6 hiring process steps to never skip over

By Robert Half 20 July 2018

Have you recently hired an employee who wasn’t the right fit for your business?

Has your job ad failed to attract the right type of candidate?

Have you lost a potential suitable candidate to your competition because your decision-making process took too long?

The above scenarios often occur because hiring process steps are being missed, or sometimes forgotten about, resulting in lost opportunities or unsuitable hires.

A key reason for hiring process steps being missed is ‘time’. When a job vacancy becomes available, it becomes a race against the clock to fill it as soon as possible. As a result, it can be tempting to rush straight into the hiring process with hastily written job descriptions and using a stock standard list of interview questions.

However, if you’re hoping to attract the very best talent, you’ll need to invest in proper preparation and planning, which means establishing a recruitment process that covers all the essential components.

Six important hiring process steps not to miss

Here are six crucial hiring process steps that your recruitment strategy should not overlook:

1. Write an effective job description

Before you start advertising for the job, writing an effective job description that accurately reflects the new position you’re recruiting for is a crucial step. This shouldn’t just be a few lines of text quickly pulled together.

It needs to be carefully crafted so that it captures exactly what skills are required, what responsibilities any employee will have in their role, and who they will report to. It should also provide valuable information about your business, whilst inspiring and exciting potential candidates about the prospect of working with your organisation.

2. Establish a hiring committee

Whilst you may be ultimately responsible for filling the vacancy, don’t feel that you need to carry out the whole hiring process completely by yourself.

Take the time to acquire input from various stakeholders in the business, such as individuals with a strong understanding of the role and those who will have close contact with the new hire. Together, set out what the “perfect” candidate looks like, to make your search more focused and effective.

3. Focus on employer branding

Many people make the mistake of believing that an interview is just about the candidate selling themselves. As your competitors are also likely to be looking for similar candidates as you, you need to be selling the benefits of working for your business to jobseekers.

Employer branding can help you sell your value proposition to employees, differentiate itself from competitors, and ultimately attract the best candidates.

4. Write relevant interview questions

Be honest. Do you have only one set of interview questions that you ask each candidate? To obtain the most out of interviews, make sure you tailor your questions to the job description.

Don’t forget to ask the hiring committee for their input and suggestions too. It’s important to ask a mix of questions. Ask competency-based questions that can check a candidate has the skills highlighted on the job description. Ask questions that are designed to look at their compatibility with the company culture. Try to understand their goals, to establish whether they align with the company objectives.

5. Perfect your shortlisting process

Ensuring you have a shortlist process is a step often glazed over, and can result a lengthy recruitment process of debates.

Shortlist candidates as soon as possible after the interviews, so everything is still fresh in your mind. Again, don’t feel like you must do this all on your own. Ask your hiring committee to come together to discuss and narrow down your list of candidates, using the criteria set out previously for the “perfect” candidate. It can be useful to discuss each candidate with others, as everyone will have a range of different views and may have picked up on things you didn’t.

6. Don’t skip reference checking

Whilst you might be tight on time or think you know everything you need to about a candidate, don’t bypass reference checking. It’s essential to check a candidate’s background, to make sure they are everything they claim to be.

A lot of time, money and resources have been invested in the hiring process up to this point. Following through by checking references can help you to avoid a very costly mistake by hiring the wrong person. Asking a reference to confirm basic details isn’t enough though. Put some thought into the reference checking questions you ask, to ensure you gather as much detail on the candidate as possible, to really determine whether they are the right fit for your business.

By being prepared and ensuring you follow these key hiring process steps, you can establish a successful recruitment process that secures the very best talent for your business.

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