Expert Tips for Improving Your Hiring Process

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.

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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

Miri Gal

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

Gerry Crispin

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. Make Sure Everyone is Aligned

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.