When you have an open position to fill and a host of candidates who are eager to take the job, that may seem to make things relatively easy. You can whittle down the hire list to the candidates you think are most qualified, but it may not always be easy to know whether you made the right call until weeks or months down the line.
The question, then, is how you can improve the hiring process in such a way that ensures you minimize mistakes and get the most out of every new person you bring aboard:
1) Try testing them
One of the best ways to make sure you're ably separating the wheat from the chaff in the hiring process is to have some sort of skills test, according to hiring expert Steve Olenski, writing for Forbes. Generally speaking, the test should be based around the kind of work the hire would do at the company if they get the job. This will often provide legitimate data that helps you make better decisions because you have proof of concept as it applies directly to your company's needs.
2) Focus on their stated skills
Many workers have impressive resumes, and that's obviously by design, since they're trying to get a job, Olenski advised. However, if a person has a particularly impressive work history - if they've held high-ranking jobs or worked for prestigious companies in your field - that may be enough to get them an interview, but their skills should be what gets them the job. Put another way: You're hiring based on what a candidate can do for your company, rather than what they might have already done for someone else.
3) Find the right amount of time
A big issue in the hiring process is companies can't quite nail down the proper timeframe for the period between when the job is announced and when the hire is made, according to Entrepreneur magazine. In some cases, they may go through too quickly and find they've made the wrong call a few months later. In others, they may take too long and lose highly qualified candidates to other opportunities, or simple frustration. Striking the right balance with trial and error or existing information is a must.
4) Really focus during interviews
All too often, candidates say they become disengaged from the hiring process because the person they spoke to at their interview seemed distracted by other matters or just wasn't paying enough attention to what they were saying, Entrepreneur noted. An interview should be a solid back-and-forth exchange, and even if candidates aren't put off by a lack of attention from a manager, that lack of attention could lead to making the wrong hire.
5) Rely on their references
As with the information on the resume itself, people will most often list references that make them look as good as possible, according to Indeed. Nonetheless, hiring managers would be wise to really drill down on whatever issues potentially concern them about a candidate. Asking the right questions could help them find new information that allows them to make better hiring decisions overall.
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