Hiring: “More Than a Feeling”
by Ken Schmitt and Vicky Willenberg
“You are going to make an excellent addition to our team. I can just feel it.”
If only it were that simple…
Realistically, there is a bit more science behind the process of quality, successful hiring. It’s no secret that the wrong hire is expensive. We’ve all read that replacing a poor hire within the first six months is estimated to cost 2.5 times the candidate’s salary. Keep them on board beyond six months, and the cost grows exponentially. There a number of reasons why employers do not hire or retain the best candidates for a role. Using Big Data and analytics can improve your hiring process and debunk the idea that hiring from the gut is a successful strategy.
4 WAYS TO ENSURE YOUR HIRE IS “MORE THAN A FEELING”
Get all the key players on the same page before you even post the job
The ultimate question is this: Do the key stakeholders have similar views and expectations for the position they are looking to fill? You’d be surprised how many of them actually have competing agendas. Sometimes unknowingly (other times with full knowledge) serving their own team’s needs, without taking into account the needs of other departments and the new hire’s impact on the organization as a whole. This makes the hiring process infinitely more difficult and sets up new hires to fail. It is essential that a hiring committee of key stakeholders come to a consensus regarding the core capabilities and expectations a candidate must meet long before a job is posted. Makes sense, right? You can’t get what you want if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for.
Build a solid Screening & Assessment process
The most commonly used screening and assessment procedures include reviewing a resume, investigating a potential candidate through social media, and checking out references. Ideally, using all 3 spokes of the hiring wheel will allow a hiring manager to draw an accurate and thorough picture of the candidate… That is only possible if the steps are used correctly. It’s no surprise to learn that statistics show 30-50% of candidates lie on their resume which is why the other two spokes of the hiring wheel are so critical. And let’s not forget, that an excellent way to screen candidates during the resume process is to avoid “fill in the blank” applications. Providing a business challenge in the initial job posting will help identify who is willing to do the work to get the job and weed out candidates that are not aligned with your company’s philosophy. Researching a candidate’s experience and reputation online can be tricky. While there are few regulations, there are many repercussions when done incorrectly. Your company should establish policies and procedures regarding the use of social media in the hiring process, incorporating the help of Human Resources as well as Legal Counsel. The third spoke is the use of references. Calling the first 3 people listed on the resume is not an effective or reliable way to conduct a reference check. If you want to hire top-notch candidates, you are going to have to do the work. Leveraging your network, engaging with the reference, avoid open-ended interview questions, and when appropriate, calling a reference NOT included on the resume are all great ways to make the reference process successful.
Develop a consistent, sound, and reality-based interview process
By the time a candidate is brought in for an interview, you should be well-versed in the basics. Discussing past job experiences, asking open-ended questions about strengths and weaknesses, and finding out where a candidate wants to be in five years is a waste of everyone’s time. If you followed step one above, there should be a clear description of desired capabilities and expectations for the role. If you’ve taken our advice and implemented a real-world business challenge in the application process you should have a solid framework to further explore problem-solving and leadership style. In addition, the interview should revolve around discussions that will demonstrate these skills and expand on previous, relatable experiences that will ensure they possess those capabilities and are able to meet expectations. Reality-based interviews provide candidates with the opportunity to show how he would best solve real-life problems that role has encountered.
Follow Google’s lead
Simple, yet profoundly impactful. That is the best way to describe Google’s new onboarding practice which has increased a new hire’s ability to get up to speed by 25%. And all it took was implementing a “Just-in-time Checklist” alert for managers to peruse the day before a new hire begins. The message simply includes the “5 small tasks that have proven to have the highest impact on the productivity of a new hire.” These tasks include:
- Have a role and responsibilities discussion.
- Match your new hire with a peer buddy.
- Help your new hire build a social network.
- Set up onboarding check-ins once a month for your new hire’s first six months.
- Encourage open dialogue.
Technically, we promised you 4 ways to ensure your hire was more than a feeling. But I would be remiss to leave out a fifth and, in our opinion, extremely important strategy for hiring the best candidates.
*Bonus: Hire a recruiter
We are not just saying this because we are a recruiting firm. The simple truth is, a recruiter should be an expert in all things hiring. From developing a high impact job description and managing the screening and assessment processes to coming alongside employers during the interview and onboarding process, a good recruiter can fill the candidate pool by identifying, screening, and evaluating passive and active candidates, and help companies navigate the sometimes tricky hiring waters. Following her advice and recommendations will increase the likelihood that your new hire will be the best candidate for the job, as well as help you retain that candidate. (Our 91% retention rate proves it.)
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