Help Wanted: Two words no employer likes to say. Despite the need to fill a vacant spot, most employers dislike having to hire new employees. Reviewing resumes and conducting interviews takes time, and there’s always the risk of the new hire not working out.
The hiring process can be long and tedious. But if you do your homework, ask the right questions, and listen to feedback from your colleagues, you can streamline the hiring process.
Follow these four tips, and you’ll make it easier to find and select the right person for the job.
1. Do Your Homework
Review the candidate’s resume before every interview. You don’t need to know everything about them — that’s what the interview is for — but be sure you know enough to ask relevant questions when you meet with them.
Employers who don’t read resumes are doing a major disservice to themselves. They won’t be able to see if the candidate is telling the truth, and they might fail to unearth additional skills that could be helpful in special projects.
2. Ask Relevant Questions
Most companies follow a standard Q&A interview formula (e.g., what are your strengths, weaknesses, and where do you see yourself in five years?).
However, sometimes you’ll encounter an interviewer who asks inane, ineffective questions. Abstract and behavioral interview questions don’t show if a candidate can do the job. So why bother asking them?
Employers should avoid abstract questions, skip the interrogation, and ditch the script. Instead, stick with relevant questions, but approach the interview like a casual conversation in a local coffee shop. You’ll put the candidate at ease, and, in turn, get more information out of them.
3. Listen to Your Colleagues’ Feedback
When hiring someone new, consider involving your employees in the hiring process. Your team can serve as an invaluable sounding board.
You may like a candidate, but another member of your team might not. Listen to that team member, especially if they’ll be the one working with the new candidate. Their reasoning for not liking the person could be valid, and hiring that candidate could hurt your team’s dynamic moving forward.
By listening to your team, you’ll avoid hiring someone who would be a poor match.
4. Avoid Dragging the Process Out
It’s important not to settle on a mediocre candidate. So it’s understandable that for some positions you’ll need two or three rounds to vet candidates. But some companies drag out the process beyond a reasonable amount of time (e.g., three months or longer).
Avoid dragging out the hiring process for several reasons. Not only does it cost employers more money, it reduces productivity, too. Think about it: You spend money recruiting and lose working hours interviewing. But more importantly, as time goes on, you run the risk of losing qualified candidates.
Let’s say a candidate applies for a position with your company in September. Understandably, it might take you a month to get back to them and schedule an interview. By January, you’ve held four rounds of interviews with your candidates. Then the interview process halts until February, when you’re ready to make an offer.
You call the candidate, only to find out that in the interim, the candidate interviewed with a competitor and accepted their offer. This is a prime example of what happens when companies take too long; they run the risk of losing qualified candidates.
Eli Martin is Director of Sales at eZanga www.eZanga.com.