Attract Top Talent Through A Well-Defined Hiring Process
Hiring new employees is a core process in the business. Whether you are hiring for the first time or you’ve done this before, you need a well-defined hiring process to land the right employees.
An effective hiring or recruitment process includes making the decision to hire new talent, developing the job description, finding, selecting, and evaluating the most qualified candidates, onboarding, and providing employee training. Most companies have their own distinct hiring processes tailored to their specific needs, industry, and growth strategy.
Creating a detailed hiring process is critical for organizational success. But what happens if you recruit new talent without a well-defined process?
- You are more likely to hire the wrong employees for the role.
- The interview process to find the right talent will be lengthy and frustrating.
- You’ll waste tons of resources, time and money trying to find a new employee.
- Your company will lose qualified candidates to other organized recruiters.
- You’ll have a higher turnover rate if the new employee onboarding process is not working well.
All these challenges can be avoided if your company creates a structured and comprehensive hiring process. This is an important step to attract top talent, which also helps you position your business for success.
If you don’t know how to start, this article will detail the steps you should take, the benefits, mistakes to avoid and how you can improve your hiring process. By the end of the article, you’ll have a clear understanding of how to implement a recruitment strategy in your business.
Hiring Process Checklist – Full Guide Index
The success of your company is heavily dependent on your hiring practices. Hiring qualified employees who understand your company’s mission is vital for your organization because they shape the company culture, vision and determine productivity. This is why you need a well-defined hiring process. Here are some benefits of having a well-defined hiring process.
Providing Transparency in the Process
If your company has a structured hiring process, there’s transparency in all the steps. As a business, you’ll need to define and create the role that needs to be filled, advertise and source for potential candidates, and then select the right fit for the company. The management and human resource (HR) department teams are involved in this process, and it’s openly monitored until you get the best hire.
Your new hire should align with the company’s objectives and goals. During the selection process, the selection criteria also involve running detailed background and reference checks. This creates trust among stakeholders that the company is following the agreed-upon hiring procedures.
When your company has a transparent recruitment process, you are less likely to be sued for discrimination and bias. A hiring bias can have a negative effect on your recruitment procedures and your company’s reputation. Data shows that applicants are more likely to experience bias based on race, gender, age or religion.
Further research shows that white candidates get more responses than Black applicants in some industries. Having a well-defined process enables you to avoid such issues and identify such patterns once they arise.
Attracting Top Talents
Data shows that one in four people quit their jobs in 2021. Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, this issue has become quite rampant, with about 4.3 million people leaving their jobs in August 2021. This high turnover affects a company’s productivity significantly. Therefore, as a company hiring new talent, you need to find ways to attract and retain top talent.
During the hiring process, most candidates are already interviewing with other companies. If your process and feedback system is seamless, you have higher chances of retaining the best hires. Otherwise, you might lose them to other recruiters who are more efficient with their processes.
Retaining Top Employees
A lot of new employees leave if they feel like they are not a perfect fit for the company. This is why you need an exceptional onboarding process to boost their morale and make them feel like part of the company.
After you hire these new employees, have a well-developed employee training program to help them get started. Involve the current employees to help with the training and onboarding to make the process easier for everyone.
Allowwing the Company to Cultivate an Organizational Culture Among Employees
A well-defined hiring process is a critical part in developing the organizational culture. When selecting the best candidates, your recruiters can identify the people with the personality, character and ethics that match the company’s culture.
If your process is comprehensive, it becomes easier to filter the candidates with the right skills. At the onboarding stage, you can train the new hires and introduce them to the culture and other employees to make their assimilation process as seamless as possible.
Onboarding training is essential because it boosts the new employee’s confidence in taking on the new role. In addition, they can start cooperating with the other employees on projects more quickly.
Enabling the Process to be Assessed and Improved
If you don’t have a hiring process in place, you’ll notice that your company has tons of challenges when it comes to recruitment. However, with a structured process, you can identify the areas of weakness and address them as soon as possible.
For instance, if you have had incidents of bad hires, you can examine the entire hiring process at each stage and weed out the problems. Using this data, you can improve the weak areas and streamline the hiring process to ensure you attract and retain the best talent.
