You’ve got the title, or you own the company. One would think that proper interview techniques are secretly given with the job title. The fact is that MOST people who do interviewing, are neither thoroughly trained to do so, nor have taken the time in their new role to learn. Much of that deficit has to do with the organization for which they work (or recruit for) NOT having a hiring system in place.
The real killer is that a good, systematic hiring process takes much less time to build than a bad hire takes to undo. And in most cases, taking the time to create a great system WILL have a noticeable positive impact on productivity and therefore profitability.
Here are the simple, yet critical components you should address to create a GREAT hiring system:
1) Define the GOAL(s) of the position. And in doing so, that may in fact tweak or change the “duties” of the position. What outcome do you expect or demand of the function? In what timeframe? Without this you cannot effectively define the profile of the person to be hired. Do you want the function to simply maintain or to totally change/ enhance the outcome of what that function is involved in? Really? What are you trying to achieve by hiring a person?
2) Thoroughly understand ALL the necessary activities of all jobs. Too often, job descriptions sound as though they are 30,000-foot descriptions of a position a College Student would write, never having worked before. All theory, all buzzwords. Write down all the activities in real-world language. From that description, and from your definition of what GOALS this function will have, you can then effectively move to the next step:
3) Define the necessary and preferred SKILLS, TALENTS and ABILITIES the person should have…to accomplish your goals. Too often an organization will define that (profile) by re-stating the job description in “people terms”: Like this: “The appropriate person for this position will have 10 years of progressive experience in (insert the job description or job title), and be able to contribute to a growing and stable organization.” In other words, ‘we don’t know what we are really looking for, but we’ll figure it out on the way’. It is CRITICAL that you look UNDER a resume, UNDER titles, UNDER the surface and look for the actual skills TO DO something (X). ANY teenager can match words on a resume to words on a job description, but finding skills and talents is for the pros.
4) Look inside YOUR organization for examples. What are the skills, talents and abilities your BEST people have? Especially if the position(s) you are trying to fill are multiples of those you already have. Where did these people gain their skills (not resume words, actual skills and traits)? Are the skills and talents that great people have on your staff duplicatable, at today’s market and today’s dollars? If what you need (as thoroughly defined by your team) is NOT on staff, then you will need to define where and how those skills could have been acquired. (Most organizations don’t even get this far).
5) Define WHY the person you seek will want you. Forget that you think it is an “employer’s market”, it never really is for great people. What REAL attractors do your POSITION and COMPANY have as an OPPORTUNITY for a person who will be expected to achieve results really have? REALLY. Don’t define it a “a great opportunity for an experienced X to do good work and grow with a good company”. Any company and every company say that. Know what will really attract a good person who has the experience and qualifications you seek.
6) Know how to BRAND your employment opportunities where that “Image” will coincide with the overall brand of your company. Remember that you may only be looking to hire a single person today, but may need to hire more good people later. If you present an image of your company today in the job marketplace that is not attractive, others will see it and be influenced by it for the future. Know that your Brand is also how you conduct your search. If you don’t respond to applications, or you do respond in a non-attractive manner, you will be hurting your brand. Really fast growth companies are criminal about this. Their EGO gets in their way and they are BRUTAL to applicants. It will catch up with them.
7) PREPARE your campaign. Know where you are going, how and why. Know what you are seeking and who is involved. Know how to get information and how to give information (to candidates, to sources). Make sure anyone involved is on the same page of what is being sought. If you are going to do this yourself (to save a recruiter’s fee), be absolutely certain you have a plan. Hiring “second best” now to save a few bucks could turn into a deficit later. Select a recruiter who asks a LOT of questions. Ones who do not are simply commodity-brokers who will take what they have and shove it at you.
8) ONBOARDING. If you do not know what this means, don’t begin your campaign to hire. Onboarding is a systematic way (beginning at the first conversation) to get a new hire productive quickly and effectively. If you do NOT do this, you will reduce the effectiveness of a great hire to almost zero.
The system described above is just a part of what Great Workplaces use to find, attract and retain the best talent available. The system you should have in place will go beyond these basics and should be a major component of your entire collaborative culture. See the components of what makes up The Great Workplace 2.0 to learn more.