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Revitalize Your Hiring Process to Score Top Performers

June 29, 2018

By: Crystal Spraggins

How to improve your hiring process

No matter how thorough the hiring process, there’s no guarantee your new employee will be a “keeper.” Sometimes, the system just fails. Crafting the perfect new hiring process is always a work in progress, especially important for small businesses and startups.  Bad hires cost time and money, and often, the repercussions don’t stop there.

Although there are many moving pieces to round out a thorough hiring process, here’s a few tips to revitalize (or help you to create) yours:

Not Knowing What You Want

Having an open position is both a challenge and an opportunity for managers. Whether you’re looking for someone to fill a brand new role or to step into an existing one, now’s the time to think critically about your organizational needs and how a new employee will fulfill that role.

It can be a letdown (and a bit stressful) to see a popular, high-performing employee go, but let’s admit…it can also be exciting when thinking about how a new individual with different talents can bring fresh ideas and diverse value to the company.

To attract that fresh talent, take advantage of this time to re-evaluate the job description!  Be clear as to what you expect from applicants and specific about the role requirements.  Going through this process helps you to be more focused on a candidate’s qualifications and less likely to make a hiring decision based on their charming personality displayed in the interview.

Bias

We’re all biased to some point. Unfortunately, when biases enter the hiring process, the ability to lure good folks on board can become compromised. It can make us see things that aren’t there as well as not see things that are. Before reviewing someone’s resume or sitting down for an interview, firmly check your preconceptions at the door.

Not Enough Time

At some time or another, most hiring managers have found themselves desperate to “put a body in a chair.” This is not a good situation. Rushing to hire can create all kinds of short- and long-term problems, including making the interview process darn near worthless. If you’re determined to find someone qualified for the job, you’ll find a way to do it. Interviews that are too short are ineffective. You can’t get to know much of anything you need to know in less than an hour. It’s also wise to have more than one interview, because time to reflect can provide valuable insight.

The Wrong People in the Room

Anyone who’s invited to meet with your potential new hire should have a specific reason for being in the room and real input into the outcome. Although the concept is beloved by many, “courtesy interviews” can degrade and confuse the process. The same goes for large panel interviews.  Don’t fill the meeting with staff who aren’t qualified to gauge the technical or temperamental suitability of the candidate…makes sense, right? Inclusivity in the hiring process is a must, and it’s definitely a mistake to have only one person evaluate the candidate. However, it’s just as bad to have too many evaluators.  It can be impossible to reach a consensus and everyone probably shouldn’t have an equal vote anyway. The hiring manager and perhaps two or three key personnel are adequate to make a sound decision.

Not Having a Tool to Evaluate Candidate Traits

Carefully honed intuition is a powerful tool in life and business. That said, relying on your gut to make a decision about who to hire can be problematic. Let’s face it, our guts can often mislead us. Here’s why: people who are good at interviewing aren’t always the most qualified for the job. We often interpret the ability to speak well and project confidence as competence, and, let’s be honest, we’re often wrong about that. A shocking number new hires fail within the first 18 months on the job.  Not because of skills, but because of job traits like lack of coachability, emotional intelligence, and temperament.

Even the most empathic interviewer can’t detect the absence of these traits just by talking to a candidate for a few hours. Instead, incorporate a behavioral assessment into the hiring process. This objective tool reveals the candidate’s preferences, traits, and behavioral tendencies in the workplace. Armed with this information, a hiring manager can more reliably match the candidate’s qualities with the job requirements.

“Winging” It

Evaluating skill requires preparation. Unfortunately, too many hiring managers think they can wing the interview and hire based on chemistry. Never a good idea.  And typically, a sure-fire way to make the wrong hiring decision. Chemistry is not a precursor to good performance. Sure, no one wants to spend hours a day with someone whose personality grates on them, but a likable individual who can’t get the job done will become pretty unlikable in no time.

The job interview holds a lot of weight in the selection process. Don’t let your next new hire be a flop.  Know what’s needed for the job, avoid bias, don’t rush the process, include the right decision makers, and use a behavioral assessment tool to help you make the most informed hiring decision…not your gut!

Crystal Spraggins

Freelance Writer, Editor, and HR Consultant in Philly. You can find more of Crystal's work at: www.crystalspraggins.blogspot.com

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