For your company to succeed, you need a process that can be monitored and improved to perform better. A well-defined hiring process makes this possible.
Hiring new employees is an intensive process. Research by Glassdoor shows the average length of the hiring process is about 23.8 days in the U.S. The length of the process varies depending on the city, country or industry. Before hiring, the company has to go through a recruitment cycle.
Let’s examine the main steps in the hiring process:
1. Identifying the Need for a New Hire
A company hires because they need to fill in a slot. This is the first step where human resource, departmental and management teams identify there’s a need within the organization. This need arises after an employee leaves the company, during team expansion, or to reduce the workload on the existing teams.
2. Identifying and List the Required Qualifications and Qualities
After you’ve identified the position that needs to be filled, the human resource department needs to develop a job description for the ideal candidate. This describes the required qualifications, qualities, skills and experience level. You need to develop a well-detailed list to attract the right candidates.
Candidates won’t know about the job unless you promote it. If you are looking to fill the position internally, you can notify the current employees of the opening. However, if you are looking for external candidates, you need to advertise the job on a variety of platforms including your company’s website, social media pages, LinkedIn, local newspapers, industry publications, and other job boards.
To get the best potential candidates, you have to utilize all of these platforms. Online postings are the best way to reach more people.
Once the applications come in, it’s time to review them. Most companies rely on an applicant tracking system (ATS) which reviews the resumes according to a set criterion. If you have received a lot of applications via email, this system will come in handy in narrowing down your candidates by looking for specific keywords.
Afterward, the HR department goes through the applications to eliminate candidates that don’t meet the minimum requirements for the role. Once your hiring team has reviewed all the applications, they can put together the list of qualified candidates who’ll be interviewed.
5. Formulating the Interview Panel
When you have the list of interviewees, you can now formulate an interview panel. The composition of this panel will depend on the position and department. For instance, if your new hire is meant to be in a middle-level management level, the panel should include the HR representative and someone from the top management.
Your panel should be inclusive and diverse in terms of skills and position. This is vital if you want a team that can bring out information from the best talent.
Once you are satisfied with the panel, the next step is interviews. If the team is remote, the interviews will be done virtually. You can have several interviews depending on the size of the company and type of role. Here are some of the key steps you should undertake.
Initial interview with a panel
At this stage, your panel needs to interview the candidate on a deeper scale. Each member on the panel can focus on specific aspects of the job or topic to avoid redundancy. In addition, this ensures that the panel does an in-depth analysis of the candidate and how well they fit into the company. The interviews can be either done on-site or via Zoom or Teams.
Testing of technical skills
If the job involves knowledge of technical skills, your hiring team should test the candidate’s performance. For jobs that involve tech systems, you might need the potential new hire to demonstrate their skills and show how they would solve an issue. When inviting the candidate for an interview, you should inform them that they will be tested on their technical skills.
This is vital in some roles and helps determine whether the candidate is a good fit for your company before you get too far into the hiring process. You can let the interviewees know beforehand which technical topics will be covered so they can come prepared. With the results from the technical test, you’ll also know how much onboarding training the new hire will need.
Testing communications and collaboration skills
When choosing the ideal candidate, you need an individual who can collaborate and communicate efficiently with the rest of the team. Therefore, you can test how well your interviewees meet these criteria by testing their collaboration skills.
At this stage, you can create scenarios that enable you to see the candidate’s skills in action and determine how well they work with other employees. The candidate gets to experience how they’ll work with particular teams in the company.
7. Rejecting Candidates Who Are Not Qualified and Shortlisting Those Who Qualify
After the interview process is done, you can shortlist the candidates who have qualified and reject the others. The interview panel can choose the ones they think will be ideal for the company. You can also use the technical skills test to eliminate the interviewees who didn’t qualify for the role.
Hiring new staff requires you to do your due diligence. Include a reference check in the hiring process to gauge the potential employee’s past performance and how they related with their former employers and fellow staff.
To enforce the reference check, your candidate should provide you with the contact details of their former employer or supervisor so you can reach out for information. Conducting a reference check validates the information provided on the resume and helps in deciding whether the candidate is ideal.
9. Offering the Job
Candidates prefer getting the rejection email instead of waiting for months without any communication. Therefore, if you have a well-defined hiring system, you should contact the interviewees as soon as the process is over.
