Let’s face it, being trained on how to interview well is something too few companies invest in. Then extend your thinking to recognise that interviewing is only one part of a large process where the quality of each step affects the success of the next. Hiring is a big job that is time intensive. Considering that most companies expect managers from low to mid and senior level to orchestrate their own selection processes while also doing their day job it shouldn’t come as a surprise that companies fail more often than they would like when running successful recruitment processes.
It’s a wide topic, but here are some questions you should ask yourself if you are in a position where you’re expected to lead hiring without much support:
- Do you have a real job description? Having a clear statement about what the job is all about is essential to a solid start. Most important of all, making this document forces you to really understand the job. If you don’t understand exactly what you want, don’t harbour expectations that you’re likely to find it.
- Have you set a timescale for the selection processes. Do you book dates for first, second and final interviews and make sure that you invite any other people who you’ll need for the interviews.
- Do you push yourself to identify the right candidates for the role, or just depend on posting a job advert and see who applies? You might get someone who is perfect this way. Sadly it is also more likely that you’ll end up selecting the candidate who you feel is best from who applied, not the best guy in the market.
- Have you crafted an employee value proposition or “pitch” that will seduce the active and passive candidates that you speak to? If you are able to attract ideal candidates who are not currently seeking a new role, then you’ll need a succinct script to engage them with that draws them towards the potential of considering a move.
- Are you in a position to extend an offer on the evening of the final interviews? This is a powerful way to close the best candidate and the one you want to bring in.
I would offer a huge health warning to you about two things that erode a candidates experience of a recruitment process, and these things potentially affect your brand reputation as well.
- bringing candidates in for more and more and more interviews. Dragging a process out and creating endless meetings creates the impression that you don’t really know what you want, that you’re not strong enough to make the decision, or the candiate starts to doubt them self.
- Not extending a specific offer once you’ve told a candidate that you want them to join. A “yes” moment creates an amazing emotional cushion with a candidate. Resting the offer on that cushion as quickly as possible dramatically enhances the likelihood that the candidate will accept. Leaving the cushion empty creates a similar feeling to waiting for days after your birthday for your present. Even when you get it, the magic isn’t there anymore.
Avoid the two things above as much as you can and totally if at all possible. No matter how much you have invested in all the other stages of the process, if you get to a point where you feel like you might have found your person, care deeply for "bringing them in". Be deeply empathetic and impart the feeling that you want them. Candidates will remember how you made them feel long after they forget anything you said to them.
RedHolt offer a service comprehensive enough to cover all of these nuances and many more for our clients. It is very very rare to find a hiring manager who has the expertise or even time to take care of an entire process, particularly hiring managers at mid to senior levels. Indeed, one has to ask whether it is the most effective use of time for mid to senior level leaders to have to own entire processes.
If you have to run your own processes, then we hope this check point helps structure your thoughts about what good hiring is all about.