6 Ways to Improve Your Hiring Process

You know your hiring process is not perfect.  But, did you know that hiring the wrong person has a long term detrimental effect on your business?  Here are some simple rules based upon our years of experience.

Number One: Listen to your monkey brain.  

You don’t have to talk yourself into hiring the right candidate. “I have a tough time separating the candidate from the resume,” states Mike O’Brien “But, I do know when something does not feel right.  Every time my heart has overruled my head we made a mistake.”  Take some time after you interview to discuss the candidates with other people, you may find yourself building a case to hire the candidate or the opposite.  Sometimes just talking out loud helps solidify your position.

Number Two: Ask For Referrals.

To many small businesses don’t take the time to ask their friends, family, employees and social networks for referrals.  Big companies have well though out programs that encourage their current employees to refer their friends and family.  Why?  Because it works.  The cost is significantly less and as long as the referring employee is high caliber then the referee is likely high caliber as well.

Your customers are also a great source of referrals.  They know you and your product and they likely know your ideal employee.  “We get so busy, that we forget to do the simple things,” says Theresa Anderson, the owner of Sweet-Paper, “I always have to remind myself that the best employees we have ever had were customers first that loved our store.”

Number Three:  Take Copious Notes.

Imagine your just spent four hours doing phone interviews.  At some point, your brain starts drifting, you are still there but a portion of your brain is now thinking about some marketing program.  And, your memory is just not that great.  Write a lot!

Writing also keeps you engaged in the conversation, giving the poor bloke on the other end of the phone a real chance to impress you.

Number Four: Force Rank Candidates.

Force rank all of the candidates you interview.  There should be a first and a last.  This is much better than scoring a resume or an interview on a 1 to 10 scale.  By forcing you to choose one over the other it enables you to dig deeper and come up with a reason why one candidate is better than the other.  “We often sit in our conference room after our interviews and compare one candidate against the next until we have forced rank order,” stated Nick Jimenez, COO at Mingle, LLC, “this helps us by forcing us to dig in deep and defend our views on the individual candidates.”

Number Five: Rule In Candidates from Resumes

The goal of reviewing resumes is to rule someone in.  Create a set of predefined requirements that are as quantitative as possible, such as, the candidate must have a college degree or 4 years of sales experience.  If a candidate hits all of your qualitative requirements then take a deeper dive.  Software like our CatalystFive can organize the candidates for you, ruling in those that hit your criteria and out those that do not.

Don’t swallowed up by the small stuff.  A resume’s layout is very important for a graphic designer but wont matter so much for a sales role.  Don’t get hung up on spelling or grammatical errors, unless you are hiring a copywriter.   There are no studies that show a correlation between spelling and workforce contribution.   A bigger yes pile may mean a little more work, but, you will have cast a wider net which means more validation for your choice.

 Number Six: Phone Screen them Out

While the goal of resume screening is rule someone in, the phone interview should rule most out.  Before you pick up the phone have a general set of questions and some specific ones for each candidate based on their resume and how it relates to the job and your company.  Be direct and ask the questions your “monkey brain” needs to have answered.

Set the time frame for the phone interview at the beginning, ” We have 20 to 30 minutes today.”  Hiring is a two way street, leave five minutes at the end of the interview for the candidate to ask questions.  If they don’t have any questions, ask them “what do you think of my company” or “what made you submit your resume for this job?”

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