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Six Crucial Steps to Consider before your Next Hire

You’ve created the perfect job description, researched the salary requirements, checked out your candidates on LinkedIn and now you’re ready to start the hiring process, right? Maybe not. These six tips will have a positive effect on your hiring practices and will leave your candidates and colleagues feeling involved, informed and respected along the way.

1. Use an employee’s departure to your advantage

When one of your employees leaves her job, use the departure as an opportunity to re-evaluate the role within the structure of your team. Instead of an immediate reaction to hire a “replacement,” maybe there’s a better move. Can you shift responsibilities within the group? Should you consider a more senior or junior person to fill the role? Is it time to promote someone from within? Use the departure to your advantage, and be strategic with the hire. Carefully consider options – ultimately, this time investment will make for a better hire and a stronger department.

2. Build a strong recruiting team

The success of your hiring efforts relies in part, to the talent of your hiring team. When you have the right people involved, the recruiting process goes faster, is more efficient and results in finding better employees. Who should be on your recruiting team? Ideally, a blend of talent from all levels of the company. This mix gives candidates various outlooks and the opportunity to interact with a range of potential colleagues. Everyone offers a one-of-a-kind perspective. 

3. Choreograph a solid interview

When having a variety of people conduct interviews, settle on the discussion points prior to each meeting. Make sure everyone is responsible for asking questions and sharing information unique to their area. You can also have two people interview the candidate so he isn’t being asked to stay too long. Have a clean plan in place for where the employee goes at the end of each interview, and don’t forget to have everyone provide a business card. Finally, be clear with the candidate about whom their point person is through the process.

4. Create a consistent message

Each person involved in the hiring process needs to be aligned. They should review and buy-in to the job description ahead of time, agree on the ideal candidate, know what each interviewer brings to the process and understand how their roles differ. An inconsistent message and process will add time, frustration and confusion to the hiring process and could be a turn-off to a great candidate. It’s worth it to take the time to meet and plan the details of the hiring process so each member of your hiring team is sharing the same message.

5. Be respectful to your candidates

First impressions make a difference. Remember, candidates are also considering how they may fit in with you and your team. Being respectful, friendly and professional from the start goes a long way. Try to avoid looking at your watch or answering your phone during the meeting, come well prepared by having reviewed the candidates resume and make sure you’re clear on where the candidate is going after your meeting. By being respectful to your candidate, you are selling your company as you go through the process. Even if they are not an ideal fit, you still get the benefit of having them say good things about your company and the people who work there.

6. Follow up

The worst thing for any job candidate is to be left hanging. After going through the interview process, each applicant wants and deserves closure, “Am I in, am I out, did they like me…” When hiring managers don’t have the courtesy to get back to candidates, it reflects poorly on them and their company. “I never heard back,” is not something you want any of your applicants to say. Be sure you know who on your hiring team is following up with the candidate, and make sure they are timely in their response.

Be strategic with what you need for the open position, build a strong hiring team with a consistent message and be respectful to your candidates. These steps will have profound effect on your hiring practices as well as your company’s reputation. 

Photo Credit: Oprah