Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Does your company use a consistent hiring process?

Bob Spence introduced me to this very effective multi-step hiring process:

1. Spell out the attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors desired. This is the "who" criteria, the attributes of the person needed for this job.

2. Next spell out the "what" criteria. Define the job's duties and responsibilities. Identify and include issues like accountability, performance, and cultural or political issues in the company that you need in the person being hired.

3. Then define the capabilities the candidate needs to have before they can be hired.

4. Quantify the interview information not by reading resumes, but by scoring and ranking them.

5. Screen all potential employees first using telephone interviews (see previous posts on how to use phone interviews in recruiting - Sept 17, 2008).

6. Include several behavioral probes about how the candidates have actually performed in the past, not how they think they'll act in the future. For example, ask them; "describe a time in which you were faced with problems and/or stresses which tested your coping skills. What did you do?"

7. Interview only your top candidates on-site.

Following this hiring process may take more time than you’re used to. However, most companies find that they’re spending less time hiring because they aren't hiring as often. They also save lots of money. If you hire a receptionist at $25,000 a year and she doesn't work out, this could cost you a lot more than her salary. Since the receptionist is the first person your customers have contact with, if she offends them so they stop doing business with you, it can cost you a small fortune.

Recruiting is the single most important part of the hiring process. It's not something you do at the end of an interview - it starts the moment you begin the interviewing process. If you can't attract the best people, everything else has been a waste of time. You know you have problems if you're consistently paying too much or if candidates frequently say, "I have to think about it," after receiving an offer. Problems occur because many managers stop interviewing and begin selling as soon as they find someone they like. Once you start selling, you stop learning about the prospective hire.

Recruiting is more about marketing than selling. If you oversell, you tend to over-talk and under-listen. As a result, you'll either lose the best candidates or pay too much for them. As you talk more and the candidates talk less, you lose control of the interview. From that point on, you won't learn anything new about them other than what they want you to know. If you present the job, without pressure, as a significant long-term and exciting opportunity, candidates will want to sell or convince you about their skills and capabilities, instead of you having to sell them.

1 comment:

Ruby said...

That's true. It might take longer to hire someone following the process you've outlined, but it makes more sense and it's more effective ensuring people will stay longer at the company this way. It is actually more cost-effective and beneficial for companies to use live virtual receptionists than hiring one on the spot. A live virtual receptionist can convey the company image to clients calling over the phone better and more effectively than a receptionist at the office, who is also tasked with other demands that aren't part of the job and would usually result delays.

Novus Call Centers