The 5-step formula for hiring like a pro
This article was published as part of the Denver Business Journal Leadership Trust, an invitation-only network of influential business leaders, experts, executives and entrepreneurs.
As an entrepreneur or small business owner, hiring team members isn’t a daily exercise — you probably have only a handful of positions you hire for during any given year, and thinking about hiring isn’t your favorite activity. Large corporations have teams of talent professionals who create a sort of “hiring factory,” which helps them move people through the interview and selection process seemingly without much effort.
But hiring doesn’t have to be a task you dread because it’s so much effort. You too can hire like a pro with a few disciplined steps.
1. Get the upfront stuff done first.
Take time to think about the skills, experience, education and character traits you need in the position and write these components down. Draft a brief paragraph that details these items in an easy-to-read “jobvertisement” for display on your website, LinkedIn, social media and professional association sites where candidates with the desired education and experience will see it.
2. Ask yourself: Who are you trying to hire?
Document the ideal profile of the person you are after. Develop a list of desired universities or programs, companies, job titles, key technical terms — anything that will help you (or someone you delegate) review and prioritize applicants as their applications are received. This will keep you focused on ideal profiles so you don’t get knocked off course by becoming enamored with the resume of someone who really isn’t qualified.
3. Document the selection process.
Define each step of the evaluation, interview and selection process, using questions like the following:
Will you be doing any technical assessments? (If so, get those in place early.) What does your screening interview look like? How long is it? What questions will you ask? Who will be involved in the second stage? What is the format (video or onsite)? What are the competencies you will be evaluating? What questions will you ask to assess culture or value alignment?
4. Prep your team.
Determine, in advance, who will be involved in the selection process and what format each stage will look like: phone, video, in person. Help your team feel invested by providing questions based on technical, cultural or character attributes. Take it a step further by providing scorecards for the interview — then discuss the ratings during a debrief following each stage. This makes the decision more objective and helps build your team competencies.
5. Keep it moving.
The interview process — from initial screening to decision — should be collapsed into no more than two weeks. Travel and holidays can impact this timeline, but it is important to keep your candidates engaged and driving toward a decision as quickly as possible. There’s nothing more disappointing than having your top candidate get weary of waiting for you and take another offer. No one likes hiring, so make sure you don’t have to restart the entire process due to your lack of follow through.
Big companies have big budgets for hiring. Startups and small businesses must hire in their “spare time.” But by adopting these best practices, you can compete with those big budgets and hire the people you need to move your company forward.
Read the full article here.