As a business leader, one of the tasks you are responsible for is hiring new talent for your business. There’s more to it than reviewing resumes and conducting interviews. If you make mistakes in your recruiting process, you may deter a qualified candidate from seeking employment with you. However, if you have the right processes in place, you’ll be recruiting and hiring the best candidates before you know it.

10-Step Hiring Process

A hiring process is a method for finding, recruiting, and hiring new talent for your business. A good process will help you find/retain high-quality employees. While the specifics vary from one company to the next, there are ten steps that every business can follow:

Craft a job description that matches your needs

One of the first interactions an applicant will have with your company is your job description. Make sure that it reflects your brand as well as the position you are hiring for.    Be clear about the responsibilities/requirements and use brand-specific language that gives the applicant a better idea of your company culture. Explain what you need and what you will give them in return. This will help you weed out anyone that isn’t a good fit, leaving you with a focused group of applications/resumes to look through.

Advertise/recruit for open positions

Once you have a clear job description, advertise it on several locations, including job boards, social media, job fairs, and the careers page on your website. Encourage your current staff to reach out to their own networks and refer candidates to the position.

Analyze applications, cover letters, and resumes

As you begin receiving applications, you’ll need to review them, which you may wish to delegate to someone else so they can narrow them down. You may also consider using recruiting software, which can help you analyze candidates and search for flaws in the hiring process. While it can’t decide who to hire, it can scan resumes for keywords, weeding out those that don’t fit your needs/wants. This is a powerful solution for coordinating the candidate pipeline, ensuring quality candidates don’t get neglected.

Conduct an initial screening phone interview

Once you’ve narrowed down your applicants, conduct a 15 to 30-minute phone interview to screen them. Ask a few “getting to know you” questions, including questions about their skills/experience and why they are interested in the position and your company. This will give you an idea of what the person is like and their soft skills.

Conduct final interviews

The phone interviews will narrow down your choices even more. Conduct either face-to-face or virtual interviews. These will be more focused, helping you choose the top candidates for the position. Make sure that you have a few people participate in the interviews so you can get a better idea of how each candidate will fit.

Conduct assessments

While assessments aren’t needed for all positions, you may have some more specialized positions that you need to know if the candidate is capable of performing the duties required. You can do the assessment before, during, or after the final interview.

Run background checks and check references

An important part of hiring is running background checks and checking references. This is typically one of the final steps. The purpose of the background check is to make sure the candidate is legally suited for the job- but you must avoid discriminating against them based on your results. For example, if you’re hiring for a driving position, it makes sense to not hire them if they have multiple traffic violations- but if you’re hiring for a marketing position, the traffic violations are irrelevant.

Make your decision

Finally, use the information you’ve gathered about your candidates to decide who is the best fit. Make sure to get feedback from everyone in the company that spoke with the candidates. Consider qualifications as well as cultural fit but avoid making a decision based on discrimination or biases.

Extend job offer

Contact the candidate you choose and make them an offer. A highly qualified candidate won’t be available for long, so make sure to act quickly once you decide. When you extend your offer, make sure to include salary/benefits, and be prepared to negotiate.

Hire/onboard your new employee

Your onboarding process can significantly impact the success of your new hire. The first step is to have them fill out and sign the necessary paperwork. If you’re using recruiting software, you can send it over electronically and have them e-sign it. Some companies automate the entire process, sending the new hire all of the training/materials they will need. This sets them up for success and improves retention.

Tips for Improving Your Hiring Process

If you already have a hiring process in place, you may need to make some improvements:

Build a strong brand

Research shows that over 75% of professionals are not actively looking for a job, but they’re not opposed to one that may come up. When you build a strong employer brand, it attracts these passive applicants and reduces turnover by approximately 28%.

Another survey indicated that 69% of people will apply for jobs where the employer responds to reviews, keeps the company profile up-to-date, and shares updates on the culture and work environment of the company.

Building a strong employer brand means you won’t have to invest as much time in the recruiting process.

Answer FAQs from candidates

On your website, create a page/section listing the most common questions asked by candidates. In some cases, a candidate may be reluctant to apply for a position because they have questions they need answers to first. You can take the questions asked by candidates or speak with your current employees and find out what they wanted to know before they were hired. This will help you cover any questions/concerns from your candidates, as well as make them aware of what they can expect from your company and the position.

