Do you ever wonder why some organizations seem to always hire extraordinary people and some don’t? Maybe you are at an organization that already does this well, or maybe your organization could use a refresher to ensure the hiring process yields the most extraordinary of candidates. By hiring appropriately from the get go, you save yourself time and your organization money. How is this accomplished? With a little planning, a lot of consistency (which is immensely important in the hiring process), follow-through and accountability, organizations can set themselves up to attract and hire the extraordinary. Using tried and true methods of one experienced HR manager is the key to hiring successful candidates in your organization.
According to Zac Johnson, director of human resources at the Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Downtown Union Station, appropriate job posting resources should be carefully considered as not all search engines are appropriate for all levels of positions. Determine for the position you are looking to fill which search engines could yield the most appropriate candidates. (i.e. entry level versus management or executive level). Another option is to use an outsourcing company that can provide many potential candidates with less leg work; however this is likely the more costly of avenues. If the cost of using an outside agency seems a bit much, another helpful tool may be to use one of the many available screening tools or a predictive index screening tool. These are helpful in weeding out applicants and narrowing down the best suited candidates. Johnson says, “Even though the candidate may seem like the right candidate, when put in the wrong situation or setting it can cost you time and money.” Also this tool is helpful in settings of high turnover.
Much of the stress in filling a vacancy can be alleviated with basic tips. Johnson recommends the following to help with consistency and processes so the plan is in place before job vacancies happen unexpectedly.
- Pre-plan. Organizations should always have written job descriptions readily available. This helps to determine “what kind of candidate” should be hired. It is also helpful to have templates ready for the customary responses for the initial contact response, the next step response after the initial interview, the decline response and the offer letter for that extraordinary candidate.
- Make the candidate comfortable. Prior to the initial interview, Johnson recommends determining the time, place and setting to ensure the candidate is as comfortable as possible. This helps them present the “best version” of themselves to provide better insight into who they are. Remember, “The more you talk, the less you learn about your potential candidate,” says Johnson.
- Craft your interview questions to gain insight into who the candidate is as a person. Johnson says questions to get the candidate talking that are not so typical might sound like, “Do you automatically give trust or does it need to be earned?” This question can provide insight into who they are as people and how they trust, give and receive respect. Another good question, although a little more typical, might be, “Tell me about your worst and best experiences on the job or in your career,” which may provide insight as to why they left the job or are seeking a new position. “It’s really about trying to get the why without having them realize they are saying it,” says Johnson.
What to do if you have more than one well-qualified candidate after the initial and post interviews? (Hopefully you are doing more than one interview in the process). Johnson suggests waiting to see who follows up first or if at all. Who is that extraordinary candidate that takes the time to send a thank you note, or follow up with a phone call or email?