Of course, the title of this post is a generalization. Not every company is terrible at hiring, but I see it all too often. Don’t get me wrong, hiring can be challenging, but having a deliberate, disciplined, well-planned process is the key to success.
Why? Just like anything in life, the better thought out and disciplined you are, the better the result. Let’s take for example a goal to get in shape or eat healthier. Without discipline and some sort of plan that can be executed and measured, it will be difficult to attain your goal. The same is true in the hiring process.
As a professional recruiter, let me share a tried and true process that might help you NOT suck at hiring:
1. Define what it is you’re looking for by developing a GREAT position profile that is promotional in nature and will attract great candidates. Start by promoting the company, its culture and why people like working there. Then get into the scope of the role, key competencies to be recruited, how the employee will be measured, etc.
—-Develop a defined timeline to be followed. (Folks, it shouldn’t take 6 or more months to recruit anyone!)
—-Be sure to figure out who will be involved in the process from initial contact to on-site interviews. And make sure EVERYONE involved in the hiring process is in alignment on what it is you’re looking for. If the candidate hears a different message from 3 or 4 different people, doubt will surely ensue.
2. Conduct market research to establish where you might find candidates who fit your profile as well as the market value for the job.
3. Recruit – Once candidates are identified, phone contact has been made and interest is established, begin to narrow down a short list of the most qualified candidates.
Be sure to measure the candidates against the desired profile, but also make sure you understand their motivations for considering a job change, their current compensation level and requirements, educational background, and any other issues that may complicate the recruitment process.
4. Selection – Candidates at this stage should be fully vetted and meet the agreed definition plus an indication of the cultural fit. The preferred candidates are recommended to the selection committee and an interview format is agreed upon and conducted.
5. Hire – Finally, identify the top two candidates and extend an offer to your first choice. The offer should be attractive and commensurate with the level and scope of responsibility and certainly not under market. At this stage it’s important to over-communicate and conditions the candidate to accept the offer, provide written notification to their present employer of intent to leave, and that the decision is final to minimize the likelihood of a counter-offer.
So, the key to any successful recruiting process is a good, executable plan with a defined timeline. Oh, and please don’t think your work is finished…
The on-boarding process is just as, if not more, critical. That’s a blog post for another day.
Best of luck!