How do you make your hiring process more efficient?
I strongly believe in getting very clear about what I want in a candidate. I don’t just mean experience. For example, for some positions that require thought and adaptability, it’s much more important for a candidate to exhibit these skills (critical thinking and reasoning and adaptability / tolerance) than it is for them to have had this amazing string of successes. What if the person is coming from a highly structured (i.e., typical large corporation) environment to a loosely structured one? That person would have had great successes but he or she more than likely would not be able to duplicate those successes in such an unfamiliar environment.
Use very clear job descriptions that communicate the culture
Therefore, I always post a very clear job description that conveys the personal attributes we seek and the culture. If we’re fun, I ensure that I don’t just say we’re fun, but I write the post in a somewhat light, humorous manner and I provide examples of what we’d expect the person to be hired to do. (i.e., You smile a lot and like to laugh.) I state clearly what the expectations are, but I state these more generally, unless we’re looking for a highly specific skill or skill set.
In the job posting
For managers, in the job posting I typically ask the respondents to answer a question I include. This is a great screen for attention to detail, initiative, and writing skills. Those who don’t answer the question are automatically eliminated (they either missed the question – detail – or chose to ignore it –initiative), as are those who have horrible grammar or other poor writing habits. The person doesn’t have to be a great writer, but he/she must be able to communicate effectively.
Follow-up and interview process
I then follow up with 15-20 minute screening interviews. People are in the comfort of their homes or offices and, therefore, should be less nervous. I can screen for enthusiasm, basic knowledge, sense of humor, basic critical thinking and more during that brief interview.
These two steps – a streamlined, highly focused job posting and the screening interview – are the best methods I’ve found to make the hiring process efficient.
What about you? Have you had success streamlining using other methods, asking specific questions, or requiring specific tasks, such as case studies? If so, please share in the comments below.