Contact the candidate you have selected and offer them the job. You can call them via phone or send an email confirmation for them to respond. If the candidate accepts the offer, you can also share the contract which indicates the reporting date, roles and responsibilities, contract terms and conditions.
A key process in this step is notifying the unqualified candidates that the company will not be hiring them. This eases the feedback process and keeps all the interviewees in the know. You can send a rejection email stating reasons they didn’t qualify for the role or just that another candidate was hired that better met the company’s needs.
10. Onboarding (Including Employee Training)
Once the candidate accepts the offer, the hiring process doesn’t end there. You have to welcome them professionally and integrate them into the company activities. Onboarding involves providing orientation, explaining the company’s mission, vision and culture, going over the job responsibilities, providing a starting project, and assigning a mentor.
Onboarding provides the first impression about the company. Therefore, it should be well executed if you want to retain the new hire for years. To help your new employee settle in, schedule a week of employee training with members of the department or human resource team. An effective onboarding process makes them feel welcome and boosts their morale to work for you. In addition, the mentor will help them settle into their new position much faster.
Recruiting new talent comes with its own challenges. While companies focus on streamlining their hiring processes, there are several mistakes that may happen that jeopardize your ability to attract the best talent and affect your business operations. Here are the common mistakes and how to avoid them.
Rushing the Process
If you are hiring a new team member to replace an employee who left, you might be tempted to rush through the process. The rush to fill positions without properly vetting the candidates may lead to a bad hire especially if you don’t take the time to do background and reference checks. Have a second round of interviews if you need to get the best candidates.
Not Evaluating Applicant’s Personality
You need to hire individuals who align with your company’s culture. Therefore, if you don’t evaluate their personality and character, you might end up hiring someone who isn’t a good fit. Depending on your company’s structure, the new hire should be an individual who can comfortably collaborate with your current employees. Failing to evaluate whether they prefer to work alone or with a team will contribute to a high turnover rate.
Failing to Test the Candidate’s Technical Skills
Although the resume provides details about the skills of your new hire, it shouldn’t be the final determinant. In addition, most companies only rely on the interview with the panel to determine whether the candidate is qualified or not. When hiring, it’s important to test their technical skills, especially if the job requires these skills. This is the best way to know whether the interviewee can execute the roles according to the job description.
Rejecting Overqualified Applicants
When interviewing candidates, it’s quite common to meet overqualified applicants. Most companies make the mistake of disqualifying such candidates because they might request higher pay due to their years of experience or higher educational background. In addition, some hiring managers avoid them because there’s a risk that they might get bored and leave as soon as they get a better offer. However, these candidates can be a positive thing for the company since they bring in a higher level of expertise and are easier to manage.
Hiring Underskilled Applicants to Save Cost
On the other hand, some businesses opt to hire underskilled applicants to save money. While this makes financial sense on the surface, it can be quite costly in the long run. If your new hire can’t execute their roles, you might have to fire them and go through the hiring process again to get someone new. In addition, they affect productivity and overall morale in the company because they are a burden to other employees when handling projects.
Rushed and Inadequate Background Checks
Background and reference checks are quite important in the hiring process if you want to get the best talent. However, some hiring teams ignore this step which can be costly in the long run. Data from the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) shows that 22 percent of companies do background and reference checks for a few candidates, while 2 percent don’t reach out to the references. Failing to do these checks could cost you, especially if the new hire turns out to be of questionable character. Researching a candidate’s background provides you with additional insight into their personality.
Too Many/Unreasonable Qualifications
Posting job advertisements with overambitious qualifications prevents candidates from applying. If the job is an entry-level position, your job description should align with the educational and experience requirements. While most companies use this tactic to reduce the number of applicants, it might discourage qualified candidates from applying.
Hiring Based on Hype
Candidates with previous experience in top global companies stand out for recruiters. You might choose to hire an employee just because they have worked with a large and renowned company. The assumption that this candidate is more skilled is not always true. If you are starstruck by these kinds of interviewees, you might pass on more qualified talent.
