The ability to hire the right employees comes directly from having the right process in place. There are three main components:
- Conducting the right kind(s) of interviews
- Asking the right questions
- Having the right combination of interviewers asking the questions
The competition and cost of bringing on new employees are substantial. So thinking through your hiring philosophy, defining your process, sharing it with others in the company and getting regular feedback from everyone involved are all critical. For growing small businesses, “hiring right” is even more important, because a misstep—an employee who doesn’t fit into your corporate culture or someone who turns out to be incapable of doing the job—can be costly. And not just in dollars!
The Right Kinds of Interviews
We’ve all had multiple interviews but few think about how different individual interviews can be. Interviewer position and style play a role, but it’s where the interview falls in the interview sequence that also determines which type of interview is most appropriate and will yield the most useful information.
On About.com’s Job Search, HR expert Alison Doyle describes more types of employment interviews than you ever thought possible! Among them: Behavioral interviews, group interviews, phone interviews, video interviews, second interviews, and dining interviews. The objectives, choice of interviewer(s), approach and what questions are asked /how they are framed should all be informed by the interview type. Click here to read Doyle’s insights.
Asking the Right Questions
If you’ve ever conducted an interview and came away feeling like you didn’t learn the things you were after, you probably weren’t asking the right questions or phrasing them in a way that would effortlessly elicit good information. It takes some prior thought and effort in the way of preparation to get the questions right. And it also takes a certain kind of fearlessness. In its HR best practices for small business, Monster.com says that many interviewers come unarmed with good interview questions and actually fear interviewing and hiring! One big reason: The stakes are high and getting higher all the time.
Actually, the site says, formulating the right kinds of questions is fairly intuitive and can lead you to candidates who are a good fit and who can make an immediate contribution to your organization. In fact, the article walks you through a number of actual questions you can use or adapt. What are you looking for?
- Candidates with a good level of self-awareness
- Compatibility with your business and culture, not just candidate likeability
- The candidate’s “desire factor”
Multiple (Prepared) Interviewers
You’ve heard the saying “Two heads are better than one.” It applies to interviewing, too. Different questions and perspectives from different interviewers will nearly always net richer information than a single interviewer ever could. So, regardless of the size of your business, try for multiple interviewers with every potential candidate. Experts say that interviewers don’t necessarily need to even be in the same field or a similar job as the open position. Instead, choose individuals who will ask thoughtful, insightful questions and who can ask good follow-up questions with the candidate.
Interviewers do need to be prepared, however. Take a look at Monster.com’s advice to interviewers for being prepared before, during and after an interview. Not only will your interviews be successful, but they’ll also position each interviewer as an ambassador for the company and let candidates know you value them.
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