With economic pressures tightening and competition becoming stiffer, an increasing number of organizations are realizing that the core strength of a company lies in its people. Companies are therefore strategizing to hire smart, to ensure that they have the assets needed to survive and succeed. But at the same time, many are looking to cut down on the time and resources consumed in the hiring process, while optimizing results.
The traditional hiring process takes about two months and costs 10-15% of an employee’s annual salary; this definitely affects a company’s budget. That’s why companies can benefit from creating an ideal hiring process that lowers the time and cost of recruitment, while at the same time helps them hire the best-fitting candidates who will boost their productivity and profits.
Here are some strategic steps companies should take to find the best people for their company in the shortest time.
As a first step to successful hiring, you must be very clear in your mind about what the job actually comprises. And then, with the same vividness, you need to put across that description to prospective candidates.
A robust job description should not only define the role and its responsibilities in detail, but also present the big picture on how the position contributes to the company’s long-term objectives; a value-adding role is sure to attract good talent. It’s also important to include the opportunities, challenges, and career growth potential the job entails.
You should also describe the ideal person you’re looking to recruit. Put in the necessary and also the preferred traits. It’s helpful to let applicants know about your workplace culture in the description as well.
An employee application form, or even the information sought during a face-to-face interview, should comply with the employment laws of your state. For example, discrimination based on race, age, or religion is illegal, and any questions pertaining to these should be avoided at all times. You must come across as an unbiased, equal-opportunity employer.
There are also laws about background checks. In order to execute them legally, you need to have the approval of the candidate first. And all background checks should be in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Consulting a lawyer or in-house legal advisor from time to time will help ensure that your recruitment process keeps in line with changing legal mores.
All of your interviews and written tests should be as precise as possible. Try to avoid going into unnecessary details, asking irrelevant questions, and being redundant. A straight-forward selection procedure that aims at getting the information required to determine the candidate’s suitability to the role is what you should be striving for.
Also, if the job requires specific skills, it is essential that you include a technical proficiency test. Again, the test should cover only those areas the job role demands. Use this assessment as a basis for judging the person’s strengths and weaknesses. But although test results are very helpful in determining a candidate’s potential, they should not be used as the sole basis of selection. You can always train someone to fill in the gaps in technical expertise, but integrity and diligence are traits worth holding out for.
Following an interview, do take a few minutes to write to the candidates who made the effort to meet with you. A formal letter or email of thanks goes a long way toward creating a positive impression of your company. It’s also a good practice to give people feedback after the interview and let the applicants know a tentative time frame within which you’ll be making a decision.
Once you’ve made the big decision to hire someone, the next step is to acquaint the person with your company policies and the term of probation that he/she will be on. You should always have well-defined policies on probation periods, employee benefits, etc., and make sure to communicate this information to the candidate very clearly and preferably in writing.
A third party’s opinion can be very helpful when it comes to hiring. These people are HR experts, and based on the information you provide them, they should be able to give you an informed opinion about who the most suitable candidate(s) would be. Use their insights, coupled with your own instincts, to make the best decision for your organization.
I’m not sure whether all HRs do this, but for me it’s a must to prepare a job specification before starting the whole recruitment process. Otherwise small details which really matter can be left undiscovered.
I really like the idea of offering a candidate to take a technical proficiency test, because at the end of the day job-specific education does not necessarily cover all the required knowledge for a certain position. This actually has become an unwritten law for me – rarely any interview I conduct goes without that kind of testing.
Personally I see no necessity in testing technical knowledge, because as it was mentioned in the article above you can fill all the gaps with special training. The most important thing for me is to make sure that a candidate’s profile coincides with company’s views on development, company’s culture and morale.
Post–interview steps have been mentioned here, but what about pre-interview steps? It’s not less important to decide where and how you are going to advertise an open position in order to get the brightest candidates.