Outdated Interview Techniques
The hiring process has changed as more companies rely on technology. You might lose on tapping the best talent if you don’t use automated hiring systems such as ATS. In today’s world of remote working, you also need to use these tools to help you hire staff from across the globe.
If your company already has a hiring process in place, you can enhance it to be more efficient. A well-refined system is beneficial for both the company and the recruits. With an improved process, your hiring team will have an easier time getting the top talent. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Creating Better Job Ads
Job advertisements affect how people respond to the call to apply for a position. Effective job ads have detailed and specific information about the job role, straightforward job titles, and use clear language. Your ad should highlight the exact job description without having too much or too little information. Include the company perks to motivate qualified individuals to apply.
Reaching out Directly to Notable Talent in the Market
If you want a specific person who might be working for your competition, you should reach out to them directly with an offer. This person should have the right skills and be a perfect fit for your company culture. When an employee is contacted directly by the company, they understand that you made an effort to choose them. They feel special and are more likely to consider your offer if it aligns with their goals. To make this successful, only reach out to talent when you have the right perks and offers.
Casting the Net Wider
There are more than 50,000 online job boards and the number keeps growing. When recruiting, you should not limit yourself to one platform such as LinkedIn or the industry job board, especially if you are hiring remote teams. You can use social media, word of mouth or even referrals to get the best candidate. While this may result in tons of applications, it’s your best chance for getting qualified individuals to notice and apply for your job.
Collecting Feedback From Applicants
One of the ways to improve your interview process is by asking for feedback from applicants. After the hiring process is complete, request feedback from the successful and unsuccessful candidates. Since they have gone through the entire process, they can highlight issues, weaknesses and strengths in your hiring process. This information is essential because it helps you improve the process the next time you are hiring for an open position.
Emphasizing Personality and Attitude
A lot of employers overlook the candidates’ attitudes and personality. Instead of focusing only on the skills on their resume, analyze their character and how it gels with the company culture. You can add some personality tests as part of the interview to provide fast results about your potential new hire.
More Effort and Emphasis on the Onboarding Process
A Gallup study shows that only 12 percent of employees are satisfied with their company’s onboarding process. Companies make mistakes with employee training and onboarding which causes new hires to quit their jobs a few months after being confirmed. You can improve this part of the hiring process by lengthening the period, asking for feedback from the new staff, and merging it into the company culture.
Using AI to Eliminate Human Bias
The global AI market is currently valued at $327.5 billion and has been adopted in almost all industries including hiring. AI is helping recruitment managers get the best talent. Human resources teams can use these automated systems for recruiting, onboarding, and retaining employees. By training data, the AI technologies can help your recruitment apps make decisions about the best candidates for particular roles. You’ll also reduce the time spent on resume screening.
Each company adopts a different type of recruitment process depending on their needs. You can either have an in-house hiring team or choose to use a recruitment agency. Both options have their benefits and downsides.
So, which is the better of the two?
A recruitment agency is an external firm that acts as an intermediary between a company looking to hire new employees and the candidates. These organizations manage all the hiring functions for other companies by sourcing candidates, managing databases, and matching the job seekers to open positions. Recruitment agencies work with several clients simultaneously and could specialize in specific fields.
Using a recruitment agency will shorten the time it takes to hire new employees. They can find candidates much faster because they have a talent database and a network of connections that make it easy for them to access people you might be looking for.
Compared to an in-house hiring team, the agency has tons of profiles readily available. Therefore, they’ll submit the final shortlist much faster.
A recruitment agency has access to higher quality candidates. Since they are professionals, they have pre-screened and vetted the candidates for you before sending the final list for consideration. Additionally, the staff in these organizations are highly trained to screen job seekers. Therefore, they can differentiate between qualified individuals and unqualified.
Some of these agencies are specialized in particular industries and sectors. Therefore, they keep up with industry trends and might have better recruitment and interviewing skills than your in-house recruitment team. If you work with such specialized agencies, you’ll get the best candidates because they have valuable insight into the industry.
A recruitment agency communicates with both the employer and job seeker to let them know about the progress on both sides. They let the employer know about potential candidates and keep the job seekers in the loop about their applications. When you hire an agency, you won’t need to communicate to the job seekers—they’ll handle everything for you.
