Interviews are scary. They make you nervous, your mind goes blank when you’re asked a question, and afterwards you’re left with an agonising wait to find out if you’ve secured the position. But does it get any easier once you’re on the other side of the desk? As you progress through your career and start working in management, you’ll soon be conducting interviews yourself. Having a proper hiring process is the key to attracting and, most importantly, retaining high quality employees. Similarly, any mistake made whilst recruiting could potentially deter a candidate from working with you.
So where do you start? If you’re a first time hiring manager, or you’re looking to improve your current recruitment process, take a look at our 10 tips below.
1) Define and Describe
Firstly, you need to ensure you understand the role you are recruiting for, and the specific responsibilities of the position. What are the requirements? How will the role progress overtime? Once this is clearly defined you can then start creating your job description. The job description is the very first interaction a candidate has with your company, so its important to get it right. Make sure it reflects your brand and the expectations of the role. It is also your chance to give a prospective employee a feel for what life will be like working with you. Show your company values, explain what you need from them and what your business can provide in return.
2) Know What You Want
Before you begin looking through job applicants, have a clear idea of the ideal employee you are looking for. What skills and experience do you want them to have? What are your essential requirements? What are some desirable qualities that would make them stand out amongst the rest? Having a list of attributes set in your mind will help you pick out the best suited candidates to invite to interview.
3) Analyse Applicants
As your number of applications starts to increase, you will need to have a method that ensures they are processed and reviewed accurately. You can allocate other members of your team to look through applications and help narrow down your candidates. Or you can use software like an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) An ATS will help you organise and manage candidates throughout the whole hiring process. It will screen applications to find the best, most qualified candidates. It does this by looking for keyword matches in a CV, and will use other algorithms to analyse the applicants data against the requirements you need. A good ATS will also make the hiring process easier for the candidate, meaning they will have a more positive experience with your company. It will ensure the application process is simple and user friendly, and some even include automated emails that allow interviews to be set up.
4) Plan Your Process
Your interview process is entirely dependant on the position you are hiring for. Interviews for entry level roles will look very different compared to a candidate interviewing for a senior management position. Decide how you would like your interview process to pan out. For instance, how many rounds of interviews do you plan to have? Some employers will start with an initial phone interview, that can last between 10 and 30 minutes. It is a brief, but formal chat, to get to know the applicant and get a deeper understanding of their skills and experience. It should give you a sense of who the person is, and whether you want their application to progress further. For face-to-face interviews, decide who it is in your company the candidates will be meeting, and what in depth questions you would like to ask them.
We know that its important to have a good understanding of the skills, experience, and qualifications you are looking for in a candidate. The best way to find this out is to ask relevant questions that relate to the requirements of the job. Remind yourself of what qualities you need, and what qualities you would like, and use these to decide what questions you will ask the candidate. Questions that provide an understanding of an applicant’s experience, personality, and ambitions will all help you decide if they will be the right addition to your team.
6) Assess the Situation
Depending on the specifics of the role you are recruiting for, it can be a good idea to have candidates take part in assessments. This will give them an opportunity to prove they have the necessary skills required to carry out the job effectively. For instance, if the job involves accurate data entry, an employer might have a candidate carry out a typing test. Assessments will not always be applicable for every role – but they are a good way of narrowing down your pool of candidates.
7) Take the Time
An obvious, yet vital aspect of the hiring process is ensuring you have blocked out the time in your calendar for your potential interviews. Work with your HR team so the candidates can be informed of the times you are available, and they can book themselves in accordingly. Having these times set from the start means that you will not accidentally book in anything else for that day, and you will be best prepared for when your interview occurs.
8) Partner Up!
The hiring process can be a difficult one, and sometimes it might be more viable to work with an external recruitment team. Provide a job description and brief them on the sort of candidates you want. Then let them do the hard work for you!
9) Outcome and Updates
Regardless of the outcome, you want a candidate to come away with a positive view of your company and feel good about their experience. Try and follow up with them as quickly as possible, whether it’s the next step or a job offer. Informing a candidate promptly makes the whole experience less nerve wracking, as they’re not left waiting in the dark.
10) Get On Board
So, you have hired the perfect candidate. Yay! But you also want to ensure you retain them. Your employee onboarding process will be the first experience they have as an employee of your company, so try and make it as smooth as possible. Ensure that all necessary paperwork is sent over to the candidate in good time, and the entire process is as simple as possible. As well as this, try and personalise the experience for each candidate. Of course there will be aspects that are the same for all new starters – Health and Safety, IT Set Up, Company values etc. But including elements that are personalised based on the department the employee is joining will not only be more effective, but it will also help the candidate feel valued and supported.