It can be a very costly process to go through recruiting, background checking, and interviewing to find just the right employee for your company. Because of all that expense, you certainly don’t want to get it wrong, and have to repeat the process (and the cost) a second or third time. That makes it essential that you have a sound plan in mind before you even begin the search for your next employee. Here are some steps which should be on your hiring plan, so you can maximize your chances of finding the right person.
Develop a job profile
Your recruiting strategy should begin with a job analysis that clearly delineates all the responsibilities your new hire will need to have. Once you have this defined, the departmental leaders who will be working with the new person should be brought together to get their input on which skills, qualities, and experience level candidates should possess.
Decide on candidate sources
Where will you look for qualified candidates? If you’re hiring from within, the job profile developed in the first step can serve as the description disseminated throughout the organization to attract candidates. If company employees lack the skill sets necessary for the successful candidate, you’ll have to decide on which outside sources to use. You may want to post the job description in local classified listings, online job boards, or other media outlets. If you have successfully worked with recruiting companies in the past, you may opt to leave all the legwork to them, and just pay a fee for the service.
Screen applicants purposefully
What is meant by the word ‘purposefully’ is that applicants’ resumes should be reviewed in a comparative manner, using the job profile you already developed. One common mistake in this process is favoring a candidate who seems to have a very strong resume, with a great academic background and strong work experience – but who lacks many of the skills your department heads are looking for. Check off each applicant’s skills against the job description, and when there isn’t a solid match, set the resume aside. This is also a good way to find out if their salary requirements mesh with what you are offering.
Use interview questions to weed out poor fits
Interviews should be much more than feel-good greeting sessions, and if used effectively, they can actually weed out the pretenders from the contenders. Ask questions about candidates’ leadership qualities, their ability to work on a team, their communication skills, problem-solving skills, decision-making skills, and even questions about their motivation.
Don’t ignore background checks and references
A resume can look perfect, and an interview might be very impressive, but it can also be very valuable to know about a candidate’s work history from previous employers, and what former colleagues thought about him/her. Some of these may be just friends doing a favor, but after sifting through it all, you should be able to form a fairly accurate opinion about your candidate. And without a doubt, don’t gloss over the background check – it might help you avoid some unpleasant situations later on.