If you want to get the best talent for your company, the recruiting and hiring process can sometimes be long, complicated and exhausting, for both you and the candidates. This is especially true if you’re trying to recruit for a very niche role or industry. That is why it’s good to be open to as much advice from other HR professionals as possible. While you may think you’ve got the process down to a science, another person’s perspective may be able to provide a new outlook that can save you time, money and unnecessary headache. Here are some of the best tips we have already collected.
Do you have a piece of advice that you want us to feature, along with a link back to your LinkedIn profile? Feel free to contact us here!
1. Define The Role and The Requirements Clearly
When you write the job description, just listing the tasks that will be performed in the role is not enough. Think about all of the different aspects needed to succeed, including education, experience, knowledge, skills, behaviors, attitude and more. All of those will give structure to the interview process as well, making sure you choose a candidate that will not only be able to do the job but remain in the position for a long period of time.
2. Look for a Cultural Fit
You candidates can be the most intelligent, and the top of their class, but if they don’t agree with your company’s values and culture, it may result in their being the least productive members of the team. That is why it is highly important to define your company culture when advertising the role, as well as when interviewing.
3. Involve Others in The Interviewing Process
Your opinion is just that – an opinion, and you have to take into account that it can sometimes be skewed for any number of reasons. It’s always best to get another perspective about a candidate, especially if you won’t be the one working directly with them. You can also try and have them mingle with the team, in an informal setting, and ask for their take about the candidate.
4. Test Your Candidates
The harsh reality is that we can’t trust everything candidates say. Some, unfortunately, will bend the truth in their resumes, some will add a bit of color, while others may even flat out lie. So you should test your potential employees during the hiring process, whether it’s with written tests, role play or simulations. You can also hire them for a trial period for more complex roles.
5. Perform a Social Media Background Check
You’re probably accustomed to doing background checks on all of your candidates, using various tools, to make sure you’re hiring the best candidate. However, a person’s different social media platforms can reveal a great deal about their personality and past employers and is worth a look as well.
6. Company Reviews Matter
The hiring process is not just about you accepting people for your company. Those candidates also need to want to work for your company in the first place, and a big part of that are reviews from former employees. Top talent may not want to interview for your company if they read negative reviews on Glassdoor, no matter how much you’re offering them, and how appealing the position is. In that case, you may want to improve retention rates and your company culture before making any new hires.
7. Sometimes It’s Good to Keep Score
If you want to make sure you treat all of your candidates equally, without any biases and that you don’t leave out any qualifications during the interviewing process, it’s good to create a scorecard for each category. Mark them on their education, certificates, experience, training and expertise and the final score will help you compare and contrast candidates fairly.
Tip by: Miri Gal Bort, Sales Experts Executive Recruiters
8. Ask The Candidate for Feedback for Future Interviews
The last question a recruiter screening a candidate should always ask is: “What didn’t I ask you about your skills, knowledge and experience that you think is important for me to know? What did I overlook that will help me compete successfully for this position?” Ask this especially if you are not likely to hire that candidate. You influence the perception of fairness and appear more transparent in your willingness to learn what the candidate believes is important. And that you may have overlooked.
Tip by: Gerry Crispin, Founder, CareerXroads
9. Don’t Forget You Have Two Clients to Serve
In recruiting, we have two customers to serve; the hiring manager and the target talent audience. Each customer has their own agendas, drivers, and expectations. What they have in common is experience in their respective profession and both parties can say “no.” It is important to find out what each customer wants and give it to them (if you can).
Tip by: Marvin E. Smith, Talent Acquisition Strategy & Solutions, Lockheed Martin Corporation
10. Define The Process
Define the purpose of the process and its causation to the organization at hand. Process for process sake just builds bureaucratic debt and no two companies are the same, so why do recruiting teams just push in place what worked at other companies without defining why it would work at their current one. So many recruiting organizations and leaders just implement what they know or what industry standard they’re comfortable with – very little goes into architecting the right fit for the organization at hand. When this is done, you end up with very little daylight between what the recruiting team can deliver and what the organization needs and wants.
Tip by: Chetta Crowley, Head of Talent, Creator
11. Give Regular Updates
The waiting game with no end in sight is hands down the best way to frustrate and lose a strong candidate. I do not know of one candidate that enjoys going into a black hole and not knowing where they stand in the process. As a company, you need to make a commitment to give timely and regular updates, even if that update is that you don’t have any updates or that you expect an update soon. We have found that this goes a long way, not only for the candidate experience, but it confirms your company operates with integrity and transparency.
Tip by: Scott Clatur, Vice President, People, Visual Lease
12. Preparation is Key
Speed and good spirits are key factors in the hiring process, so preparation is key in creating a positive experience for the candidate. For any role, ensure the proper approvals are in place, the feedback loop is established and the staff are available and eager to bring people in. This way from application to decision we can move quickly, which we have to do in this fully employed market.
Tip by: Paige Brooks, Head of People, People, Plum, Inc.
13. “Always Be Closing”
In the words of the man who introduced me to the recruiting career that I love: “Always Be Closing “. I know it sounds primitive and simple but in the intimal conversation with the said candidate, you should have a number of closing questions. I call them soft closes, the idea is to have them eliminate other opportunities and the dredged counteroffer by their present employer. When I’m through with my initial screening I have a “soft” commitment that they want the position, thus giving me a competitive edge over recruiters that just have them fill out an application. My conversation gives them a sense of seriousness and assurance that I’m not just another “emailing job descriptions recruiter.”
Tip by: Philip G. Spellman, Senior Talent Acquisition, Signal Software Services, Corp.
14. Focus on The “Middle of The Funnel”
Make sure that the Recruiter, Hiring Manager, and Interview Panel are aligned on the position – focus on the “middle of the funnel.”
