We all know that the recruiting process for a small business can be overwhelming and time consuming, not to mention how expensive it can be if the wrong person is hired and they aren’t a good fit for the company or the position. So, what can be done to help make the process more efficient and effective to avoid the risk of a bad hire? In a one word answer, preparation. But to be more specific, here are a few tips for the interviewing stage of the recruiting process:
Know what you’re looking for and keep it applicable to the job – This may seem obvious, but this is a pitfall for a lot of hiring managers and business owners because they focus on things that are either unrelated to the job or they overcompensate with the next hire for something that the person previously in the role was lacking. For example, assumptions are made when things such as “this would be a great role for a stay at home mom or a college kid” are said because they are irrelevant to the role and the success of the person in that role. Keep the focus on the position and job related factors and don’t compare candidates to other employees that were in that role.
Create a list of interview questions – Once you’ve determined what you want from someone in that role, create a standard set of interview questions or scenarios that are applicable and appropriate for the role and the company. Take the time to think about what answers to those questions you are looking for from candidates because this will help you to be able to quickly determine who and who isn’t a good fit for the role and company based on their responses. Keep in mind that not all interview questions are applicable to every role, so it is important to choose questions that fit the position as well as be prepared to ask follow up questions to certain responses given by the candidate.
Be consistent – When interviewing multiple candidates, it is very important to be consistent in the criteria used to evaluate the candidates to avoid any potential legal issues. Keep the process job related and be fair and consistent with each candidate. Having the set list of questions that are asked of all candidates makes it that much easier to be consistent through the process.
Take your time – Hiring a new person is a big deal for any company and is crucial to the continued success of the organization. It is important to take the extra time through the interview process by looking at each candidate individually and not making any “on the spot” decisions. It is easy to get caught up in the moment with candidates and/or compare one to another, making one appear better or worse than the other, depending on how each interview goes. Take at least one day after each interview to get a fresh perspective on how you feel about the candidate and whether to proceed or not.