As you already know, if you cannot consistently put the right people in the right roles, your business will suffer. In fact, your growth is determined by the amount of talent on your team. When you master your hiring process, you will save yourself time and money because you know that the people you hire are the best fit for the job and for your company.
As part of our hiring series, we first had you identify your core values. These values and traits are your deal-breakers. They determine who will succeed within your organization and are often things that cannot be trained. This goes beyond skillset into personality traits and values that create a deep alignment within the organization. When you are clear on these, you can easily determine who is and is not a cultural fit.
The second piece we focused on helped you determine and define the role. By slowing down to identify the tasks associated with the role along with the knowledge and skillset required, you become more focused through the hiring process. Many times, people do not work out because you are constantly changing the role. Worse, we sometimes connect with someone during the interview process and we start changing the role our business requires to fit the candidate we want to hire. When you do this, you are jeopardizing the productivity of your organization. By taking time at the outset to define who this person is and what they will be doing, you greatly increase your odds of success. Before you start making offers, make sure you’ve identified the values within your organization, and assessed whether the individual would be successful in the role required.
Now that you know the role and the culture of the organization, how do you guarantee that the person you hire will be a match? You create a process that is designed to answer your questions.
When you are hiring, you step into the role of a detective. None of your values should be hard to find. Yes, people will mature and change over time, but do you want to take that gamble in your business? You wouldn’t marry someone and expect them to change completely, why would you expect that of a new hire? When you look through their past experience and talk with them you will find evidence that will support or contradict your values. As Maya Angelou says, “when someone shows you who they are, believe them.” Your job in hiring is to look for evidence of who this person is. We recommend several ways to help you uncover this truth. There is an art to this and taking the time to define your process will pay off for years to come because you will be using it over and over again as you grow your organization.
Consider These Action Steps to Define Your Hiring Process
Create your ad
Take the role you’ve defined and put it into an ad. There are several job templates you can use. We recommend using your values to write a description that speaks to the person you are looking for. Remember, your ad needs to attract the right person for the role, and the right person is about a lot more than just someone who can do a task. By writing 4-5 sentences about your company and who you are looking for, you are talking directly to the type of person you want to hire. What would they respond to? What would you want them to know? This doesn’t have to be any longer than a paragraph, and it should go right at the top of your job description.
Determine how you will screen resumes
Once you post your job ad, you will likely have many candidates who will want to talk with you. How will you decide who to interview and who not to? Take a moment to identify what you are looking for from a candidate to decide whether or not they move ahead to the next step. When you are clear on this, screening resumes can be a job that gets leveraged to someone else. Please note not only what you look for (i.e. experience), but also what you would avoid (i.e. grammatical errors).
Decide on assessments
As part of your process, consider utilizing assessments to provide you valuable objective feedback about a candidate’s skill, behavior, or values. At Your Performance People, we have several proven assessments that our clients utilize as part of their hiring process. We recommend using assessments to get an unbiased perspective on how a candidate might behave, think, and/or what they value. For information about these assessments, use these links to obtain more information about our HVP habitual thinking assessment or NBI brain preference assessment. We prefer using more than one assessment to give us a full picture of a potential hire. These are used in conjunction with their interview.
Standardize your interview process
Your time is valuable and you want to make sure you are spending it wisely. You will want to have a way to identify who can be a real fit and who will not be, and that is not as simple as just looking at a resume. We recommend having a screening interview before having a larger more comprehensive interview. We also recommend standardizing your process, which means that you will ask the same questions of each candidate, allowing you to have an apples-to-apples comparison.
A screening interview can happen over the phone or through Zoom. We recommend having 8-12 questions and the interview should be somewhere around 20 to 30 minutes. Questions in a screening interview will be more basic to assess whether or not they could be a fit right off the bat. Once you complete your phone screening interviews, decide who you will be moving forward with. This is a good time to bring in assessments which they can take prior to the comprehensive interview.
In the comprehensive interview, utilize the candidate’s track record to confirm cultural qualities. Look for evidence of the qualities essential for success in your environment. Ask the candidate about their past successes and challenges and listen for their perspective. Do their perspective and story reflect your cultural qualities? For example, if grit, empathy, or humility are important to be a cultural fit in your company, do their stories and experiences demonstrate these qualities? A candidate’s past experiences very often are valuable predictors of future behavior and performance. We recommend having standardized questions within the comprehensive interview as well so you can make a real comparison with each candidate.
You already know that when you are interviewing you are investigating whether or not this person has the values and traits you desire. When they truly live by these traits and values, there will be evidence of them demonstrating those traits throughout their career (even their school career if they are young). Make notes, and any trait that they have not demonstrated or you are unsure of, you will want to ask about in the reference check. We recommend you have 2-3 conversations with references for each candidate. This is an opportunity to dig deeper and assess how they will behave in your organization.
Once you complete your comprehensive interview, use your reference check to clear up any unanswered questions you have or confirm any of your hunches. One of our favorite ways to do this is through the use of a scaling question. We typically find that when we have multiple candidates there will be some questions around certain traits. One of our core values is Growth. We hire people who are growth-oriented. If we are unclear on this value, I will ask a reference, “On a scale of 1-10 how growth-oriented would you say this person is? We define being growth-oriented as someone who is always pushing themselves to be better and learn more.” Once we get an answer, we will ask a follow-up question, “Can you tell me about a time where they demonstrated being growth-oriented?” By asking a scaling question and an example you will know whether this person possesses the trait or not.
Consider auditioning final candidates by assigning technical tasks or case studies as appropriate that can be evaluated to determine potential competency matches for a role. We often do this before heading into the comprehensive interview or right after as a final assignment to assess their abilities. Assigning tasks can give you a really good idea of how much skill someone has or how much development they need. Additionally, when practical, some companies will hire a final candidate to work in the role for a week or an agreed-upon period, to allow them to perform in the environment as part of the permanent hiring decision.
Isn’t it time to minimize your financial risk when hiring? This is possible with clarity, intention, and process. Use our hiring guide to save money, increase your financial return and ride the wave to hiring success.
If you would like to consult with us about your hiring process, reach out to us here.
Enjoy the process!
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