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How to Optimise My Hiring Process

Published May 18, 2020 (last updated July 22, 2020) -
employer optimising hiring process

Employees are the key to the success of any business. Having the right players in the right positions can make or break the organisation. In the ever-changing and fast-moving world we live in is it vital to have a solid hiring and recruitment process in place.

But how do you find the talent that will benefit your business and help you take it to the next level? How do you ensure that the talent you find will be team players? If you are interested in finding out more, this piece will provide you with the information you need to run a successful recruitment process.

Structured Steps in The Hiring Process

When hiring, we recommend the following ten steps for a thorough recruitment process. Not all these steps are essential, and you should reflect on what will work best for your business.

  1. Identify what role is need in your organisation
  2. Outline the attributes of ideal candidate for the vacancy
  3. Organise the interview panel
  4. Create a job posting/advertisement
  5. Consider using alternative sourcing methods (if needed)
  6. Application screening process
  7. