Attention Hiring Managers: 5 Tips for Improving the Hiring Process

As a hiring manager, it's your job to hire the candidate that is "most likely to succeed". No, we aren't referring to what their classmates in high school thought about them; we are talking about who is the right candidate for the job, fits well with the company culture and has the qualities that will be successful now and into the future. The following five tips will help manage the hiring process more effectively to find the right candidates for each and every position: 1.     Remember There is No "Perfect" CandidateIt's common to put together a laundry list of must-have qualities for a particular position, after all how else will you find the perfect candidate? Job descriptions may dictate the tasks, but many times having a list of qualities will only help narrow the field.  Just remember that you probably won't find one candidate that has all the qualities for the salary you are willing to pay, so be prepared to be flexible and remember:

  • Culture fit  may be more significant than skills that can be learned
  • Work experiences may be more valuable than education

   2.     Move Quickly and Keep the Process Moving  In this economy it seems counter-intuitive, but the market for talented people is strong and they frequently have multiple opportunities. You can't spend weeks or months reviewing resumes or scheduling interviews. Not only will the length of time frustrate the candidate, they may move onto another position due to the lack of timeliness that your company has demonstrated. Many times the lack of quick response is taken as a lack of interest. So be ready to move quickly when you start the hiring process and take the lead in making the process as efficient as possible.    3.     The Best Candidates are the Most Expensive  There is usually correlation between salary and talent level. This strong connection is not something to ignore or think you can bypass. Hiring managers, understandably, want to hire the best person for the lowest compensation; however, this may not be possible. If you find a talented individual who you believe is a fit for your position - meeting all the qualities and is a good culture fit - then be prepared to be flexible on compensation. Many times these individuals will be receptive to hearing alternative solutions to compensation gaps - such as signing and performance bonuses, stock options, ownership opportunities or perks.  If you are not able to agree with multiple candidates on compensation, it may be time to lower your expectations to meet your salary requirement.    4.     Refresh your Interviewing Skills and Take Advantage of Assessment Tools  There many effective behavioral assessments available in the marketplace. They can be administered on-line and are a valuable source of additional information about a candidate. In addition, up-to-date interviewing techniques can really help identify the best candidate. (http://humanresources.about.com/od/interviewing/a/behavior_interv.htm).  If you're not using the latest in behavioral questions, such as 'tell me about a situation where you had to deal with a difficult person' or 'describe a situation where you had to use confrontation skills' then it is time to add them to your interview process. Not all interviews should be cookie cutter, be flexible to ensure you are gathering as much information about the candidate as possible.    5.     It's Your Job to Recruit, Not Just Evaluate  Since your job as the hiring manager is to recruit as well as to evaluate, be sure to strike the right balance between assessing a candidate and selling the opportunity and your company. This is one of the biggest mistakes we see hiring managers make. Remember the best candidates will have multiple opportunities and you'll need to be able to effectively generate interest in the position while simultaneously assessing each candidate.   As the hiring manager, you are the key impression for the candidate. Take the time to prepare and make it a priority.

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