5 Tips for Great Hiring Practices
Change is Inevitable
If businesses want to survive, they have to adapt and change or they will not make it. This is especially true for the year 2020 with all that has been thrown at the business community. Although we all might be dealing with similar external factors, each business and individual are in widely different places and experiencing unique struggles.
People are Your Most Valuable Asset
You know what is the same, though? Good employees are always needed and are not going out of style any time soon! For individuals in the workplace, having good coworkers and colleagues can make a huge difference for the satisfaction you have with your job and for your ability to grow personally and professionally. For companies, good employees are needed to move the business forward. When organizations can hire the right people, at the right time, for the right position it can feel like all the stars are aligning. However, good employees don’t just fall out the sky. Businesses and leaders must be intentional from the beginning and I am going to share how you can do just that. These tips for great hiring practices will yield the right person for the position, a diverse and inclusive workforce, an impactful team, and a stellar work culture.
Tips for Great Hiring Practices
As I mentioned in the beginning, organizations have to be willing to be adaptable and this includes innovation. So much technology exists today that can really ease and improve your hiring practice. For example, test out using video for interviews which can be a great preliminary tool. Specific for today’s pandemic world, it helps meet health and safety recommendations, but it also saves time. Without a face to face interaction, a video can be used to assess a lot of things, like the competency-based questions of an interview process. It could also actually expose a more “raw” or unfiltered job applicant due to people feeling more comfortable and relaxed in their own home. You may even consider having candidates submit videos or voice recordings for a pre-interview step. When necessary technology like zoom, google meet or Skype can allow for the whole hiring and interview process to be electronic.
You can also use technology to support the full cycle hiring process, as well. From interviews, to remote team collaboration, keeping track of applicants, to having all the applicant’s information in the system ready for hiring and on-boarding.
Don’t be Afraid to Move on the Right Candidate
Before interviews even start, a hiring team needs to be organized to outline exactly what the job is, and what skills the person needs to have. A job description is essential for this. Make sure this job is actually filling the needs of the business and that you are interviewing the whole person not just their resume.
You should know when you have found the right person if you have done the hard work up front and your hiring team is all on the same page. And when you do, don’t wait to hire. I see a lot of leaders say “well this person was great but we want to see a few more options”. What happens more often then not, is that the first one was ‘THE’ one and the business ends up loosing that candidate and settles on a different candidate. If you thought they were amazing, someone else probably did too. When too much time has passed, businesses end up “just needing to fill the position”. Do not settle. Put in the work to determine exactly what you need. Move fast when you find it.
Add Variety to Your Search Parameters
I mentioned in the previous section, to make sure you are interviewing the whole person, not just the resume. This is a heavy statement and is harder than it sounds. To do this, leaders must look at their biases and make sure they do not get in the way of hiring! That starts with widening your normal search parameters for candidates. Most leaders, when looking to hire, will stick to what they know such as asking for referrals within their network, looking to friends or posting on their colleges career pages. There is nothing wrong with any of these tactics but you will most likely get a lot of very similar candidates.
Just as good hiring practices must be intentional, creating a diverse and inclusive workplace must be intention. That starts in the search phase of the hiring process. I encourage you to reach out to other avenues, such as local employment agencies, workforce organizations and nonprofits, community colleges and tech schools. Previously, these places may have been used to source blue-collar workers but that is not the case anymore. The ‘nontraditional’ workforce is growing and you can find star employees anywhere.
Set Expectation in the Interview
This is pretty self-explanatory. Again, this relates to interviewing the whole person not just the resume. Great, you found out their technical skills fit the job description but do their values match those of the company? Will they be an asset to the culture you are trying to build? Will they bring their best AND whole self to work? The interview should flesh out these questions along with expectation. Do not save setting expectations for the first day. If there are cultural expectations, scheduling expectations, or expectations around working remote address those and have the real conversation with the candidates. You are not doing yourself or the candidate any favors by putting off the inevitable. It is better to find out they are the wrong fit in the interview than in their first month of work.
Provide Ongoing Support and Communication
This is always important but it is extra important working through this pandemic. Once you’ve set clear expectations through the hiring process on what they can expect within the role, the culture, the work schedule and the workspace, it is time to constantly reiterate those as well as changes that will, as already mentioned, inevitably happen.
Building that personal connection and trust with new hires is critical to long term employee satisfaction and retention (another blog on this coming soon). Set the precedence to ask questions, whether that’s in person, via email or via zoom. If you are working remotely, it can be more important (and difficult) to provide the support and communication but it is worth it. An example of a nice personal touch during on-boarding would be, if you normally take employees out to lunch on their first day, try sending them a virtual gift card to their favorite restaurant. A little can go a long way.
The Time Spent on Developing Great Hiring Practices is Worth It!
Now that you have a few tips for great hiring practices, it is the time to focus on building, strengthen and/or selling your strong culture and brand. One thing the pandemic has done is put all companies on similar playing fields when it comes to hiring. Companies can’t flash fancy open offices, company parties, team beer fridges, or games of ping pong. Organizations have to rely on showing job applicants who they truly are as an organization through culture, communication and innovation! If you want more tips for great hiring practices or your organization could use support updating and reorganization of your hiring practices please reach out to us! We love to help grow and strengthen teams and business!