To determine how your hiring practices are working, you should first look to the past. How has your hiring process worked so far? Which aspects have been successful? Where do you think you’re going wrong? Assess your current hiring process and determine what is and isn’t working. Then, go from there to make the following improvements.
1. Start with square one. Begin with a well-crafted job description. If your candidates know in advance what you expect from the position, you are less likely to run into low performers down the line. Know what kind of person you are looking for and what identifying qualities to look for in the interview.
2. Change up your interview strategy. Don’t use the same old interview tactics. The candidates will be expecting you to ask about strengths and weaknesses. Instead, ask them about how they handled a tough situation. Or ask for three qualities that make them right for your particular position. And always ask follow-up, open-ended questions. Examples include: How did you do that? Why do you think that? These types of questions can keep candidates from clamming up or taking the easy way out with a yes or no answer, and can yield more valuable information. For more interview ideas, read “Hiring Guide: Conducting an Interview.”
3. Bring in colleagues. Consider conducting doing a team interview. This way, you will see how the candidate interacts with several staff members in one setting. Make sure everyone is on the same page regarding questions to ask and the impression you are trying to convey. To be fair, make sure each candidate sees the same team members and each interview is based on the same scale.
4. Keep it consistent. Consider developing a standardized feedback form to fill out for each candidate. Complete it as soon after the interview as possible, while the information is still fresh in your mind. Having these “report cards” allows you to fairly compare several candidates at a later time. It will also make it easier to recall the candidates if you have personalized notes from each interview.
5. Consider hiring software. Applicant tracking software allows you to track resumes, references, and applicants, streamlining the entire process. Having your hiring details organized in one place simplifies the hiring process, and can ultimately help you in that important final decision.
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Patriot Software, Inc., is a developer of online software for U.S. small businesses, including online payroll software, applicant tracking software, human resources software, an employee portal, and 1099 software. Patriot Software also offers a payroll tax filing service for payroll customers, and is currently developing bookkeeping software and a website builder. For more information, visit www.PatriotSoftware.com.