If you work in HR, you know how important it is to place real value on the hiring process—but does the company you work for feel the same way?
Although it can be argued that nothing is more important to the short- and long-term viability of an organization than ensuring that the teams who work towards its success contain the best and the brightest candidates available, the truth is that some companies don’t take the hiring process as seriously as they should, and have a poor hiring process that reflects this thinking.
Having a strong and well-defined hiring culture can really take your business to the next level and help propel it past the competition in your industry. It stokes the flames of motivation and innovation—key determinants of success that truly separate those businesses just looking to hang on from those looking to leap ahead of the pack. Conversely, if your company fails to commit to taking its hiring practices seriously, it can make it difficult to attract top-tier individuals in today’s candidate-driven job market, where seemingly infinite opportunity is outpacing available talent, and those with the background and skill sets to disrupt the status quo and drive real change have plenty of options to choose from when looking for their next job or project.
An article by the International Franchise Association (IFA) highlights the importance of having a well-defined hiring process for your company: “Every new employee will either contribute positively to customer satisfaction, growth and profitability, or contrastingly have a negative impact on the business. By adopting a structured and comprehensive hiring process, you’re taking the first step in positioning your business for success by attracting the right talent. The type of talent that will help build the company culture, drive sales and ultimately position the company as a leader in the industry.”
So, it seems abundantly clear that having a well-defined hiring process is a crucial element of any company—but how can you tell where your company ranks? As an HR professional, there are some key indicators you can use to determine if your company is taking its hiring culture and practices seriously (or not).
How were you hired?
A key performance indicator you can use is the process you encountered when you were a candidate for your current position. Even if it was years ago, this information can help you establish a baseline regarding how your company is faring when it comes to hiring. Was the experience streamlined, polished, and completely effective at answering your questions, addressing your needs and concerns, keeping you updated during the process, and capturing your interest in joining the team? Were there clear areas for improvement? Do those areas still need improvement?
How does your company treat HR overall?
Does your company place a real value and importance on cultivating a top-tier HR department that’s made up of seasoned and well-trained staff who fully understand the company’s mission and culture? Are they prepared to support and bolster the company’s goals with each new position they’re tasked with filling? Take stock of your department and its position in the organization, which will help you determine if your company has a strong hiring culture, or if there’s room for improvement.
Do you have a set process in place?
Is your company’s hiring process structured for success? According to the IFA, the following steps are essential for a comprehensive hiring process for each open position:
- Define, create, and identify the role to be filled.
- Source, market, and promote your open position and receive applicants.
- Select, evaluate candidates for the position and company culture.
- Verify, follow up with ideal candidates to confirm the skills and information they’ve represented.
Of course these are basic steps and a lot of nuance goes into each hire, but if your company is falling down when it comes to any of these broad strokes, it may be an indication that your hiring culture can use some work.
If you’ve read this far and are starting to feel as if your company’s hiring process and culture can use some real work, don’t despair. There is plenty you can do as an HR professional to help make lasting and positive changes in your organization.
Improve recruitment efficiency.
Make sure your company is taking full advantage of available professional tools to support the hiring process. This includes checklists for organizational efficiency when screening candidates, preparing for interviews, and aggregating candidate data; taking advantage of well-designed and well-maintained email templates for a wide ranges of tasks, from basic correspondence to scheduling interviews and sending feedback, and more; and using helpful recruiting software for tracking candidates through the hiring pipeline and analyzing data.
Enhance the candidate experience.
As an HR professional, you’re often the first point of contact for a candidate regarding your company, and are instrumental in effectively forming their first impressions. Do your best to ensure that each candidate’s experience during the hiring process is positive, regardless of whether or not they’re hired (because word spreads). Make sure the careers page on your company’s website is well-maintained and your application process is seamless and candidate-friendly, and keep all candidates in the loop and well-informed with friendly updates during the decision-making process. Candidates are people, and possibly even potential customers of your business and brand, so be respectful, helpful, and genuine with every one of them—as in most aspects of life, the Golden Rule applies here, too.
Evaluate candidates more effectively.
This one’s mainly designed to streamline the internal hiring process, but it’s important to keep HR staff satisfied and engaged with their work in order for them to do their jobs effectively. Make sure that your evaluation process for each position is accurately capturing crucial data to assess the potential effectiveness and value of each candidate. Some key methods for obtaining useful candidate metrics include portfolio and work sample reviews, having candidates complete thoughtfully designed standardized tests, and structuring interviews for maximum impact and hiring efficiency. All HR personnel should be trained properly to evaluate candidates at all levels and positions—if they’re not, this is a worthy investment in time and resources for your company to make.
Boost candidate sourcing.
Help boost the effectiveness of your HR department, and in turn stimulate your company’s hiring process and culture by implementing effective candidate sourcing strategies. Take advantage of social media to build your company’s brand and keep followers and potential candidates informed about job openings, make sure your company is represented at key industry events and associations, develop an effective company referral program, invest in helpful sourcing tools to find qualified candidates quickly, and build and maintain an active candidate pipeline for current and future job openings.
Attract top talent with top ads.
This one may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many companies run ineffective and sometimes downright confusing ads when seeking candidates for open positions—and you’d better believe that candidates notice poor ads, which factor into first impressions and can serve to pollute your organization’s hiring culture. Make sure your company is utilizing engaging and clearly crafted ads that include all key relevant details about the position, as well as candidate requirements and “nice-to-haves,” and make sure your company’s brand is well represented.
Use the advice and strategies presented here to help you figure out how strong your company’s hiring culture is right now. Take an honest look at the way you operate, and then determine how to make any needed improvements to your organization’s hiring practices and processes. Good luck!