If the thought of starting a new hiring process brings you out in a cold sweat, then chances are there are things you need to change. It has been suggested that managers should treat the hiring process ‘as the most important strategic planning your company needs.’ Every new hire will either improve or negatively impact the company, so you should always be looking for candidates with the skills, experience and personality to improve your team or company success.
This may seem easier said than done, so if you’re tired of traditional recruitment processes, or you’re not getting the results you want, there are loads of new ways to reinvigorate recruitment. Here we've picked our top three.
There are so many benefits to reviewing how you’re presenting jobs at your company, but it’s often overlooked as a non-essential part of a hiring strategy.
Research reported by the Wall Street Journal has shown that descriptions with long lists of responsibilities and requirements can actually alienate qualified candidates. It found that by writing job descriptions focusing on what your company can do for potential candidates attracts people who are a better fit to your needs.
Using brief, vague job descriptions can also inhibit your ability to attract the right candidates. By clearly defining the role requirements, including: skills, attitude, experience and knowledge that is required for someone to be successful you have a better chance of receiving the right applications. You also have a great roadmap for completing the interview process.
Remember, you’re not just hiring people on the basis of their experience and skills. The person you’re hiring needs to have a positive relationship with your company and other team members. Ask yourself: “What sort of person would fit best? What do we want/need this person to be like? What benefits do we want them to bring to the table? What personal characteristics would help them fit in smoothly and make a measurable difference?”
From this more colourful, creative and interactive framework, you can draw up a meaningful job description and personal profile that is more fluid and goals-orientated. Princeton psychologists Susan Fiske and her colleagues have extensively researched and proven that the two linchpins of social interaction – especially in the business setting – are competence and warmth. If your job description and the rest of your hiring process only focuses on skills and experience, it’s time to freshen it up.
A really exciting way to reinvigorate your hiring strategy is to add some creative recruiting into the mix! This is all about attracting and keeping candidates in the pipeline by using attention grabbing and interactive recruitment tactics. We’ve condensed some good ideas for you here which have been used successfully in the market by companies such as Google, Volkswagen and Amazon.
Instead of a simple written job description, how about creating a job podcast showcasing your company, the team and the interviewers. This is a fantastic way of making your job stand out from the crowd!
Adding elements of a game to social media marketing to show potential employees what it’s like to work at your company, a typical day or to showcase your company profile. Marriot Hotels did this to great success
Using puzzles in the hiring process can make testing a candidate’s abilities far more appealing, interactive and dynamic. You are still able to gather valuable information about their profile, but also test their creativity and ability to think outside the box.
Allowing candidates to apply via video or podcast can show you a number of very important attributes usually uncovered much later in the interview process. Communication skills, creative flair, relationship and rapport building and enthusiasm are just a few areas which you can gauge by using this technique.
Interviews happen every day in every company, but do you have a strategy in place behind them. Are you able to ensure that you’re measuring and uncovering enough information about a candidate to make an informed offer?
A study by Leadership IQ, found that 46% of newly hired employees fail within 18 months, and this is often due to flawed interview processes. Interview processes tend to focus on technical competence, but fail to take into account other important factors to success such as emotional intelligence, temperament and motivation.
Hands up if you have ever recruited someone who looked great on paper, and even interviewed well, but who turned out to be a square peg in a round hole? Having a resume with impressive milestones is not the same as being able to bend, adapt and apply what they have learnt to YOUR business operations.
It is vital to develop hiring processes that draw out the personal qualities, points of view and authentic experiences of applicants. It’s great they have impeccable credentials, but how flexible and adaptable are they? Are they hungry for success in all they do, or just massively ambitious for their own career? They may have experience and skills, but can they pass that on and translate it into co-working and mentoring of subordinates?
You may well have a series of questions and measurements you formulate to create a “level playing field” for the hiring process. Particularly during an interview, you need to let candidates dictate some of the direction and discussion points. The interview room is your primary opportunity to have a strong exchange of ideas. And you shouldn’t hesitate to get people back for a second interview if there is more than one candidate showing the level of competence and warmth you are aiming for.
You should also be ready to put candidates under pressure and test their ability to think on their feet. When they join your team, you don’t just want it to be all smiles and high fives on the good days, you want someone who can cope when it’s tough going. Be creative – and even a touch cynical - in asking probing questions to look behind their claims and off-pat answers. Incidentally, getting creative in interviews doesn’t mean off the wall and slightly daft questions.
Forget those “If you were a food/fish/animal what would it be and why?” questions. Give them real life challenges: “A client sends back 20 cases of perfect product and refuses to pay as he says they’re faulty. What would you do?” and “Who have you clashed with at your current post and why?” Set tests, use role play, illicit anecdotes from their career to date; creatively challenge them to shred their pre-rehearsed scripts.
One of the best ways to get to the honest answers in a creative way is to include others in the hiring process, especially employees who could one day be their subordinates. Let them develop their own set of questions and get their perceptive on best fit. Additional perspectives greatly improve the chances of hiring the best candidate.
In the end, hiring a new person into your business is a serious undertaking, and with some formalised processes in place you can make this process faster, and more efficient. Don’t forget your goal, and also making it fun! Make your hiring process an exciting step forwards in your commercial evolution.
Managing Director of Endorsed Direct Hiring. Larissa has worked in the technology and recruitment sector for over 10 years and knows just about everything there is to know about what it takes to hire great people.