Recruiting 101: Tips for Employee Recruitment
No hiring process is perfect. And many teams suffer the consequences of more than a few common recruitment mistakes. The tips below can help you avoid the pitfalls in the hiring process.
Clearly Define Your Hiring Team's Roles
Don't assume everyone on your team knows what they’re responsible for. They may inadvertently double up on tasks or leave them by the wayside, wasting time and drawing out the interview process.
Do delegate tasks based on each teammate’s strengths. Assign every step, including: writing the job description, posting and promoting the job, reaching out to candidates, scheduling interviews, gathering feedback, checking references, and making the offer.
Create a Clear, Consistent Hiring Process
Once you know what you’re looking for, you can decide how you’ll evaluate the candidates. It’s important to conduct consistent interviews and evaluate all candidates using the same criteria.
We typically recommend breaking the position into three key needs:
- Basic requirements: things like physical location and college degree (if necessary for the role versus a preferred attribute)
- Necessary hard skills: project management experience, critical software knowledge, or language proficiency, etc.
- Preferences for soft skills: level of autonomy, communication style, etc.
Then, you can develop questions or other assessments that identify whether candidates have the required combination of skills and attitude.
Be consistent! Ask the same questions and use the same processes for all candidates. For example, you should conduct phone screen or Skype interviews for both in-state and out-of-state candidates, no exceptions.
Create a Clear and Compelling Job Post
Crafting a compelling job description is essential to helping you attract the most qualified candidates for your job. Learn how to how to write a job desciption here.
Don't use vague or gimmicky words to describe the role and its responsibilities — or turn the job post into a grocery list of technical requirements. The average job seeker looks at your post for only 14 seconds before deciding whether to move on, so be clear and concise above all.
Do list a maximum of four to six requirements or responsibilities, followed by a balance of compensation and perks. Attach your profile link to the post so applicants can reach you directly. Don’t know how to write an effective job post? Get started with one of our job description templates
Targeting the Right Audience
Don't expect more applications to equal more qualified candidates. As remote work becomes increasingly popular and job hunters expand their searches, you might receive too many resumes from unqualified applicants, which could overwhelm your lean hiring team.
Do reserve some of your budget for the targeted promotion of your job post. A few targeting parameters go a long way in placing your role in front of the most qualified people, instead of passively waiting for applicants to discover you through search or a network connection.
Screen Resumes Effectively: The Three Pile Method
Once you know what you’re looking for and have developed a method to find it, make sure your process is efficient. Avoid the “I-have-a-stack-of-resumes-but-no-one-to-interview” problem by screening!
You can shorten the process by sorting resumes into three piles: top resumes into one pile, obvious duds in another, and a parking lot for consideration only if the top resumes are not the right fit.
Things to look for in resumes:
- Aesthetics and attention: accuracy, consistent formatting, spacing errors, fonts
- Qualifications: education, experience, skills, measurable accomplishments, detail, increasing responsibility
- Red flags: inconsistencies with LinkedIn profile, unexplained gaps in employment, job hopping
After selecting top candidates, do a little bit of additional screening (lnvestigate LinkedIn profile (for example), etc.) and if all still looks good, schedule a brief phone interview.
The phone interview should be 15-20 minutes and the intention should be to screen out weaker candidates. This is a good time to ask deal breaker questions or inquire into areas that might be red flags. For example, you can ask someone with 15+ years of experience applying for a job that only needs 3+ years: “We’re impressed with your background, which is more experience than the position requires. We want to make sure we’re not wasting your time. The salary range we’ve been considering is this. Does this work for your salary requirements?”
Don't Ignore Red Flags During Interviews
Don't let a candidate’s charm sidetrack you from objectively assessing their qualifications. Unqualified candidates often use charisma to make up for lack of experience.
Do watch out for candidates who ask questions just for the sake of asking, as well as candidates who agree to everything without hesitation. Other red flags include name-dropping, forced enthusiasm, and (obviously) lying. Screening questions and skill assessments in your job post can prevent unqualified candidates from advancing far in the pipeline.
Get to Know the Candidate
Don't offer each candidate the exact same canned experience. Qualified candidates are quickly turned off by inauthentic recruiting.
Do your homework. Find out what the candidate is passionate about and how they can align their personal interests with your team’s goals.
Close the Loop with All Applicants — Even the Ones You Aren’t Hiring
Don't let applicants fall into a void. This hurts your employer brand, may cause strong candidates to drop off, and may deter talented people from applying to future roles.
Do respond to every application you receive and every candidate you speak with. Small businesses might not have the time to manually accomplish this, so we recommend investing in an automated solution.