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Ready to Hire? Improve Your Hiring Process with These Ideas

It’s a new year – and for many Middle Tennessee companies, it’s time to hire.

If your 2012 initiatives include adding to your direct headcount, the best way to ensure hiring success is by being prepared.  Failing to do so can lead to a host of interviewing problems, including biases, inconsistencies, costly inefficiencies – and ultimately, bad hires.

But by preparing ahead of time and using more effective interview methods, you dramatically increase your odds of hiring a top performer.  So before a single candidate arrives for an interview, use these tips to create a more structured, consistent process that ensures hiring decisions are based on relevant, sound information – and not merely first impressions:

  1. Analyze the position to be filled. Assess what the ideal candidate will need in order to be successful in the position.  Consider:  skills, knowledge, type of experience, core competencies (e.g., decision making, customer responsiveness, problem solving, etc.), attitude, corporate culture fit and even interpersonal style.
  2. Define the job. Develop a thorough job description, including the key roles and responsibilities.  Review performance evaluations of top performers in this role and ask existing team members what it would take for the new hire to succeed.
  3. Develop standard interview questions. Use the requirements created in the previous steps to make a list of standard interview questions.  Ask these same questions of all applicants for the position.  Before interviews begin, determine ideal/acceptable responses for each question, to increase objectivity and improve the accuracy of your ratings.  The structure you create now will yield better quality judgments once the interviews are over.
  4. Identify additional details needed to select the best candidate. Before interviewing, review additional information you will need to collect or verify, such as:  proof of certifications or licensures, records of educations, lists of references, etc.
  5. Establish clear standards for non-verbal cues. Body language, eye contact, posture, appearance and other non-verbal cues all impact the first impression a job candidate makes.  But while these cues can be helpful in making a decision, they are also easy to manipulate and prone to subjective interviewer bias.  To avoid these biases and personal judgments (especially when multiple interviews are involved), establish clear standards for non-verbal cues which are appropriate for your corporate culture and employee/customer expectations.  Once you ascertain that a candidate meets your minimum standards, you can shift attention to the true substance of his responses.

These are just a few of the things you can do to improve your hiring process.  Look for future posts with more tips for hiring better.

Hire the Best with Wood Personnel

With two decades of recruiting experience in Middle Tennessee, Wood Personnel can quickly and cost-effectively deliver candidates with skills, expertise and behavioral traits to succeed in your organization.  We use professionally trained interviewers, skills-specific testing, thorough background checks and satisfaction guarantees to ensure the success of your next hire.