It’s no secret that the success of a business relies on the people within it. Their daily actions and immeasurable decisions all result in one outcome - positive (or negative) monthly, quarterly, and annual reports.

It therefore stands to reason that the hiring process is one of the most important aspects for a business to get right. Every correctly appointed and nurtured new employee has the potential to bring new unique ideas, abilities, and positive action, increasing the effectiveness and success of the company as a whole.

Naturally, that should mean that all hiring processes are extensively researched and refined. The candidates are welcomed warmly, the highlights of the business are spoken about, and the culture, team, and expectation of the role are sold to the potential employee. The process is laid out from the beginning to manage the candidate’s expectations of timeframes and who they’ll meet along the way. Interviews contain questions that test candidates’ technical knowledge and their ability to integrate into the team and the wider business. They then get an opportunity to ask their own questions. Regardless of the outcome, both the employer and candidate reflect on a well-run process.

This is, unfortunately, not always a reality.

With internal pressures, conflicting schedules, last-minute meetings, and important deadlines looming, a process can be delayed. However, getting the essentials right means this is far less likely.

1.Be open minded, but have a good idea of who you need

At the start of any process, have a detailed idea of what you’re seeking. What skills would an individual need to excel at their job? What traits would they need to possess in order to thrive in the environment? It may be an idea to consult with others in similar roles if they exist. This may take more time, but in the long run getting it wrong will cost you more time and money.

Once you’ve done this, you’ll have a good idea of who you’re searching for throughout the entire process. You’ll go into it prepared and ready to test a candidate’s eligibility. Writing this plan down could also help you to form the job description for the role.

2. Stay consistent throughout

Once you have the criteria and process set, do not stray from that path. Keep these things in mind, for example:

  • What are you seeking?
  • When should applications be in by?
  • When would you ideally like to complete the process?
  • How many stages will there be?
  • Who will join you in interviews?
Forward planning and time management is essential to ensure that a hiring process runs smoothly. In a competitive fast paced market, this is especially pertinent. The business that has a refined process has an immediate edge over their competition in securing the best candidates.

3.Involve others

If you rely on other teams, or if internal relationships are essential to the role, consider bringing others into the process. Anyone whose opinion you respect, and who will be working closely with the future employee, could provide additional perspectives and increase the chances of finding the right candidate for your business.

While other people’s opinions are important, also try to think about how to integrate this into as few interviews as possible. The candidate should not have more than three meetings before a decision is made. Markets can move fast and drawn out processes make it harder to secure the best candidates.

4.Avoid asking unusual questions

You may have heard that finding out how your candidate thinks under pressure is important in an interview. But is there anything more awkward than the silence that follows a question like, “Why is a manhole cover round?” in the midst of a conversation about an accounting position. It’s quite difficult to move forward from that, and the candidate will be left wondering if a manhole cover just cost them a job.

Stick to questions that focus on whether they can actually perform the tasks required. Get to know them, their experience, their technical aptitude and situational judgement. This will be a much more reliable indicator of whether they will be successful in the position.

5.Not sure what you are looking for is out there? Ask.

If you have an in-house recruitment team, they may be able to provide some details about the market. They might have done candidate profiling in the area you are looking for.

If you are instructing an external agent, they may be able to indicate what is obtainable and what is not. However, always be comfortable to challenge them. Ask them how long they have recruited in that market, what they know of it, and what they’ve learned about the candidates within it.

If you have any questions or alternatively are thinking of starting a hiring process, please feel free to get in touch with the recruitment experts at Michael Page.

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