Every business owner is thinking of ways to make their company grow. There are so many insightful tips out there regarding financials and business strategies, but a lot of people don’t talk about the importance of the hiring process. A solid hiring process is going to help ensure you have outstanding employees working for you, and good employees are another key to making your business grow.
Some problems that are common for business owners or managers to run into are candidates who have lied on their resume regarding job experience and qualifications. They might even go as far as having their listed references lie for them about their qualities. There are a few tricks you can use to get honest answers that aren’t cut and dry as most.
Write Better Job Descriptions
One of the first things you can do is start improving your job descriptions. If you made a cut and dry job description for each role, you’re not going to attract the best candidates. While listing every requirement and necessary skill is important, try including what YOU can do for the potential employee. This will attract candidates that are looking for serious and long-term job opportunities.
Here is a great example of a well thought out job description from Deluxe:
As you can see, there is a lot of information, but all of it is important. Another point to note is they included the recruiter’s information. People like transparency when it comes to who is filtering through candidates. They provide the location of the job, which is great for planning possible commute times and various activities like gym sessions and lunch breaks.
Having a vague job description will not attract candidates who know exactly what they are looking for. You can look at updated templates for jobs you are posting and get an idea of what’s working and what’s not. Also, don’t be afraid to update job descriptions that are already posted. Someone might have saved your post and if they see it was updated with more details, they might be more likely to apply.
Have a Highly Involved Hiring Team
There should be more than just one person making the employment decisions at your business. Choosing the next employee to add to the team is a big decision and sometimes you might not catch onto something that a colleague might see. Consider having various colleagues step in for the interview and ask a few questions. Some companies even hold multiple interview stages with different people.
You can also have someone help you filter through the initial applications. If you are the designated hiring manager for the company but the newest job posting is for a separate department, have the head of that department help you pick candidates. At the end of the day, they will know what type of employee they need and how they should perform.
Look at Social Media
Don’t be afraid to peek at candidate’s social media accounts. Of course, you can utilize the information they supplied on their resume and you can speak to past employers or references, but sometimes people aren’t honest. However, you are not authorized to ask a potential employee for their social media passwords and it's beneficial to stay away from 3rd party social media screenings.
If you notice behaviors that would potentially cause issues at your business, take note of these and consider speaking with the HR manager or a colleague that is also in charge of hiring decisions. When you are looking at social media profiles, it’s also important to check all channels instead of just one. Be wary of what others are saying about your candidate because some of that information might not be true.
Test the Best Candidates
This might come as an extra expense but has proven to be effective when assessing a candidate’s qualifications for a job. For example, if you are hiring an office assistant or front desk associate, consider administering a Microsoft Office test. These are simple and can typically be given through email or other programs. Some jobs will also perform a phone test to determine how well their phone and communication skills are.
Not only are these important for verifying the qualifications that the candidate has listed on their resume, but this also helps determine the skill level for training purposes. If you are wanting to save on costs for this, consider only testing your best candidates. Or, it can be a mandatory pre-screening before you select who you want to interview. I have seen this done both ways and they have been effective.
Ask Straightforward Questions
Even as business owners we know how intimidating interviews can be. One way or another we have all been interviewed or questioned in some matter. This can often lead to hiring managers creating fun and silly questions to lighten the mood. However, this is not the way to go. If you want to lessen the stress that your candidates might be facing, be very transparent with who you are and your goals with the interview. Refer to the Deluxe example at the beginning of this article.
Some questions to ask would be about their job experience and how it relates to what you are looking for from a candidate. Ask them what they are looking forward to if they get hired and some expectations they have in terms of management and job duties. Feel free to open the floor for them to ask you questions. Be prepared to answer questions regarding the hiring process, employee expectations and to talk about YOUR experience within the company.
One important tip to remember is not to overwhelm your candidate with information about you, and your favorite things to do. I see this happen a lot when hiring managers don’t have experience with interviews and seem to have no clue as to what they're doing. Instead of making it a presentation about your life story, you can give some details and ask the candidate if they have questions regarding what you do and what the company is like.
Consider the Personality
After you’ve interviewed candidates, it’s quite easy to get caught up in the nitty gritty of experience and qualities. One thing I often see hiring managers do is completely disregard someone’s personality as a necessary trait for an employee. A lot of successful business owners will tell you that can you train someone how to perform a task but you can’t train someone to have a better personality. In other words, skills can be taught, but attitude can’t.
On a side note, if you notice that someone’s personality and skills would be better suited for another open position in your company, don’t be afraid to suggest it to the candidate. There is a chance they might not have noticed it or felt qualified enough to apply.
Create a Survey
Follow up with your candidates and ask them to fill out an anonymous survey for their interview experience. See if there is anything they recommend you could fix about the interview process. Keeping these anonymous will encourage candidates to fill it out because they won’t have to worry about their feedback hindering their chance to get the job.
From what I’ve seen, the best business owners are open to feedback and welcome change. It takes a lot of courage to admit there is a flaw in your system or that something just isn’t working. Hopefully, some of these tactics work to improve your hiring process, thus allowing your company to grow.