Move quickly and efficiently

The best candidates are only available for approximately 10 days. Therefore, if you are interested in a specific candidate, it’s important to act quickly. Even if you haven’t made your decision, follow up with them, discussing the details of the position to keep yourself on their radar. If they have any questions/concerns, address them quickly and keep them updated.

Write better job descriptions

Many times, job descriptions detail responsibilities and requirements, which can alienate qualified employees. In one study, researchers re-wrote 56 job descriptions, emphasizing 2 different approaches: Needs-Supplies (focuses on what the company can do for the candidate) versus Demands-Abilities (focuses on what the candidate can do for the company). Out of all of the applicants, those that responded to the Needs-Supplies listings were rated higher than those responding to the Demands-Abilities ads. By focusing on what you provide your candidates, you’ll attract more candidates that fit your needs.

Embrace social media and other digital trends

These days, most people are looking to work for a company that stays on top of the latest trends. When you embrace the digital age, it means you’re using social media profiles to research your candidates. You’re probably already doing background checks, but social media profiles give you more information about the candidate.

Though it is legally risky to allow their social media to play a role in your hiring decision, it does give you a better idea of who they are and how they will represent your company.

Use social media to recruit

Social recruiting ensures that you reach the right audience and attract talent to your brand/culture. You may also rely on the personal and professional connections of your employees as a chance to recruit talented workers.

Ask employees for referrals

One of the best ways to find quality candidates is through employee referrals, which helps screen candidates before interviewing them. If an employee refers someone, it gives you the assurance that the person does good work versus hiring a stranger that no one knows anything about. While referrals should not get special treatment, a recommendation is an added benefit. Ensure that their qualifications make them a good fit and use the referral to assure you that you’re making the right decision.

Make your hiring process mobile-friendly

One of the best ways to get the attention of potential candidates is to make the hiring process mobile-friendly. After all, approximately 90% of job seekers use their mobile device to search for opportunities, and this number is expected to increase.

Therefore, your app/website should allow your candidates to accept offers, hold video interviews, go through referral tasks, and schedule interviews. You may also want to include functions for new employees, such as an interactive handbook, registration for benefits, access to their PTO balances, and more.

Choose the personality that fits the job

While most employers focus on skill sets, personality is the most important. Skills can be acquired, but personality can’t. During the screening process, consider how the candidate’s personality aligns with the job tasks. For example, empathy is more important for a nurse/social worker than for a tax attorney.

Improve interview process

Research indicates that failures of new employees are typically due to flaws in the interview process. In this study, 82% of the managers surveyed reported that interviewers were focused on other things, pressed for time, or weren’t confident in their ability to interview. This is typically because the interview focuses on making sure the new hire is competent and overlooks things like temperament, motivation, emotional intelligence, and coachability.

Offer quality benefits/perks

One way to attract a diverse, talented pool of applicants is to offer a comprehensive selection of benefits/perks. Companies that provide work/life balance and a comprehensive health insurance package along with good company culture and competitive salaries are more likely to attract good candidates.

Since the pandemic, flexible work offerings such as the ability to telecommute have become popular. Research shows that 58% of workers want a fully remote job, while 39% prefer a combination of in-person and remote. Only 3%of candidates are interested in a fully in-person job. Flexible schedules and remote work are appealing to today’s workforce and are critical to attract/retain employees.

Use recruiting software

Recruiting software can automate the tedious parts of the process, sending out multiple job postings, sending bulk rejection/welcome emails, and transition candidates to the next phase based on your configurations. This increases your hiring efficiency and allows recruiters to focus on engaging with quality candidates. Some software can handle multiple aspects of the process and gives you insight on what is working and what can be improved upon.

Pay attention to reviews

Candidates look for information about the companies they want to work for, including interview tips, salary estimates, and reviews from current/former employees. Half of the job seekers state that they won’t take a job if the company has a bad reputation, even if it meant a pay increase. Two things that entice candidates are: being active on review websites and posting accurate information. If you have lots of negative reviews from previous employees, work on your company culture before trying to fill positions.

If you need more assistance with improving your hiring process, contact Commercial One Group. We look forward to working with you.