Tip #1: Utilize an interview rubrics for objectivity.
First impressions don’t always last. For better or worse, there is always more to the person than what meets the eye. While HR professionals are often good judges of character, sometimes, some people just rub the wrong way.
Using interview tools can help you move past these biases and initial impressions. For instance, creating a customized interview rubrics containing different competencies that you are looking for in an employee with predetermined criteria for each, will enable you to make objective observations.
So, if you are assessing an applicant’s personal appearance, you might want to classify them on three levels: dressed in appropriate business attire, dressed in business casual attire, or underdressed for the position he/she is applying for.
CloserIQ founder and CEO, Jordan Wan, suggested using these tools to help “eliminate emotional biases and conduct a more efficient recruiting process.”
Tip # 2: Weed out bad candidates with a job posting question.
Turn your job posting into an initial screening test for potential candidates. Asking the interested applicants to answer a single question prior to submitting his or her online application can help you weed out the bad candidates based on their answers. Moreover, it discourages applicants who are not fit for the position early on to avoid time wasted.
Serial entrepreneur Tiffany C. Wright, the founder of The Resourceful CEO, said that adding a job posting question “is a great screen for attention to detail, initiative, and writing skills.”
Tip #3: Hire slow, fire fast.
American oil well firefighter, Red Adair, once said, “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.”
In the same way, it’s better to wait for the right candidate than settle for the wrong one, wherein the consequences can double, or even triple the cost of hiring.
VentureTech managing director, Josh Berry, tells hiring managers that it is better to hire slow and fire fast compared to hiring fast and firing slowly.
“Hiring slow doesn’t sound very efficient, the cost of hiring the wrong person typically outweighs the cost-saving efficiency gains in the hiring process,” said Berry.
Furthermore, Berry advised against hiring fast when an opening presents itself. Personally, he waited three years before hiring a director for sales candidate he had his eye on for years. He waited for the right time to get the right candidate on board.
Tip #4: Focus on quality, not quantity.
Oftentimes, hiring stops when the team reaches a pre-determined number of qualified candidates. However, this isn’t always the way to go.
For instance, to reach a projected $100 million revenue in the next fiscal year, it can either take 20-30 average performers or just 15 high performers.
Focusing on the quality of candidates rather than the number of hires will enable a company to build high-performing teams. Hiring strategies that end with a certain number of hires often miss out on the top performers because they close their doors too early in the game.
“Hiring average people too quickly instead of waiting a few extra weeks to wade through more candidates and find future star performers,” said Connectifier founder and former Google executive, John Jersin.
Tip #5: During the interview, ask the candidates about pop culture.
In this digital age, job seekers have – more often than not – Googled the most appropriate answers to many HR interview questions. While it’s always easy to spot the genuine candidates, inquiring about their pop culture favorites can help you determine if he or she will be the right fit for the organization.
“People underestimate the impact of pop culture on the way we communicate, the references and examples we make, and even our sense of humor,” said Benjamin Yee, founder and CEO of startup ShiftSpark.
Yee added that everyone needs to be on the same page so teams can work well. However, this doesn’t mean that the candidate has to choose between Iron Man and Captain America. It’s more about looking into the candidate’s pop culture preferences to determine under-the-radar deal breakers.
For instance, if the advertising agency’s creative department consists mostly of men who like to throw in gender-inappropriate jokes, hiring a transgender, bisexual, or a straight rod feminist might not always be the best way to go.
Tip #6: Set up an effective hiring process.
What makes a hiring process effective? Does it include a certain number of qualified candidates reached in a pre-determined length of time?
According to Hire With Ease CEO, Tammi Deville Merrel, an efficient hiring process consists of a professionally made and well-placed job posting, which should be visible in places where job seekers are. It should also include a brief online application that can act as a first screening test for deal-breaker information.
An effective hiring process should also include a brief phone interview, preferably 20 to 30 minutes with top qualified leads. Hiring professionals should also conduct personality profiling and assessment testing. The 1st face-to-face interview should include questions that will delve into their behavior.
