Does your company currently experience high turnover rate or poor employee performance? Human capital leaders at organizations engaging in frequent hiring cycles are finding that they lose out on quality candidates, or worse, they hire candidates with skills that don’t match the requirements of the job.

How can you avoid hiring less-than-qualified candidates? The answer lies in your hiring processes; small intricacies and details that are overlooked, improper training, poor interviewing skills, and a lack of consistent communication are key factors that make or break the hiring process.

Improve your hiring processes and improve employee engagement and retention with these 7 easy steps:

#1 Accurately describe the open position

The immediate need for candidates to fill certain positions can be crucial to the operation of a specific business unit. To ensure that you’re attracting and right candidates, advise managers against writing job descriptions that don’t clearly communicate the requirements of the job. Too often, a job description is written in haste, posted online, and never reviewed again. While the need may be urgent, the result of a poorly written job description will most likely be that you’ll attract the wrong types of applicants and end up no better off than when you first posted the job opening.

Be clear on what the job demands are and what requirements applicants must meet. Ensure the experience, education, skills, and necessary attitude is clearly defined in the job posting. Moreover, when you and your managers know what to look for during the interview, it makes the interview easier and more productive for all concerned.

Just as job seekers are coached to be honest in their resumes, companies should also be honest during the interview. With the popularity of social media platforms, the need for corporate transparency is at an all-time high. Because of this, any attempt to purposely keep information concealed from candidates, employees, and the general public will typically backfire for most companies.

During the hiring process, be honest with candidates and applicants. Say up front what you are seeking and what you hope to achieve during the interview. Avoid the cryptic messages and obscure questions—go straight for the details.

#2 Cultivate relationships with candidates

Save money on talent sourcing by effectively managing relationships with candidates, both past and current. This means staying in touch with qualified candidates and cultivating associations – even if they were not offered a position by your company during the current round of hiring. The most effective way to stay in touch with candidates is to use LinkedIn as a networking platform for your company.

LinkedIn is a natural way to stay in touch as the social media platform was designed for networking among business professionals and candidates. Using LinkedIn to maintain communication with former candidates provides you with an instant pool of strong candidates you can call upon when the need arises.

Remain on good terms with all applicants that have applied to your company and check in on their status via the different social media channels they use to build their professional brands. You can also create groups on LinkedIn, and use that forum to provide a direct connection to candidates and post current job openings directly to candidates who have already shown an interest in your organization.

#3 Integrate current technology into your hiring process

Still using archaic methods to track candidates? Most businesses have integrated the latest technology to monitor candidates and the overall recruitment process. If you’re company hasn’t yet switched to modern HRMS/HRIS systems, you may find yourself losing popular candidates or misplacing applicant information. Don’t let the lack of technology in your recruiting process keep you behind the competition and accepting less than the most qualified candidates for your job openings.

Investments in recruiting technology and tracking systems make it easier to compare candidates and the availability of candidate social media information allows you to review candidate behavior and gain a level of transparency into their level of professionalism online.

The inclusion of technology in the hiring process gives you all the details you need at your fingertips, and allows you to smooth out your processes and enhance your effectiveness.

#4 Train your interviewers

Another area that might be failing your hiring process is the interviewer. Many times, interviewers are not qualified or prepared to interview applicants—and this can cost the company time and money.

When untrained personnel enter an interview room and begin asking rude, inappropriate, or obscure questions, such as: “What type of animal do you see yourself as?” – qualified candidates can be turned off. In addition, asking meaningless questions of a candidate doesn’t get you any closer to knowing if the candidate can help you meet your goals or help you discover if the candidate is a good fit.

Interviewers should be trained in appropriately interviewing a candidate. Have a specific set of guidelines the interviewers should know and follow, and follow up with candidates to ask about the overall interview experience.

#5 Communicate hiring decisions with candidates

Following up with candidates is not only polite, but it’s important for many reasons – including protecting the employer brand. It’s easy to lose a good candidate by not following up. For instance, if you’ve said you will reach out to the candidate with a decision in three days, then follow up in three days – if you haven’t made a decision, explain the situation and set a new time to contact the individual with a decision. Then, follow-up and meet that deadline.

Companies drop the ball and cause damage to their employer brand when they don’t follow up at all, or they follow up extremely late, only to find that the candidate has moved on. Be sure your communications are professional, no matter how you felt about the candidate. Resist sending overly abrupt or snarky messages to candidates that were not selected. How you treat your candidates today, will impact your ability to attract future applicants.

Avoid negatively affecting your employer brand by maintaining regular communication and following up on time. Also, strive to send out personalized messages to communicate rejection. It does not have to be long or overly explanatory, but it should be a personalized and professionally crafted message that a candidate did not make the cut. Reject them kindly, politely, and encourage them to try again in the future.  

#6 Use feedback surveys

Use feedback concerning the interview process to find areas to improve. Think of your candidates and applicants as customers, and ask them about their interview experience.

Surveys are easy to design now; especially using online survey tools (many are free!). Moreover, do not simply ask, “How did you like the interview?” Be specific in your questions for targeted feedback.

Some questions to include in your post-interview survey, include:

  • Did the interview provide a positive experience?
  • Was the interviewer knowledgeable about the job position?
  • Were the types of questions asked in line with the job requirements?
  • Do you have any anything else to add?

Avoid falling into the belief that your company is so great to work for that the candidate experience doesn’t matter. It does matter. Applicants and candidates will talk to other job seekers, and company review sites like Glassdoor are very popular places for people to see candidate and applicant reviews. So, pay attention to your candidates’ experiences.

#7 Test your candidate’s skills

Despite best practices and the coaching some job seekers may receive about resume honesty, there is always a possibility that people will stretch the truth or try to lie on their resumes.

To combat this, understand that it’s OK to test potential candidates. For instance, a copywriter candidate who is interested in a copywriting position with a marketing agency should be tested with a paid assignment. The assignment should match the work that will be commonly performed on the job.

Depending on the outcome, you can move forward with the candidate or politely turn them down. Either way, you now have your answer, which makes it easier to whittle down the potential candidate pool.

No company’s hiring process is perfect, but a consistent review of the overall processes and educating hiring managers and recruiters will make your hiring process smoother, and produce better employees. 

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