Since the hiring process is not in-house, you have to pay the agency extra costs. Agency costs vary depending on the agreement—it can be a fixed fee or a percentage on the employee’s salary. If the costs are above your budget, you need to examine whether you need the external firm or need to switch to an in-house team.
When using a recruitment agency, you are not sure that the employee will be a cultural fit. While the agencies are good at examining the candidate’s skills and whether they fit the role, they might not be experts in assessing how well they match the company culture. Most agencies go all out to try and become familiar with the firm’s goals and mission but miss out on the cultural fit.
Recruiters get a bad rap for poor communication with job seekers. Since they handle many candidates and clients, they are more impersonal and end up communicating late. When the candidates don’t get feedback from the agency, it paints your company in a bad light.
In-house hiring is done by a recruiter who is an employee of the organization. In-house recruiters handle the entire hiring process with input from the manager and stakeholders to get the best candidates. In most cases, the recruiters are made up of a team from several departments including HR.
When hiring new employees, an in-house team better understands the company culture. Therefore, they will recruit employees that are a perfect fit for the company. In addition, they can identify current employees who can perform the advertised role, reducing the time taken to hire a new person.
Since the team already works in the organization, the company doesn’t have to budget extra. Compared to a recruitment agency, an in-house team is much cheaper which saves the company money.
The in-house team has expertise in filling specific roles in the organization. They understand what the management wants and can get the right candidate for the role.
The employees on the hiring team have roles in the company. Therefore, during interviews, they have to take time off their work to vet the candidates. This can be time-consuming especially if there are several rounds of interviews.
Compared to a recruitment agency, an in-house team doesn’t have access to a large pool of candidates. Their options are only limited to the applications they receive, which is often not enough if you need to attract top talent.
Remote working has become a staple in the workplace today. More companies have shifted from the office environment since the onset of the pandemic in 2020. In fact, 61 percent of employees prefer to be fully remote. Companies are also increasingly hiring teams to work remotely. If you are looking to do the same for your business, here are steps to guide you.
A well-defined and detailed job description is critical if you want to attract top talent. When hiring a remote team, you are reaching out to a wider pool of people. Therefore, you need a job post that clearly states the position’s roles and responsibilities. This description should also describe your company’s mission, goals, and culture.
Your potential hires may be global. Therefore, you need to post the job online. Post the ad on online job boards, your company website, and social media pages. This way, you can reach more qualified candidates.
Resumes detail the skill levels of each applicant. Use automated systems such as ATS to eliminate unqualified candidates. From these applications, you can narrow down the final list of interviewees.
When hiring remote teams, schedule a video call via platforms like Zoom or Teams to know them better. Send a calendar invite in advance for the candidates to prepare for the interviews.
Remote working is all about independence. Since they will not be working in person, you need to test their collaboration and technical skills. During the interviews, create scenarios that test their competency to do the job.
When building a remote team, you need people who are trustworthy. Check the references provided especially for former remote jobs to understand how the potential hire works.
Although the team is not working together in an office, you need to allow for an onboarding period. Assign specific projects to the remote teams for them to showcase their skills. You can evaluate their performance after these projects to see how well they fit within the company’s culture. During onboarding and employee training, communication is key, so you should schedule regular calls.
Chapter 7: Guidelines for Job Applicants
Applying for jobs can be a daunting experience for most people. If you are looking for a new position, here are some tips you can use to get your next role.
Search for Jobs in Your Field
Most companies post their job opportunities online. Therefore, you can start your search process there. On top of checking job boards, search for roles on company websites in your industry and social media.
Create Accounts on Job Sites
You can create a profile on online job boards to increase your visibility. The profile should highlight your strengths and skills so that you can stand out among thousands of other applicants. This tutorial offers tips on how to create an effective LinkedIn profile, but the tips are equally effective when used on similar sites.
In addition, you can send your resume to recruitment agencies for them to have it on their database. Having your profile on these platforms makes it easier for recruiters to recommend you for jobs that fit your level of experience.
Update Your Resume
Your resume sells your skills and level of experience. Before applying for any jobs, ensure that it’s updated to your recent roles and then submit. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial that you can use to draft and update your CV whether you are a fresh graduate or have years of experience.
