In Part 1 of this posting, I discussed how hiring managers who excel in attracting and landing top talent are always on the lookout for the ideal person who can step into one of their key roles regardless of whether there is a current opening.
These hiring leaders are always working on their short list and are continually updating it.
The second main point with hiring managers who land top talent is that they treat the process of hiring a person as a high priority project. These hiring managers either take ownership of this project or they delegate this ownership to a proven leader on their team who they know will commit to the process and deliver in a timely manner. This leader will thrive on the knowledge that they are being evaluated on the success of the hiring project.
It would be great to hear of readers’ experiences of when they have accepted a position with an organization partially because of the positive impression gained during the interview process. On the flip side, has there ever been a position that initially seemed very attractive but the interview process caused enough concern that it kept someone from joining the organization?
A solid, well planned hiring process is something that top managers employ to create the highest likelihood of actually hiring the people they have targeted and put on their short lists. Much of the work in creating a solid process starts before the first interview takes place. It is critical is to have commitment by all parties to timelines, clearly defined qualifications and requirements for background and skill level of candidates, and consensus on realistic expectations.
Optimal performance in this process reflects very positively on the organization as this is where first and lasting impressions are made with all parties involved. Thus, structure, formality, and the positive alignment of all decision makers are highly important factors for on-boarding the very best candidates. If this alignment is not present during the process, then clearly this will be sensed by the candidate and could reflect in hesitancy or doubts in the candidate’s mind if this is the “dream” career that s/he is seeking.
Like most projects that do not have a project plan in place, timelines get missed and details are overlooked. When it comes to hiring, a process that is longer than it needs to be leads to good candidates being lost to more efficient competition or diminishing candidate interest. When small details are overlooked, it leads to losing good candidates due to inconsistent or incomplete information being communicated or the wrong people being hired because the right questions are not being asked by those involved in the process.
Here is the general list of tasks that need to be completed during a successful hiring process:
- Identify a pool of viable candidates (this should be done before the position is available, Part 1) by utilizing a variety of resources.
- Educate potential candidates on the organization, department and responsibilities of the position.
- Evaluate candidates on their skills and experience.
- Evaluate candidates on their personality and cultural fit.
- Evaluate candidates on their deliverability (this is the likelihood of accepting an offer should one be extended). This is a important yet often overlooked part of hiring process that leads to a lot of lost time.
- Present selling points to the candidate on the opportunity.
- Execute a solid offer and acceptance.
- Create a smooth transition and on-boarding process for the candidate. (Just because the offer has been accepted doesn’t mean the process is over).
Each of the bullets above is a science in and of itself! Stay tuned for ideas on each of the above in future posts.