Several Ways to Improve Your Hiring Process

Several Ways to Improve Your Hiring Process

One of the most important ongoing tasks you’ll have as a business leader is hiring. It’s not easy, though; it’s a time-consuming process with monetary and reputational consequences if you make a bad hire.

Taking the time to find the right person — someone who is not just technically capable but also a good fit for the company — is important. Companies that are successful in hiring have a process that includes attracting high-quality candidates, evaluating them in several different areas, and taking the time to get to know the people in different ways. Here are nine tips to build and improve your own hiring process.

Write better job descriptions.

If you’re not careful, the way your job posting is written can deter great candidates from applying. Many companies write detailed descriptions with long lists of responsibilities and requirements, but a study by researchers in the United States and Canada found that this can actually alienate qualified employees, the Wall Street Journal reported.

In the study, researchers rewrote 56 job ads to emphasize two different approaches: the “Needs-Supplies” approach, which focuses on what the company can do for the candidate, and the “Demands-Abilities” approach, which focuses on what the company expects from the candidate. Of the 991 responses, applicants who responded to “Needs-Supplies” job listings were rated higher than those who responded to the “Demands-Abilities” ads. The more successful postings included statements such as “We seek to provide employees with constructive feedback to foster their career growth,” and “You will have many opportunities to collaborate with talented people.” The takeaway? Put more of the focus on what your company can do for potential employees, and you’ll attract candidates who better fit your needs.

Embrace digital trends and social media.

Most people want to work for companies that keep up with the latest tech trends. A survey by MIT and Deloitte found that the vast majority of respondents, ages 22 to 60, want to work for digitally enabled organizations, which means businesses will have to stay ahead of the curve in order to retain employees and attract new ones.

Another good way to embrace the digital side is to make sure your career site is mobile-friendly. According to a 2015 Pew Research survey, nearly 30 percent of American adults have used their smartphone in some way for their job search, including browsing job listings (94 percent of smartphone job seekers), filling out online job applications (50 percent) and creating a resume or cover letter (23 percent).

Focus on soft skills.

Although the right skill set may seem like the most important factor in whether a candidate is a good fit for a particular role, the truth is that skills can be acquired, but personalities cannot.

“Social intelligence — being able to navigate social situations and work well with others — is very important,” said Maynard -, a San Francisco-based psychologist and founding principal of consulting firm Working Resources.

“Don’t become pigeonholed into thinking the person with the exact necessary experience is the right person for the role,” added Tom Gimbel, CEO and founder of staffing and recruiting firm LaSalle Network. “Consider soft skills — like interpersonal skills, communication skills, thought processes and emotional intelligence — because they matter.”

Check social media profiles.

Like most employers, you’ll probably do a background check (or at least a quick Google search on the candidate’s name) to see what comes up about that person online. But if you’re not looking through the candidate’s social media profiles, you could be missing a key way to find out more about the individual as a person and an employee — for better or for worse.

While it’s legally risky to allow a candidate’s social media activity to factor into your hiring decisions, it can give you a better picture of someone you’re interested in hiring. In another Business News Daily article, Aliah Wright, a manager with the Society For Human Resource Management, said that social media can be used as a skills assessment, especially if a candidate has professional blog posts or portfolio work.

Ask the right kinds of questions.

You can’t come right out and ask someone if they’re a jerk, but you can ask questions that will help you figure it out on your own. “If you ask someone why they left their last job and they blame someone else, it’s important to follow up with another question,” said Paul Harvey, a professor of management at the University of New Hampshire. “If they continue to blame external forces for their problems, you may want to look for another employee.”

So what are some other great questions to ask? John Schwarz, CEO and founder of workforce analytics company Visier, said answers to questions such as, “Who are you going to be 10 years from today?” and “What makes you get up in the morning and do what you do?” can tell you a lot about a candidate’s drive and ambition.

 

Let candidates interview you, too.

Allowing prospective employees to interview you will give you a chance to see what’s important to them, Brusman said. Plus, it will give candidates a chance to determine that they want to keep pursuing a job at your company, or to decide that it’s not the right fit for them.

 

“Be open and honest about what it’s going to be like to work for your company,” Brusman said. “You want to give a realistic preview of the work environment.”