4 Key Steps to Simplify Hiring

Many years ago when my business focused on conducting retained executive searches in the healthcare industry I worked with some larger hospital systems that had terrible hiring processes. Now I work with companies in various industries that range in size from 2 employees to 500 employees. And guess what? Some of these companies have a terrible hiring process too.

No company has the exclusive on a bad hiring process but they over complicate it because they are afraid of making a mistake. Some organizations want the applicant to meet EVERYONE. I like to call this process the Beauty Contest. If we parade the applicant in front of enough people – then maybe we won’t make a mistake. Too many interviews is a mistake in itself.

Small companies think because they are small they will make faster decisions. Some do make fast decisions – to hire the wrong person. Or they interview slowly which turns applicants off so they take offers from other companies.

Hiring does not have to be this painful. If you follow the steps I have outlined to simplify hiring below, you will have a smoother process and ensure you hire the right people from the start.

Decide which job you are hiring for and create a job description and a job benchmark. I am frequently mortified by some of the job postings I see. Why most of you think a job description has to be boring is beyond me. Stop the long laundry list of skills and create a job description by using the day-in-the-life of an accountant, marketing person or sales person, etc. at your company, you will give the job seeker a much better idea of what they can expect to be doing.

When you create the job benchmark you gather the subject matter experts and key stakeholders that have daily contact with this position. You figure out what the job needs in terms of personal skills or attributes, workplace motivators and workplace behaviors. The job benchmark helps you hire the right person the first time.

Assess applicants against your job benchmark.   Once you have had an initial phone screen with the applicants that meet your basic criteria you can now have them take the pre-hire assessment. When they complete the assessment you will immediately know where they match, exceed or fall short of the the job benchmark.

Set up interviews with the applicants that meet or exceed your job benchmark.  If you decide to move forward in the interview process, the assessment will provide you with areas you will want to take time to explore in your second interview. I always recommend using behavioral interviewing and it’s imperative all your interviewers are trained to interview and that each one focus on a different area. 

On-board your new hire their first two weeks on the job. Once you make the offer don’t forget to include the start date, review process and any other on-boarding items in the offer letter. Make sure your new hire process includes individualized components for the new hire and don’t forget to provide them with a complete schedule for the first few weeks.  Your new hire wants to feel like they are adding value immediately.  After you have spent all this time and money to get the right person, don’t let them languish alone at a desk filling out paperwork

Following these four key steps should ensure you have a successful hire that is ready to contribute to your organization. It’s just that simple.