How Many of Your Hiring Problems Are Self-Inflicted?

Let’s be real — hiring the right people consistently is extremely difficult.

Often we scratch our heads wondering why it is so challenging.  After all, it should be fairly straightforward if you apply common sense, right?

Well, on the surface, yes, however when we “peel back the onion” and think it through, it really isn’t.

How most people hire

Most people think of the hiring process in terms of having only a few basic steps:

  1. Producing a basic job description (often a previous one you have used or one you found the web). Don’t worry, you are not unusual if this is you.
  2. Advertising the job on Internet career sites.
  3. Interviewing candidates.
  4. Making a job offer.
  5. Getting everything ready for the new person to start (hopefully without any embarrassing oversights).

In reality, the belief that consistently hiring the right people comes down to a few basic steps is part of the problem. There is simply more to it than that.

Why don’t you stop for a moment and ask yourself, “How many steps do I believe that a well-conceived and executed hiring process has?” When you truly think it through, a properly executed hiring process has at least 14 steps.

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Some may argue the number is higher. The steps that your organization is either not doing or not doing well are your vulnerable points. They are likely to lead to wasted time and bad hires.

The REAL hiring steps you should follow

Let’s walk through the steps of an effective hiring process:

  1. ·Accurate determination of the position’s roles and responsibilities along with specific tasks to accomplish these roles and responsibilities.
  2. Open-minded consideration of different types of backgrounds and skills that could fit rather than making assumptions or simply requiring the same background and skills you have hired in the past.
  3. Well written job description that sells the unique features of your company and the position.
  4. Well-conceived and executed candidate sourcing strategy based on the specific type of position being hired.
  5. Proper screening of the candidates’ resumes.
  6. Initial communication with candidates that meet the above resume screening step. You need to determine whether or not they meet your parameters related to money, location, skills and experience before going to the next step.
  7. Objective evaluation of the aptitude or ability (not experience) to actually do the job using an appropriate psychometric tool/assessment before investing the time of your employees and the candidates in interviewing.
  8. Well- thought-out plan for interviewing — Who will conduct the interviews? When and where the interviews will take place? How the interviews will be done (phone or in person)?
  9. Well- thought-out, structured interview process to provide objective, accurate assessment of fit with regards to skills, experience, attitude and values.
  10. Proper execution of a “debriefing process” within 24-48 hours of interviews and delivery of properly communicated information to the candidates within that time period.
  11. Properly-conceived process to determine the details of the offer including compensation amount, start date, vacation and sick time, etc.
  12. Proper timing and delivery of the offer so it is more likely to be accepted.
  13. Proper communication and “welcoming process” during the period between resignation and start date to minimize the chance of candidate accepting a counter offer.
  14. Well-thought-out process to prepare for the start of the new employee, including a structured onboarding plan complete with training schedule.

Follow these steps and reap the benefits

After careful consideration of what is actually involved in optimizing your hiring process, most people discover dysfunctions that have had negative consequences to their companies in terms of bad hires, losing candidates they wanted to hire, and damage to their reputation with candidates who felt disrespected.

The good news is that by applying the above principles, these challenges can be addressed and your company can reap the benefits of a properly conceived and executed hiring plan.

Brad Wolff is the People Maximizer. He specializes in helping companies make the most of their human potential resources. His passion is empowering people to create the business success and life fulfillment they desire, in a deep and lasting way.

Brad is managing partner for PeopleMax, an Atlanta-based workforce optimization firm. Its focus is helping companies gain control over their people problems to increase productivity, profitability and employee engagement while reducing stress and conflict. This encompasses employee alignment, development of a great culture, successful strategy and leadership effectiveness.

With more than 20 years of experience helping companies hire and retain the right people, Brad combines his understanding of human psychology and behavior with his analytical skills.  He’s also a Certified Professional Coach through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). He also has a Certification in Managing Change in Human Systems from the Center for Human Systems. As a former CPA he also understands the numbers and quantitative side of every business.


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