Prepare for the Interviews
To be successful at your interviews, you need to prepare yourself adequately. Understand the company’s objectives and what the role entails before the big day. If you applied for a technical job, prepare thoroughly for technical tests. Keep in mind that the hiring team might include personality, communication, and collaboration tests to see how well you match the company. Ensure you prepare for these tests.
Send Post-Interview Notes
You should send a note to the interviewers whether you got accepted or rejected. If the company doesn’t hire you, send a thank you email and keep applying for other jobs. This form of communication portrays you as a professional and leaves an impression on the hiring company.
Respond to the Job Offer
If you are successful, the company will send you a job offer either via email or a phone call. The offer includes the contract details, starting date and expected salaries and packages. Take your time and accept, reject, or renegotiate the offer. If you want to negotiate a higher salary, use these tactics to justify your reasons.
Assimilate Into the Team
Once you accept the job offer, start interacting with the other employees. Pay attention to the employee training during the onboarding process which will help you integrate into the team better.
Like other company processes, the hiring process has been automated. Automated hiring involves using artificial intelligence (AI) to streamline candidate reviewing, resume reviews, and the onboarding process. Traditionally, the hiring process took so much time and that’s why automated systems are welcome in most companies. Here is how you can automate your recruitment process.
Applicant tracking system (ATS) is the most commonly used automated hiring technology. Incorporating these systems helps recruiters track the entire process and candidates who have applied for the role. ATS helps the company to not lose track of top talent.
Advertising automation tools such as Appcast and Adstream are used to target top talent. Your ads will be cheaper because you are using automation tools to post branded content that’s tailored better than the average job posting.
Scheduling interviews is a time-consuming task. Doing it manually will result in too much back and forth between the hiring team and candidates. Automation tools save time and streamline the interview process. In some cases, candidates can self-schedule if they match the role requirements.
You can use automated background checks to vet your candidates. This search is much faster and has a higher level of accuracy.
If you hire a remote team, you need an automated system to handle the onboarding process. You can automate your emails to send information and reminders to keep the candidates updated.
SweetProcess is a software solution that helps businesses manage all their tasks and processes in one place. You can use it for a variety of processes from managing tasks, documenting procedures, and implementing policies. SweetProcess products come in handy in the hiring process when you need to set up teams, assign and track tasks, and implement new employee onboarding.
Sarah Genay, the portfolio analytics manager at Ginkgo Residential, identified a knowledge gap problem at the company. The knowledgeable employees were more competent while the rest of the staff didn’t know what to do or did the wrong things which took a toll on the efficiency of the company.
According to Sarah, their goal was “to look at ways they could formalize our existing procedure and use that to hold people accountable, create more structures around expectations…” Their old procedure of using PDF manuals was not giving the results they needed.
Therefore, the company adopted SweetProcess software to fast track employee training and onboarding and streamline their workflow. This has enabled the firm to tighten the loose ends and improve employee efficiency. New employees can now use the SweetProcess procedure to seamlessly take over their responsibilities.
The group general manager of Aizer Group, Lisa Phillips noticed that the company staff couldn’t operate without documents to reference. Without her present, the employees spent too much time on tasks and needed to ask questions.
To deal with the problem, the company adopted the SweetProcess software to help with employee training and learning. Thanks to this software, the company saved on time and resources previously spent on employee onboarding.
At VantageOne Credit Union, the company had a how-to in place but not everybody followed the process. With SweetProcess, the firm now has a training tool and software they can refer to that’s consistent. The company has 347 procedures used by 78 employees which has been made easier by the SweetProcess software.
New hires from other financial institutions learn quickly with the software, and the current employees have something to refer to, especially since processes in the financial industry are ever changing. SweetProcess helps the organization in keeping up with these changes.
Each company needs to have a well-defined hiring process. Creating a streamlined process is also critical if you want to attract top talent to your business.
Companies with a consistent hiring plan recruit high-quality candidates and can easily identify flaws in the hiring process and improve it. Invest in a proper recruitment system to boost the efficiency of your employees.
To help you create your recruitment and onboarding process, you can sign up to the 14-day FREE trial of SweetProcess.
Download our FREE Checklist to Assess the Effectiveness of Your Hiring Process to help you get started!