Many of those who are looking for work seek advice on interview etiquette. However, it isn’t only the interviewees who need to take care in these situations. While being in this position might not be as harrowing as on the receiving end, companies nonetheless need to make preparations of their own for the recruiting hiring process. Hiring the right person first time round will yield positive results in the form of long-term productivity. Here are some crucial hiring tips to remember.
Decide well in advance who is doing the interview. Preferably this should be someone who has conducted an interview before. This ensures that the interviewer can get into the frame of mind to take on the role psychologically and recruitment planning meetings can be arranged for the people who are going to be involved.
Pre-screening candidates with a phone interview is another important element in this list of hiring tips. This is firstly to check to see if whoever you are speaking to is in fact the person you have on paper. A phone interview can also evaluate whether or not their qualifications are relevant and fit the job, and whether salary expectations are met.
Define the job well. The more accurate a job description is, the closer a potential employee can be to what it is that you want. Even with all the relevant criteria, you will receive applications from people who don’t match them all. Imagine the onslaught if there are less specific criteria.
Ask the right questions. Good interview questions to ask helps separate good candidates from great ones. It is pointless to ask someone about previous experience with customer or client interactions if there will be no customer or client interaction in the role at hand. However, if the role is in sales, this would be relevant, and it would be important to gauge a potential employee’s skills in this area.
Systemise the process with a list. The use of a list in conjunction with the questions you will have prepared will create a quantifiable assessment of each candidate so that you have a fair comparison. This list can also double-up as a fall-back for in case two candidates answer similarly in terms of the questions presented to them.
Worry about commitment to the job (and check references). An employee will have to take the job seriously, so if there is a history of attendance issues, perhaps this person isn’t for you. To find this out, references will have to be contacted. This is a fundamental step that is often overlooked. Even if someone is extremely polite, and seems like a good person, it is not worth risking unproductivity.
As a guideline, use a 2:8 role ratio. In short, this means that for every two units of time you speak as an interviewer, the interviewee should speak for eight time units. In many cases, an interviewer will talk too much about a role in an attempt to sell the role to a potential employee. However, this is takes up information and time that the interviewee could be putting to good use, to prove to you that they are interested and able.
Never be hiring out of desperation. There is a common saying with regard to this: “hire slowly, fire quickly.” This means that if it takes a long time to hire someone, this time will be compensated by the company receiving efficient work. Likewise, if someone isn’t right for the job, fire them as soon as possible, to save time and resources. If you are filling a position that has been recently vacated, don’t just hire the first person you interview!
The last of these hiring tips is: don’t interview alone. You should have either another manager with you, or someone from the same area/department as the prospective employee. In this way, not only can you ensure that the interviewee gets effectively cross-referenced (and you can bounce ideas off of each other), but you can also make sure there is no possibility of the interviewee getting an upper hand.
Harry Lawrence | 14 May 2013 | Strike Jobs Journalist