While some companies do not need 2nd face-to-face interviews, Merrel includes this in the description of an efficient hiring process. Moreover, the applicants should be able to produce quality samples of their work.
It’s a lengthy and time-consuming process, but the payoff is great since it will help your team find the best candidates. Setting up the process or overhauling what you already have in place can be costly, but in the long run, an effective hiring process can help HR professionals hire the right people.
Tip #7: Focus on cognitive traits.
An effective hiring process is already a long process that consumes time and resources, but going the extra mile can help you find the right candidates for the right position at the right time.
Facebook’s customer solutions manager, Alena Chiang, previously headed Pymetrics, a recruiting firm that focuses on neuroscience. Basically, Pymetrics analyzes a job seeker’s cognitive abilities and matches them with compatible positions in a company.
“The result is a much more streamlined, efficient and effective way to source candidates,” said Chiang.
Tip #8: Decide based on multiple facts from various sources.
Qualifications are only skin-deep. While a CV and an interview scoring sheet are good sources for hiring decisions, it’s important to gather more facts from background checks, personality assessments, and calls to references.
Dr. Dave Popple, the founder and president of Psynet Group, shared a personal experience that made him a firm believer in getting information from multiple sources. His company was assessing a candidate for a mid-level executive position for a manufacturing firm client.
The interview went well, and the client’s executive team took a liking to the candidate and wanted to hire him already. Unfortunately, Psynet Group’s data analysis discovered that the candidate fell short on self-awareness. The manufacturing firm hired him despite Popple team’s recommendation.
“His initial charming demeanor gave way to irritability and isolation after a couple of months. Soon it was discovered that he was unethical in some of his dealings with customers, causing a large buyer to opt out of their contract. He was released after six months,” said Popple.
Tip #9: Ask the right questions.
Experts from the ZipRecruiter asked three professionals about the five questions to best ask the candidate during an interview. These three professionals included Sherry Jordan from Sherry Jordan Coach and “Boost Your Hiring IQ” author Carole Martin. They swear by the five questions below:
- “Why do you want to work here at this job and company?” If you get a cliché answer, it is often not a good sign as candidates tend to say the same response to every job interview.
- “Why do you think you are qualified for this position?” Martin advised, “You want to see if they can summarize, inform, and feel comfortable telling you about what they have accomplished in a confident, yet modest manner,” said Martin. This question is, believe it or not, very difficult for most candidates. If you get a satisfactory, well-rounded answer, you’ve just found yourself a qualified candidate.
- “What are your short and long-term goals?” This question will help you get a sneak peek into the candidates’ long-term and short-term plans. Of course, getting hired is the goal. However, as HR professionals, you want high performers who are capable of delivering top work, but at the same time interested in positions beyond the current openings. Look out for candidates who express the desire to learn new things.
- “What are the top three accomplishments in your career?” Jordan said that employment history is a great indicator of future performance. Most candidates will share milestones when they felt most successful, but will rarely share how they made that success happen. This will give you a glimpse of their personality whether they are a leader, a follower, or a collaborator. It will give you an idea if the candidate is a team player or not.
- “If you could give your past employer advice, what would it be?” This is probably a strange question to ask but it will help you determine the candidate’s general attitude. Is he or she accepting, negative, positive, optimistic, or forgiving? “It’s a great opportunity to get feedback at an emotional level,” said Jordan.
Tip #10: Give your job ads some pizzazz.
Digital media has revolutionized recruiting. Many recruitment specialists are taking to social media, especially LinkedIn, to find and connect with the right candidate even if he or she is not looking.
But, one of the best ways to get the word out is to set up job ads. Here are some tips to give your job ads some much-needed pizzazz to rise above the competition.
- Don’t be such a bore. Choose your words carefully. Hire a professional to whip up some good copy so you won’t be stuck with “WANTED: Graphic artist with three years’ experience… etc.” How do you do that? See below.
