Hiring is, without a doubt, one of the most critical processes for a small business. It’s also one of the most time consuming. The good news is that there are many things you can start, and stop doing to streamline the process and end up with better results.
Here are six tips to help you avoid the time-wasters, find time-makers, and build a better business by hiring people who fit:
1) Know 100% Who You’re Looking For
When you set out to do your hiring, be absolutely sure you know who you are looking for. For instance, what do you need them to do? What does success look like for this new hire six or twelve months down the line?
You need to decide not just which skills you need, but also which personality, motivation, and cultural attributes you need. If you do this, you’ll be far more likely to end up with someone who will fit in with your company and succeed in the job role.
If you’re not 100 percent clear on this at the start, you're going to fumble and waste cycles the entire way through. You may even end up back at square one, or worse, end up hiring the wrong person.
2) Invest In the Job Description
It’s crucial that you nail the job specs in your job description right from the start. Why? A poorly thought-out job description will result in you getting buried with weak applicants. Worse still, you may miss the mark against the applicants you really want.
Spend the time up front to clearly articulate what you need, the scope of the role, and the “must haves”. This will eliminate the time sucking barrage of applicant noise and help you zero in on and get your prime targets stoked and applying.
It’s a big world out there and for many roles it’s not unusual to receive applications from hundreds of job seekers. Dealing with the volume of applicants is often the biggest time drain for any hiring manager. Printing, stacking, sorting, reviewing, and commenting through the big stack can literally take days. Worse still is it’s nearly impossible to tell who in the stack is most likely to succeed. Are you really better off for having spent all this time?
In situations like this, it is often best to put in place or use an already-existing central online job applicant system. There are hiring tools available online to help you manage this process to cut down the labor intensive steps that simply don’t add value.
4) Use Phone Screeners
How many times have you had someone come in for an interview and know ten seconds in that they’re a fail? That hurts. This is where phone screening can be one of the most effective streamlining techniques.
You can bang through several phone screeners in few hours and quickly weed out those who would never cut it. It can also give you some early insights into who may be a star, so that you can move faster with them, if you’re competing with another company to hire them.
5) Pre-Screen and Interview In Bunches
To save time and make sharper decisions, you’ll want to pre-screen and interview in waves. By lining up applicants close together you’ll get a much clearer comparative picture. Many businesses go in waves of three. It’s just enough to give you a good comparative sample without breaking your back to get it all coordinated and done. Clear stand-outs become more evident when there are direct and immediate comparisons.
6) Follow Up, Learn, and Move On
After going through the hiring process, it’s just as important to follow up on how well it worked, for everyone involved, so you can do it better each time you hire. Make it a learning process where you change one key thing each time, so that constant improvement is manageable.
So next time you’re hiring, see if you can simply and make the process more efficient by following these six steps. If you do, it can lead to better hiring—and better business results.
This guest post is courtesy of Ben Baldwin. He is the Founder and Co-CEO of ClearFit, a hiring tool that makes it easy for small and medium-sized businesses to find and hire employees that succeed. He's a patent holder, Wall Street Journal Startup Mentor, and business advisor.