February 13, 2020 6:17 PM
Hiring is an exhaustive process. When I have four onsite interviews on a single day, I take a deep breath before I head into work. With SHRM confirming that 25% of business-critical positions remain unfilled after five months, pressure to make a faster decision can also get in the way of a good hire. It’s important to make sure you have a robust process from the start where you’re maximizing every candidate and adequately evaluating their whole profile.
The typical hiring process involves five stages: resume screening, a phone interview, in-person interviews, some form of assessment, and reference checks.
When you have a bunch of candidates to get through, this process can seem overwhelming. Don’t worry, you can stop Googling “where to find great candidates yesterday” and rest easy knowing that a well-executed interview process can solve this for you.
We've put together a list of expert tips for each of the five stages of the interview process to help you hire like the pros and secure high-quality talent while you’re at it.
Did you get a pang in your chest just reading that? Resume screening can be one of the most confusing stages of the interview process. One minute you’re incredibly optimistic and the next you’re feeling like all the resumes in that sky-high pile are starting to blur together.
Since resume screening is the first step in every interview process, it determines who will make it to the subsequent rounds. The administrative effort is coupled with the pressure that goes into ensuring the right people make it to the in-person interview stage.
Resumes are a first glance into your potential new hire's work-related experience and basic compatibility for the open role. They serve as an effective guide to weed out unsuitable candidates from the get-go. It's easy to see from a quick scan whether a candidate has the hard skills and experience you require.
After you have identified a short(er) list of candidates based on their past work experience, follow up on their application with an invite to a brief phone interview.
The phone interview is a key part of the interview process for determining candidate expectations and overall compatibility. This screening interview is about the first impression on both ends.
Keep things informal and only ask a few questions. It's important to note that while the interview questions should be consistent, this interview is used to gauge communication style and high-level fit, so going off-script is encouraged.
The in-person interview is a great way to probe deeper on any assumptions you made in the previous rounds. Including other team members is a helpful way to challenge or confirm your opinions.
This is a type of interview that offers the most room for true discovery as well as the chance to test your interpersonal chemistry. Learning about a candidate's work experience in more detail gives you insight into their preferred work environment and work style. Observing body language teaches you more subtle information about their confidence and professional aptitude.
Another secret weapon is competency-based interview questions.
These types of questions are open-ended behavioral questions that allow you to read between the lines and learn more about your candidate. Some examples include:
These types of questions allow you to watch as the candidate thinks through their answer. The examples can also be incredibly revealing about how they feel and problem-solve.
Assessments are powerful tools that help objectively evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of candidates, grow job seeker investment, and increase efficiency in training during the interview process. They can mitigate human error in the interview process. Unfortunately, a person’s true self can be wildly different than how they present themselves in a 30-minute meeting.
A Career Builder survey found that 75% of HR managers caught people lying on their resume. Assessments can help accurately identify discrepancies or skill gaps. This is especially true for hard skills like coding that can be spotted right away.
The main types of assessments include:
While you could put a candidate through all these tests, it’s more considerate to limit all testing to a reasonable timeframe of under two hours.
Strong candidates will already have a collection of strong professional references.
This part of the interview process involves contacting your potential new hire’s former employers, colleagues, or other professional contacts to gather third-party insight. By asking the right questions, you will also uncover coachable areas for the new hire, which can provide value to their hiring manager when onboarding.
Many recruiters and human resource team members struggle with the time that these phone calls take. There’s often some phone tag before you get connected. And it’s difficult to gather objective, actionable insights through the process.
That's why software like Searchlight is so popular. It eliminates the back-and-forth by automating the process and coordinating between parties without phone calls.
Interviewing is an art.
We’ve all been on the receiving end of a bad interview process and a really great one. The key difference is in your ability to prepare yourself to be present with candidates who are showing interest in your organization and team. This, of course, can easily fall to the wayside when juggling other competing priorities. That’s why we’re here to help.
There’s a lot that can happen between the first touch and the first day. To ensure a smooth interview process revisit your organization’s approach and see where you can integrate more data-driven decision making. An easy place to start is by checking out Searchlight to streamline your reference process. It’s timesaving, painless, and incredibly effective — just like making your new hire will be with our expert interview tips under your belt.