Tip by: Craig Vived, Director, Talent Acquisition – Digital Platforms & Corporate, Autodesk, Inc.
15. Value Your Candidate
Value your candidate experience the same way that you value your organization’s customer experience. Remember the simple things such as please and thank you. Follow up with your candidates in a timely manner and be responsive to their requests. Always remember that your candidates could be existing customers or potential customers. Your interaction with your candidates could impact your brand, and it could also impact your business.
Tip by: Kristi Robinson, Head of Talent Acquisition, esurance
16. We’re All Human
My favorite tip is to remember that we’re all human, and as recruiters, we should always think about how we would want to be treated. For example, what communications deserve a more personal touch? And how can we add empathy into a sometimes taxing process?
Tip by: Christina Tymony, Talent Acquisition Manager l Inclusion & Diversity, Slalom Build
17. Make Sure Everything is Aligned
If I can only pick one tip, I would say alignment. Ensuring all your key players are aligned before you start your recruitment process allows you as the recruiter, to help drive the process from start to finish. When you are dialed in from the beginning you can eliminate redundancies, quickly navigate obstacles, hold your decision makers accountable and move efficiently through the process, reducing eleventh-hour pitfalls that require you to start the process from square one again. Additional benefits for the candidates allow them to experience a seamless process, key in today’s tight market; to be able to move quickly on competitive talent while providing an experience in which candidates will want to share with others.
Tip by: Amy Wilson, Sourcing Team Supervisor, Providence St. Joseph Health
18. Plan Ahead
Workforce planning – the better you can plan for what you need today as well as a year from now; when you will have the need, and what skills/competencies you truly need in the role for the person to be successful, will result in better hiring decisions. Most leaders I work with react to a vacancy and rush to fill it without any type of plan.
Tip by: Ann Miller, System Director, Talent Acquisition, Ohio Health
19. Communicate with Both Sides
Over-communicate to both the candidate and the Hiring Leader. Ensure the candidate has a clear understanding of the next steps, who they will be meeting with, the hiring timeline and what you need from them. Ensure your Hiring Leader is aware of how the search is going, what to expect next and what you need from them. If the Hiring Leader has to ask you about how the search is going, then you are under communicating!
Tip by: Joann Fassett, Recruiting Manager, Learning Care Group
20. Take The Candidate’s Experience Into Account
Remember the candidate experience. Aligning the process to the business need is always implied and is important, but remembering that the candidate experience will influence how they feel about your company as an employer but will also influence how they feel about your company’s product. I especially think about this as it pertains to automation. Automation is a great way to provide convenience and information to the candidates in the early stages of the process. It is a great way to save them time and provide them consistent information about your company. Instead, it seems that many companies are using automation to provide efficiency and use “knock out questions” that provide no value to the candidate and provide a very poor candidate experience, especially if the results of the answers provide what would be considered a negative outcome for the candidate. Considering that the vast majority of candidates who apply will not even get an interview, how you treat them is really important.
Tip by: Kevin Stakelum, Vice President, Talent Acquisition, CoStar Group, Inc.
21. Don’t Forget About State and Federal Regulations During the Recruitment Process
Don’t forget employment regulations by state and at the federal level. Specifically, for example, if you are in CA you can no longer ask about wage and criminal history on your employment application. Also, pay attention to potential applicants that may need accommodation. I recommend your employment application is very clear:
1) “have you read the essential function job descriptions?”
2) Please confirm you are able to perform the essential functions of the job with or without accommodations?”
3) “Please verify or show us how you would be able to perform the job functions with an accommodation?”
There is clearly more to this than the three primary questions, however, the key is to pay attention during the interview process, make sure the application has a full vision of what the job will entail so they can inform you if there may be a need for an accommodation. Making sure the applicant is fully aware of ALL the job requirements goes a long way in making sure it is a good fit for both parties.
Tip by: Beth De Lima, MBA, SPHR-CA, SHRM-SCP, Leave Management Solutions/HRM Consulting, HR / Vocational Consultant & Expert Witness, Specializing in Integrated Medical Leave and Accommodation Management
22. Every Candidate Is A Star
Try to treat each candidate as if they are your “star” candidate. This means, being intentional about inserting “real” not “automated” responses to most candidates. In this day in age “AI” and automation is the name of the game. With this, recruiters are moving the widgets behind the screen. The most successful organizations, recognize the need for deliberate human interaction. It is critical to engage candidates in a real way and keep them abreast of where they stand once they’ve made it past the interview phase- even if they’re the silver medalist!
Bottom line: The impression you give each candidate carries tremendous weight and could determine if your organization attracts and hires top tier candidates or not!
Tip by: Syrine A. Reese, Principal HR Consultant, Brainy HR Solutions, L.L.L.P.
23. Try to walk in their shoes
Treat people with respect, kindness and try to walk in their shoes. That will allow you to know and understand them better to see if they are the ones you are looking for the vacant position/s. If they don’t qualify at the moment, maybe in the future they will become part of your team, a client or even your boss. Create friendly relationships instead of enemies. After all, you are just trying your best to find who you believe have the required skills, but that doesn’t give you the right “to play God”.
Tip by: Cecilia Bonfanti, Educational Psychologist & Mentor, Philosophical Style, Inc
24. Invest in The Onboarding Process
Internal: Make sure current employees are aware of a new hire’s upcoming start date. This means the world to the new employee, and it engages current employees as “positive influencers.” Prepare an actual schedule with onboarding and orientation/social activities for the new hire’s first two days.
External: Provide as many of the required HR Documents as you can via email with the new hire, so that they are familiar with what is needed. Also, remind them of the IDs and other materials they need to bring for onboarding.
Tip by: Robert Greene, Associate Vice President, Information Systems of Maryland