Expert Tips for Seamless Hiring
With a competitive job market, the application and interview process is part of your employer brand and reputation that can make or break a decision. Mastering the process and creating a slick journey for candidates puts you one step ahead of your competition.
By taking each of the application and screening, interviews and offer stages and examining how you currently do it and what you should be doing, you’re able to improve your overall process. Creating a recruitment function that operates seamlessly and with the best intentions of the company and the candidate in mind.
We’ve started the work for you and highlighted our key pointers for each area.
Applications and screening
Before you even start advertising the job there’s one task that’s crucial to the process’ success. That is a comprehensive schedule. Be clear about when the job is going out to advert, for how long, how long is there for sifting through CVs, when screening calls will take place and so on.
Blocking out time in the relevant people’s diaries and having a timetable to refer back to can keep everyone focused on the outcome and avoid wasted time.
Job adverts and descriptions
Make sure your job advert and the job roles uses inclusive language that doesn’t directly pertain to one gender. This will help encourage applications from a more diverse pool of applicants.
It’s also worth investigating blind CV applications if you don’t already use them. This type of software removes dates, names and other identifying information to help alleviate bias from the selection process.
There’s nothing worse for a candidate than an unexpected screening call. Just because it fits into your schedule, doesn’t mean it fits into theirs. If screening calls are part of your process be sure to give candidates notice and arrange a time in advance. Then use standardized questions so you can fairly benchmark across all candidates. Follow up in a timely manner whether it’s positive or negative news. They’ve given you their time so should be updated either way.
To be truly effective some of this work should happen before the role goes out to advert. You need to determine:
● How many interviews are needed?
● Who’s going to be there?
● How diverse is the panel?
● Are they in-person or remote?
● Will they be held on the same day or across different time slots?
● Will there be a test? Does there need to be one?
● If you’re using tests, what is it? How does it need to be administered? Where will it be?
In truth, the key to mastering a successful interview process is in the preparation. There shouldn’t be anything left until the last minute. That way you can effectively communicate the plan to candidates - presenting a more professional image of the business. You can also manage the process more effectively internally.
While the questions might come from the hiring manager, it’s important to have oversight of them to ensure they’re all competency based and there can be a standard scoring matrix for the answers. Creating a strong, replicable process again helps to alleviate bias and provides an easy feedback method for candidates.
This is the stage where regular communication with candidates is key. Both to ensure candidates show up for their interviews but also to keep them engaged while they await the result.
Too often candidates go for an interview and then there’s radio silence. If they’re interviewing for more than one role and they hear back from the other, guess which one they’ll choose? Keeping in touch, even if it’s to say there’s no news, shows they haven’t been forgotten and keeps them engaged.
Being able to refer to the original schedule and prompt decision makers will help to keep the process moving. Even if that decision is there were no suitable candidates and you need to go back out to advert.
Once you’ve delivered the final verdict to the candidate, whether positive or negative, this is also a good opportunity to ask for any feedback on the application and interview process. Getting into the habit of asking for feedback allows you to identify any areas of weakness and you can take steps to address those.
Better interviews lead to better hires. But the only way to create a better interview process is to look at it objectively from start to finish, seeking feedback from those involved and to create a standardised process.
By taking each milestone in the process and looking at what can be improved, tweaked or changed allows you to take control of the process. Creating a system that works internally but also wows your candidates.