Whether you are a hiring manager or a recruiter, the struggle to hire the candidates accurately is real. Find out how to hire employees that are right for your company.
The Great Resignation has had people throwing out large sums of money to get the right candidate onboard but end up losing them even before onboarding or in the first few months after joining.
It is important to get your hiring right because otherwise you will be in a constant state of hiring and growing your team with no significant growth on the business front.
Most people start hiring by defining the job description. But the job description part comes a bit later. Get a clear understanding of why you are hiring first.
If you are the hiring manager, here are a few questions to ask yourself:
Is this a new role or a replacement for an existing role?
What’s the gap in the team that I am looking for the candidate to fill?
Who does that work now in the team and how good are they at it?
What will a typical day look like for the new role?
What will their key objectives be?
How would you define good performance in the role?
Does the role need any specific industry context?
Answering these questions can help you assess the necessity and timing of the hire. You can then decide whether your hiring should be done through internal recruitment or external recruitment. In some cases, upskilling current employees can be the answer which will then open up the current role of the employee for the new hire.
If you are the recruiter, make sure you get a good grasp of the above questions from the hiring manager.
Having a lack of clarity on why a new hire or a new role is needed, can cause ambiguity in the hiring process and can be a major reason for employees to resign in the early months of joining your company.
That said, a job description is very important since it is the first entry point for a new hire. So you need to have a well-wriiten JD.
One common mistake while hiring, is following the same standard process for all roles - across seniority and across teams. Not that each stage of the hiring process needs to be totally different for every role but it definitely needs to be tweaked.
For eg: If you are figuring out how to hire a tech team, then structuring your hiring process for all tech roles with the usual telephonic screening and interview process might be challenging.
The reason would be that junior tech roles can get high volumes of applicants and it might not be possible to screen each candidate personally through call. In situations like these, customizing the hiring process by adding an assessment stage with a pre-assessment test for high-volume tech roles would help. You can even go one step further and automate the assessment process so you don’t have to manually send out a test every time.
And it goes without saying that for senior executive roles, sending out assessment tests might not get you any further with hiring the right candidate.
You can customize the stages and process according to:
Seniority of roles
Type of role (Tech, sales, marketing etc.)
Geographic and legal requirements
A million dollar question: Where can I find the right candidates?
I’ll give you another one: How can I find the right candidates faster?
These two questions might remain unsolved if you stick to the same two job boards to go after your candidates.
Post to multiple job boards from a single interface like Freshteam to save time
Don’t restrict yourself to job boards alone
Use niche platforms like GitHub to hire specific kinds of talent like developers
Go where your candidates are and don’t wait for them to come to you
Make use of platform-specific sourcing techniques
Learn secret techniques that will help you source candidates easier from platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Meetup, Flickr etc.
Get an edge over other recruiters and employers by educating yourself with resources like the Candidate Sourcing Bible
Even if you have the right sourcing platforms, whether people choose to apply to your job posting will depend a lot on how much they value your company as an employer. Good recruiters must also need to be good marketers.
But how can you hire for a startup when your brand is relatively new and unknown?
Whether you’re a startup or a small business or been around in the market for years, you can still build your employer brand with ease using a few hacks to deliver a delightful candidate experience across touchpoints.
Let’s look at how you can build your brand by taking the example of a few standard stages that every candidate would follow.
Job Posting: Make your job posting and job description unique and creative. If you’re not good at copy writing or designing, get the help of your marketing team or invest some dollars in getting an agency to do it for you
Career site: Once your candidate clicks on the job posting, don’t let them apply with one click. Instead, take them to your career site. Show off your company culture and values to leave the desired impression on them.
Application form: How can your application form be different from typical employers? Make it unique and interesting for the candidate to apply to your company.
Acknowledgment email: An often overlooked touchpoint. This is a place to get the applicant hooked to your company and showcase the benefits they get when they join you. Candidate ghosting is a real worry at various stages. To reduce that, you can use this post interview email follow-up template to get them interested in you again.
Interview scheduling: Make this stage exciting for shortlisted candidates with a personalized email with details about their interviewers. Delight them by allowing them to self-schedule their interviews.
Offer or reject email: A well-written email could play a big role in getting the selected candidate to accept your offer. And don’t forget to gracefully reject the candidates who didn’t make it.
So as you can see, building your employer brand does not need advertising dollars but just effective handling of your brand touchpoints to deliver a great experience to the candidates at almost no added cost.
Despite being relatively small, this Spanish startup testified to the impact of a career site on their hiring: “Our career site powered by Freshteam amazed our candidates.”
Cost-effective channels only sound like a myth until you look within. Your company’s employees and their networks possess great potential for hiring talent.
Employee referrals are one of the most effective ways to hire employees for small businesses and startups. You can check out our article on how to recruit on a budget.
Widely use the networks of your employees to look for candidates with similar qualifications or skills. Cast your net wider by getting your candidates to refer more candidates as well. This one might be a bit tricky but with the right email for candidate referrals, you can easily crack a new cost-effective channel for your company.
