Structuring your interview process to make the right hire

Interview
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Making a new hire requires a lot of time and effort. This is no big secret if you’re a recruiter! But it’s not just recruiters dedicating their resources to hire. Everyone from hiring managers to senior leaders and receptionists is required to participate in some aspect of the interview process. Yet for an activity that touches so many people, interviewing is not always given the respect it deserves.

Some interviewers treat the entire process as a waste of time that could be better spent doing almost anything else. Others might not be so openly against interviewing, but they treat their time with candidates as simply a chance to chat and casually discuss work history or common acquaintances. Yet others walk into the interview room with no game plan whatsoever. Figuring that they’ll just wing it or let the candidate guide the conversation.

These approaches to interviewing aren’t just ineffective. They also lead to negative candidate experience, tarnish your employer brand, and decrease your offer acceptance rate.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

The key to maximizing your hiring success is to implement a structured interview process. This involves outlining exactly what you’re looking for before you even write the job request. Creating a framework for each step of the process. This allows every person involved to know exactly what the purpose of the session is and which criteria they should be evaluating a candidate against.

Here are the basics of setting up a structured interview process:

Define Who You’re Trying to Hire

The first step of setting up a structured interview process is really understanding and defining the role. Going through this process helps ensure that recruiters and hiring managers are aligned. This reduces chances of confusion and miscommunication further on in the process.

Start with the basics: the role name, the department, and who the person will report to. Then be sure to consider the business objectives of making this hire. How will this person contribute to your company’s bottom line? Finally, consider what you expect the person to accomplish in their first year in the role.

Decide How You’ll Evaluate Candidates

Once you’ve defined what the role looks like, you can now decide how you’ll evaluate the candidate. It might help to begin with a few general categories like:

  • basic requirements (e.g., qualification, location),
  • Necessary skills (project management, proficiency in a particular software), and
  • Hiring manager preferences (autonomy, communication style).

Next, you’ll want to define the hiring criteria for this particular role. In other words, what are the required skills, personality traits, and qualifications someone would need in order to accomplish all the things you set out in the first step?

Outline the Interview Process

In this final step, you’ll design the actual interview plan. This is where you’ll match each stage of the interview to a particular set of criteria. The number and types of interviews you conduct will vary depending on your organization and the specific role.

Structure your interview process today to maximize your chances of making the right hire.

 

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