December Newsletter: 8 Ways to Increase Your Hiring Fitness in the New Year

Planning to Hire in 2022? I think we can all agree that we have been in a “react mode” since March of 2020. It is time to start being proactive to set yourself up for greater success. Staying in a “ready to hire” position will help you recover quickly when you have a position to fill.

We talked about hiring tips in our last newsletter. Help set yourself up for success with these additional ideas:

1- Timing. It is likely to take longer to hire. Recruiting time has increased due to supply and demand factors. What was a 3-month process can often be 4 months or longer. Get started early to make up the difference and have a continency plan to manage the workload if it takes longer. Prepare to move fast if you find that right candidate early. You need to be nimble to capitalize on finding someone that is a great fit.

2- Comparisons. You will not have as many. It also might be the case that the first person you interview might be the best person for the role. In a perfect world we have a slate of candidates lined up to “compare and contrast” but that is much less likely happen in this market. Don’t make the mistake of losing the best candidate only because they were the first in the door.

3- Hype Your Brand. How do you stand out in a crowded market? What is your employment value proposition? Do surveys reinforce your branding statements? It is important to lead with your company brand and value proposition to attract the right people. The “talk” will need to align with the actual new employee experience, or they won’t stay.

4- Interviews are a Two-Way Street. You are being interviewed as much as you are interviewing the candidate. Do not expect these candidates to gush all over you. The interview should be a mix of candidate evaluation (behavioral interview questions) as well as “selling” the opportunity. Speak to what is important to the job seeker. Candidates want to hear about culture (purpose, flexibility, etc.) and opportunities to learn, grow and advance. Discussing goals and objectives for a role are more interesting than bullet points on a job description.

5- Partner with your Recruiter. Effective recruiting requires coordination and communication. Whether you are working with an external partner or an internal resource, be transparent and share detailed feedback so they can continue to refine or broaden as needed. The hiring manager and recruiter should communicate frequently and the onus of providing the full picture is on the hiring manager. Candid communication during the search is critical.

6- Stay Open Minded. It is human nature to have a picture in mind of the desired candidate. This applies to appearance in some cases, but also to experience and background characteristics. We all carry bias from our own experiences about companies, industries, schools, or factors like frequency of job changes or gaps in employment. Try not to be overly dogmatic about specific requirements. Hire the best person not the best resume. The best candidate might be entirely different than the picture you have in your mind.

7- Structure and Streamline Hiring Processes. Lengthy interview processes are a challenge to getting your position filled. Be conscious of the “candidate experience.” Expecting a candidate to take time off from their current position to go through multiple steps is often not feasible. This is not to suggest you short circuit your process at the expense of quality. Find ways to combine steps, put interviewers together or perhaps hold after hours meetings. Have salary guidelines ready and all internal approval steps done in advance. Things often fall apart at the end of the process because of delays in getting the offered approved and presented.

8- Develop a Pre-Boarding Practice. Understand that once a job seeker accepts a position they may continue to have “irons in the fire” in the form of continuing interviews or recruitment from other firms. Be mindful of the transition time between offer and start date. Schedule a coffee or lunch and have co-workers connect with them via social media. Anything you can do to create engagement during this period will create a positive impression and help ensure they are on board and ready to start on day one!