation during this phase so you will want to decide upfront which factors you’ll be flexible on like salary or the ability to work remotely.
Run background checks. Background checks remain an important tool to help you avoid a bad hire by enabling you to review several pieces of information such as criminal convictions, motor vehicle violations, credit (where allowed by law), education and work experience, and military records. Usually, you’ll do this after you extend an offer that’s contingent on successful completion of a screening.
Onboard. Once a candidate accepts the job, that doesn’t end the hiring process. The last step is onboarding, which is the process of bringing them into the company, assimilating them into your culture, and ensuring they have the tools to ramp up quickly. Steps involved at this stage include introducing the job and performance expectations, sharing procedure manuals, explaining work rules, providing the employee handbook, introducing the employee to their work areas, providing benefit information and required notices, and collecting completed forms from the employee.
Karyn H. Rhodes is vice president HR Solutions at Complete Payroll Solutions. She specializes in all areas of human resources, including strategic planning, employee and labor relations, recruiting, compliance, training and development, compensation and benefits, policies and procedures, organizational development, executive coaching, workforce planning, and affirmative action plans. More info at completepayrollsolutions.com