- Tell a story. Due to the startup culture, more and more companies are breaking the conventional way of posting job ads. To pique your reader’s interest, forget listing the qualifications and instead, tell them about the job. What kind of company you are, what kind of work do you do, what kind of clients do you have, and what kind of company culture you have.
“Be creative and just as you sell products or services, sell candidates on both the opportunity and the company,” said Lisa Frame-Jacobson, president of the HR consulting firm Feature Talent Builders.
These story-type job ads can be posted on social media and can lead to a landing page in the company’s career section where the full details of the job ad are placed. Catch your reader’s interests first, then hook them with the landing page.
- Showcase the perks. Benefits such as health insurance, vacation leaves, and such are common. To grab job seekers’ interest, highlight perks such as paid training, work-from-home options, and transportation and meal allowances. These may be small things, but as a whole, it means a lot more to people finding work or looking for new opportunities.
“Today’s candidate wants to envision your organization as a great place to work and build a career. Your job advertisement is often the first step in doing just that,” said East Side Staffing President, Laura Mazzullo.
Tip #11: Look for qualified candidates internally.
Based on a study by University of Pennsylvania’s Matthew Bidwell, hiring or promoting from the inside is – in the majority of cases – a cost-effective hiring decision.
The study analyzed 7-years’ worth of data from more than 5,300 employed professionals and found that external hires earn up to 20 percent more compared to long-term employees. However, these new hires also receive poor reviews within their first two years.
Until the new hires adapt to the company culture and overcome the learning curves, they will continue to get poor reviews and remain at a disadvantage. When they finally adapt, only then can they justify higher salaries and hiring expenses.
The study also found that external hires have 61 percent higher chances of getting fired or quitting, which then, makes the cost of hiring externally a waste of time and expenses.
Tip #12: Embrace the mobile revolution.
Most – if not all – job seekers have smartphones. They are online most of the time, so it makes sense to place mobile ads on the sites with the highest traffic.
In fact, go beyond mobile marketing and invest in a mobile app that enables candidates to initially apply to job postings on their smartphones. The key is to make it easier for people to connect with you.
Tip #13: Network with passive candidates.
Just because they’re not actively looking for new jobs doesn’t mean they are not interested in greener pastures or more opportunities. LinkedIn allows you to network with passive candidates. It sort of lets you virtually fence a top-notch, high performer who you can connect with should an opportunity arises.
Non-job seekers know this too. That’s why they continuously add job recruiters or recruitment agencies online. It’s the digital version of keeping their CV on file for future reference.
As unemployment rates continue to drop, the more valuable these high performers will become. So, build your fence now.
Tip #14: Don’t skip the pre-employment background checks.
Seriously, don’t. Although it can be time-consuming, not doing so can cost you way much more. A CareerBuilder survey found that 58 percent of CVs include incorrect or misleading information such as job titles, education, level of seniority, and even employment dates.
Not conducting a pre-employment background check is like jumping off a cliff with your eyes closed and hands tied.
A 2014 Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (AFCE) study found that business owners lose 5 percent of revenue to internal or employee fraud. Stealing some notepads and pens can seem pretty small, but that’s workplace theft right there.
Bypassing a pre-employment background check means you’re also endangering other employees, as well as your clients and customers. How much more are you willing to put at risk? Your accounting books and petty cash?
Tip #15: Don’t overlook senior candidates.
And by senior, we do mean senior. Looking from afar, it seems like the workplace has been taken over by Millennials, but the truth is that the Baby Boomers are not going anywhere just yet.
According to the 2014 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of senior workers in the workplace continues to grow. The U.S. agency predicted that employees aged 55 and above will account for 26.5 percent of the national labor force—a rate which is much higher than past observations.
So don’t be too quick to overlook senior applicants for positions that best suit their qualifications. Not convinced? Watch the movie “The Intern” and be inspired.
Ready, Set, Search!
We hope these top recruiting tips from the experts can help you in your search for top talents. They are out there, but they are pickier than ever to the point that, like you, they also research the recruiters that reach out to them.
These tips from the pros can help you stand out from the throngs for online headhunters from various recruitment agencies.
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