When you have an opening in your department, there are several steps to you can take up front to ensure a successful hiring process. Before you begin interviewing, be sure to have the following items in place:
- Determine a time frame to have your new hire on board – Depending on the circumstances, you may need to sacrifice some qualifications on your “wish list” to find a new employee quickly. You also want to be careful not to let a great employee pass by just because you planned for the process to take longer. In either scenario, plan to complete the process in a timely manner. If you can’t do so, then don’t start it until you’re fully prepared to dedicate yourself to its completion.
- Narrow down the sources you’d like to use to find the best talent quickly – Most employers use a variety of channels to hire, depending on the skill level needed. You may decide to share details of your opening within your organization, with your personal network of contacts and with a specialized recruiting firm. The broader type of source you use will directly affect the quality of candidates you receive. Be aware that posting your opening to an on-line job board may flood your inbox with unscreened resumes.
- Determine the salary range you’re willing to pay – research the local employment market to confirm that your compensation is in line. You may also want to find out how your competitors structure their bonus pay and benefits. If your budget is significantly lower than market, reconsider the level of hire you can make. Plan to pay market value for the job so that you don't get caught in a cycle of turnover related to compensation issues.
- Determine necessary skills and other qualifications – It’s helpful to divide these into lists requirements vs. preferences. This might be a good time to evaluate if the level of the position should be changed or even upgraded as your needs may have changed from the last time you hired for this role.
- Write a clear job description – If possible, enlist the help of the person leaving the job for realistic input of what the position entails. Include an overview of both daily responsibilities and long-term projects.
- Determine selling points of your opportunity and your employer – Interviewing is a two-way street so be prepared to explain the reasons why this role would be attractive, especially to someone who may not be in an active job search.
- Obtain proper approval from Human Resources – Most companies allow managers to handle the hiring process on their own. It helps to keep your HR Department in the loop in case there are any specific guidelines you need to follow.
- Give timely and detailed feedback – Whether you’re working through your own internal Human Resources group or through a recruiting firm, timely and detailed feedback is critical to everyone involved. Job specifications may change, and that’s understandable. However, not providing detailed information as to what you like or don’t like as you progress through the hiring process, and not communicating in a timely manner will lead to inefficiency and failure.
- Be proactive about news surrounding your company - Discussing recent news about your organization that may be construed as negative to a candidate is the best approach. Maybe your organization has had recent layoffs, or your stock has dropped. Whatever the potentially negative news is, be prepared to address it proactively with candidates. This allows you to clarify for the candidates what’s really going on. It also gives them an immediate impression of how straight-forward you are in running your department or organization.
- Don’t make hires based solely on personality – Make sure the candidate can technically handle what’s required of the position. Personality is definitely a part of whether or not someone is a fit for a position and an organization, but don’t hire based more on the personality than technical ability.
- Internal conflict – If you pass over someone internally to fill a position from the outside, do not have that person involved in the hiring process. You will also need to be hands-on in managing the involvement of individuals who are training new employees that may feel slighted or be negative about the company.
- Have an acceptance checklist – The offer being accepted is rarely the last step in the hiring process, and the last thing you want to do is make a poor first impression with a new employee. Make sure all company required testing and paperwork is done prior to starting. This may include drug tests, background checks, credit checks, reference checks, etc. As their new manager, make a personal phone call once the employee has accepted to reaffirm your enthusiasm about them joining your team. If possible take the new employee to lunch between the acceptance and the projected start date.