Pro tip: Employee and candidate referrals are one of the fastest ways to hire when you are scaling up your team. An employee referral tool makes this process incredibly easy and can help you close a position 20% faster.
A remote hiring process which can apply to both remote and non-remote workers and may not be the same as hiring remote employees. Hybrid work is here to stay in most companies.
Offering the flexibility of remote hiring or virtual recruiting not only makes your hiring faster and cheaper but also gives you easier access to a wider pool of candidates.
There are multiple things that can go wrong with a remote hiring process since almost all candidate touchpoints are virtual. A continuous feedback mechanism can help you identify stages of maximum drop-off or unblock bottlenecks that might lead to a poor candidate experience.
Etiquettes to ensure your hiring process is smooth even when remote:
Always be prompt in your replies to candidates even when on email
Set expectations on when they can expect to hear from you and meet them
Get the right tools to enable remote hiring such as video interviewing software
Share detailed feedback to the hiring panel to make remote collaboration easy
Create a clear remote onboarding plan to induct the new hire to the team
Companies that hire the right employees get their interviewing stage right. There are multiple ways of conducting interviews - case study-based, behavioral interviews, soft-skill testing, stress interviews and so on. Find what works best for your company and your culture.
Remember tip #4? Building your brand also relies heavily on the candidate experience you can deliver at the interview stage.
Going unprepared for an interview as an interviewer is even worse than going unprepared as an interviewee. It gives the wrong impression of your company and assessing the candidate becomes too subjective, allowing space for bias to creep in.
If you’re looking for a long-term employee, dig deep into motivational questions so you are sure that the new hire won’t jump to the first company that offers him more pay.
If you are hiring a sales team or other customer-facing roles like customer-support, behavioral questions through formats like the STAR framework would help you assess what the candidate brings to the table by analyzing their past experience and behavior in depth.
Decide what kind of interviews will work for which roles
Equip the interviewing panel with a formal interviewing certification
Drastically reduce all the follow-up that’s needed with interview scheduling tools
Be prepared with the interview questionnaire and scorecard prior to the interview
Get an agency to run a thorough reference check to validate the resume and interview claims
All your hiring woes will remain unsolved if recruiters and hiring managers are buried neck deep with manual work in posting to job boards and sorting through emails to find resumes and responses from candidates.
Mundane work like this doesn’t give you enough time to zoom out and assess whether your sourcing strategy is even working. Routine tasks like following up with candidates, interviewers and hiring managers, form up to 80% of a recruiter’s workload.
So what can you do to hire faster and better from sourcing to interviewing to hiring? Automate your hiring! Here is a list of things that you can do better when you automate your recruiting end-to-end.
Job requisition for the new hire
Job posting to multiple boards with one click
Central tracking of all applications
Screening and parsing resumes
Customized hiring processes
Collaboration on hiring decision
Recruiting automation with hiring tools like Freshteam can free as much as 75% of the hiring workload and it also comes with a free-for-life option.
A lot of companies waste time in scheduling interviews with multiple panel members, getting the panel members to a consensus meeting to select the candidate and drafting an offer for the selected candidate. But the saying holds true that the early bird gets the worm.
In the current war for talent, such slow response times will only ensure that a faster firm has already taken your candidate.
Act swiftly when you identify a good candidate with the right skills. Good candidates might interview with several companies at the same time and your response time might make or break the deal.
Adopt radical measures to cut the response time drastically. A few things you can do:
Allow the candidate to self-schedule interviews with a tool like Freshteam
Schedule interview drive days in a month when candidates can attend all interview rounds on the same day if they qualify
Provide virtual interview scorecards for panel members and recruiters to coordinate asynchronously at their convenience instead of waiting for a consensus meeting
Use templates that are in-built in software for managing offers to candidates
Make use of e-sign software to fast track candidate acceptance of your offer
Pro tip: Reference and background checks are one thing that you should spend adequate time on, however. Here's a quick email template that you can use to get references from your candidates which you can then verify through an independent agency or tool before onboarding new hires. This prevents any wrong hires unless you consciously prefer a Michael Ross to your Harvey Specter.
Once you have gone through a few rounds of sourcing and interviewing candidates, start analyzing the data.
How good is your sourcing?
Are the job boards and platforms you are using able to bring the right candidates?
Are there any specific channels which show a better conversion rate for hiring?
Do candidates from a particular platform tend to be more unresponsive?
These can help you make some crucial decisions in optimizing your sourcing strategy.
How good is your interviewing?
How much time does the candidate spend in the interview stage?
What is the decision and communication timeline like once the interviews are over?
Is there any correlation between interviewer ratings and a particular sourcing channel?
Are your employer and candidate referrals bringing in candidates who fit your culture?
Data-driven decisions will help you be far ahead of your hiring game than other employers in the market. The difference between how to hire and how to hire right lies in getting your data insights right.
The first time you start hiring you will inevitably have to go through a learning curve. So don’t get disheartened when things don’t work out but use the data to make more informed sourcing, screening, interviewing and hiring decisions.
Hiring candidates accurately is a journey and by following these tips and using the right tools, you should get there in no time.
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