#
 

Six Secrets to Hiring the Best People

July 12, 2019

Kathleen Laney

When it comes to hiring employees, nothing is more sacred to the hiring process than the job interview, right? After all, by speaking with your candidates, you can get an accurate feel for whether or not they are THE person for the job and your company. 


If this describes how you approach hiring, then know this: You are very likely wasting your time.


Over the last 30 years, the hiring process has broken down to a sorry state, and its degradation is only picking up in pace. Increasingly, employers are using time-consuming, expensive and often pointless processes that slow down hiring and put off quality candidates. 


According to a Glassdoor survey, the amount of time spent on the interview process has doubled since 2009. Today, employers are so focused on keeping out any possible bad apples that they don’t prioritize implementing hiring processes that will help predict how someone will perform in a job. 


However, with some careful consideration and planning, you can easily adopt practices that improve your success rate in getting the right people. Try incorporating the following best practices in your recruitment and hiring strategy:


Track your hiring data. Only a third of U.S. companies collect and analyze data pertaining to their hiring process. This doesn’t make much sense. Just as you would track the efficacy of an advertising campaign, you need to be able to objectively monitor the efficacy of your recruitment process and then make adjustments accordingly. 


For those employers who do track hiring data, the most common metrics include time-to-fill, time-to-hire, and cost-per-hire. But in addition to these, employers need to collect data on metrics such as source-of-hire, first-year attrition, hiring manager satisfaction, and quality-of-hire. By collecting this type of data, you will know where your most successful hires come from and which hires were truly good ones and which weren’t.


Start your hiring process close to home.From the end of World War II until the 1970s, 90 percent of job vacancies were filled through internal promotions or lateral moves. Usually external hires were reserved for entry level roles. Obviously, times have changed and the era of lifetime employment is long since gone.


Today, less than a third of open roles are filled with internal candidates. The benefits of prioritizing internal hires cannot be overstated. After all, external hiring can be incredibly expensive and research suggests outside hires take on average three years to perform their jobs as well as internal hires in the same position. 


So, why is there so much turnover today? Yes, the economy is doing well, but according to a LinkedIn report, the most common reason employees leave a company is for career advancement opportunities. If you provide options for employees to advance within your company, you will be able to retain more of the employees you do want to stick around.


Focus on the things that are important. This applies to everything from the qualifications a candidate must have to be successful, to the questions you ask in job interviews, to the types of pre-employment testing you administer. 


Before you even start your hiring process, it is absolutely essential to identify the “must-have” requirements vs. the “nice-to have” requirements. Too often, a role asks for experience and qualifications that don’t align with the position’s pay range. Such circumstances will only lead to a massive amount of time being wasted looking for someone who doesn’t exist. 


Use evaluation methods that are the best predictors for a candidate’s success in a role. According to a report that includes 85 years of research examining how well various recruitment assessments predict job performance, the best predictor is a work sample test. 


Work sample tests usually involve giving candidates a sample piece of work that is similar to the type they would do in a job. For example, you could have your sales candidates give a presentation or demo to give you an idea of how they will perform in front of a prospective client. You can implement such practical assessments for most any skill from language abilities to programming skills.


Currently, only 40 percent of employers spend time on assessments of skills and abilities. So, what are employers focusing on instead? A whopping 74 percent of employers require pre-employment drug testing, including testing for marijuana use in states where it is recreationally legal. Obviously, safety sensitive roles do require such oversight, but for all other cases, perhaps consider if such behavior will be an indicator of job performance.


Don’t forget the value of diversity. I previously suggested employers should track their source of hire to understand where the best hires come from. And while this data is incredibly useful in understanding where to look for candidates, don’t rely on just that one source.


Discourage people to apply. No, there isn’t a typo in that sentence. Too often, employers like to put a nice spin on a role or the company culture. The reasoning goes that if you make your jobs sound amazing and your company a dream, you’ll get more people to apply and improve your chances of making a quality hire. 


There should be less focus on generating a large pool of candidates, and more focus on providing a realistic description of the opportunity and expectations.


Make sure your candidates have a positive experience. This goes for the candidates you don’t hire as well. The hiring process is really a two-way street. Employers aren’t the only ones doing the assessing. Candidates are also interviewing your company and employees to see if they want to come on board. 


Ultimately, if you invest in developing strategic and sound hiring practices, you will improve your hiring quality and even potentially save yourself some time and money in the process. Each step of your hiring process should serve a clear purpose in helping you make your hiring decisions. 


Today, the key to successful hiring is adopting practices and processes that will help you accurately assess a candidate’s ability to be successful in a role and your company.



#