Hiring people is a complex endeavour. Here are some simple suggestions and alternative structures to shake things up in your hiring department. Try something new and your next hire might turn out to be someone you might’ve not expected or first anticipated. Read our tips and tricks for the process below; afterwards you can read this article if you can’t quite figure out who to choose when it comes to deciding.
Go slow and follow a fixed interviewing structure
Take your time finding the right person for the job. The extra wait will save you valuable time in the long run. You might even begin looking for new hires before you really need the employee. Keep looking for people on a continuous basis so you have at least an idea of a good fit when you actually need to fill a position.
“Never make a compromise hire. You are better off waiting to get the right person than settling for a less than ideal candidate.” (www.entrepreneur.com).
Let’s face it: We all are just people. And people have a tendency to like some people more than others and to judge certain behaviors. An interviewer might have a tendency to steer the conversation in one direction, which can result in the candidate being evaluated in a different way than other candidates. In order to avoid the potential bias of having a single interviewer, it is beneficial to follow a structured interview process. By having fixed questions and including an independent committee that reviews the answers, this bias might be reduced. You could also have a pre-screening over the phone before the actual interview. This could potentially save you a lot of time spent by discovering that some people are not really motivated or equipped for the job very early on in the process. Some really good interviewers might also be able to detect if the person fits the company culture by just talking to them over the phone.
Get employees involved
- Ask them if they know someone
- Let them have a say in the process
This point relates to the above in some way. By involving the employees in the process of hiring and letting them have a say, you ensure a more objective ground of evaluation, as well as increasing the chances of the candidate being aligned with the current company culture. Another way to involve the employees is to have them recommend people in their network who might be good for the job.
“Good people know good people.” (LaRosa’s, Inc., www.forbes.com).
Put them to the test
Most of the time, you require the potential hire to have a certain skill set and it can be hard to see if they can actually do it all. Also, the level of experience in a given program or competence might be misleading since a newcomer might be a natural and an experienced professional might be inadequate. Sometimes you shouldn’t trust what they say or put down in their CV. See if they can do it and see how they do it: put them to the test. There are many ways to go about this. Some give potential hires a task or problem to do at home or some make them go through the process at the interview. What you chose to do is probably dependent on the nature of the task. Be observant about the questions they ask, how they prioritize and how they think in general. These are valuable insights that might not have been discovered in a normal interview process.
Have them talk 90% of the time
During the interview, try having the interviewee talk most of the time. Of course you should introduce them to the company and talk about the job, but ideally this is a conversation where the candidate talks a lot. In this way, the employee will show you what they are curious about, how they would go about different problems and what they can bring to the table. If you dominate the conversation, you might have already answered a lot of the questions the candidate has and afterwards it will seem to you that they have nothing prepared. This is of course a balance, and a fluid conversation is best.
Ask them out to dinner
This point might seem a bit too much, but hear me out. Just as the two points above, the idea is to get to know your employee better. Talk about random things or personal interests. You want to know if they fit into the company culture and this is a good way to find out. If the budget doesn’t allow for a dinner, just invite them to a simple lunch or something. The main point is to get them in a different mindset than the usual interview setting allows for.