By Jay Forte
When it comes to hiring, you can’t drag your feet. Good talent is in great demand, which means if you have a slow or complicated hiring process, you will likely lose the best talent.
According to a 2017 Glassdoor survey, the average length of the interview process is 23.8 days. Some organizations may think that pace is just fine since it gives them room to leisurely interview each candidate or to build the hiring process around busy schedules. Other organizations pride themselves on the slow and methodical approach to hiring. Both do not take into account the current demand for talent and the speed that today’s employees need to make decisions.
At its core, the real issue is creating an effective and successful hiring process that is also efficient. So, how do you do it? Follow these five steps:
- Clearly define the tasks of each role and the performance attributes (strengths, skills, experience and education) required to do these tasks well.
- Build a sourcing strategy for each role, including conventional and non-conventional sources to find the best talent. A sourcing strategy defines the conventional and unconventional ways you will find candidates who have the attributes you need in the role.
- Define your interview components. As more and more organizations are using the “prove it to me interview,” define the segments and activities that will be part of each role’s interview. For example, you may have four segments in a role’s interview with two segments for questions, and two segments for activities that allow the candidate to share and prove what they know about the role.
- Define your interview team and train them. Your interview team must be masters at either behavioral-based interviewing or assessing skill levels through the activity portion of an interview.
- Develop a clear, sound and efficient interview process from date of contact to date of decision.
Take a minute to notice two the most frequently used words in the previous list: define and develop. Being intentional about each part of this process is the key to making it effective and efficient.
With a clear process in place, consider creating a timeline and stick to it. Not only will implementing a timeline help keep the process moving forward, it also ensures candidates are kept updated on their status in your process. As you build out your timeline, consider the following:
- Introduce the interview process to the candidate in the opening communication. Help them know the timing, what your interview is like, how to prepare and how to be successful in your interviews.
- Develop and follow a schedule of regular and clear communications throughout the interview process. Let candidates know where they stand. Define key dates in the interview process, including actual interviews, follow up dates and the date a decision will be made.
- Once a decision is made, send out start dates, how to be successful in your first week, key things to know about the job or the organization and connect the new employee to another employee (i.e. a buddy) to help them feel connected from the start.
- Gather personal information about the new hire to be able to create a personalized onboarding experience. Share the date of onboarding and be sure everything is ready for the new employee on his/her first day.
The opportunity to attract a candidate to your company, to share what the employee experience is all about, starts with the interview process. Make your hiring process clear and efficient, and be sure to share all of the critical information and dates up front. Nothing disengages a future potential employee more than an organization that is disorganized, unclear or too slow in its decision-making. Have an intentional plan so you never drag your feet when hiring new talent.