One of the most frustrating things about hiring is the time the process takes. Prepwork, marketing, reviewing, screening, interviewing, negotiating—it all takes a while. But the longer it takes to find a qualified candidate for the position, the more your company suffers.
Of course, you don’t want to rush into a hire that you’ll later regret. Hiring well is important and deserves time and attention.
So where’s the balance? How can you make sure you’re making smart hiring decisions, while also making the best use of your time? We’re sharing ten of our top tips for doing just that.
Here are ten things you can do to make good hiring decisions, faster.
- Define the job. Be as specific as you can about defining and describing the job you need done. What responsibilities does the job include? What daily tasks will be involved? Is the position full-time, part-time, or temporary? What does the position pay? Being absolutely clear about these things (and others) will save you time in the long run, as it will automatically narrow your pool of candidates and give you a reference to return to throughout the hiring process.
- Describe your ideal candidate. Again, the more detail, the better. What skills or qualifications are absolutely necessary? Which ones aren’t required, but preferred? What type of person are you looking for, in terms of work habits, strengths, and ability to work with others? When you have a clear idea of who you’re looking for, it will be easier to spot them quickly.
- Leverage your network. A candidate that is referred to you by a trusted colleague or acquaintance gives you a head start in terms of vetting that candidate. Talk to people you trust within your network and see if they have any recommendations for you.
- Post smart. Posting your job ad to the right place could make all the difference in finding a candidate who is a good fit. Posting anywhere and everywhere will likely get you many applicants who aren’t qualified for the position, which will slow down your process.
- Use the tools available to you. Don’t be afraid of utilizing technology, such as social media, in your search for the right employee. Beyond utilizing your social networks to find candidates, as mentioned above, you can check out social media profiles to help you get a better idea of a candidate’s personality.
- Set deadlines. You should set deadlines to help yourself stay on track throughout the hiring process. Set dates for: the last day to accept applications, the day by which you’ll have screened through resumes, the days you’ll conduct interviews, and the day you’ll make your final decision. Be realistic about your timeline, and then stick to it.
- Develop a rubric. This can be especially helpful when it comes to the interview. Decide the things you want to “grade” the applicant on (e.g. punctuality, preparedness, technical knowledge, etc.). Align your rubric with your company values to make sure you’re looking for the right things. Try to make your rubric as objective as possible.
- Interview smarter. Plan thoughtful questions in advance. Take notes during the interview. Have at least two people conduct the interview so you can compare notes after. Know exactly what you’re looking for (this is where the rubric comes in handy) and pay close attention. Listen as much as you talk.
- Make the offer. Once you’ve decided on a candidate, make them an offer as soon as possible. The quicker they respond, the quicker you can move forward—whether that means negotiation, onboarding, or moving on to the next candidate.
- Use a staffing agency. With extensive databases at their disposal, plus years of experience finding qualified candidates for any number of positions, staffing agencies can speed up your search considerably. Plus, they free up your time, so the employee search doesn’t force the rest of your to-do list to the back burner. If you really want optimal hiring efficiency, a staffing agency is the way to go.
No process can absolutely guarantee hiring success, but these tips will hopefully help you move through the hiring process as quickly and painlessly as possible, while still leaving you with a qualified candidate when all is said and done. Best of luck!
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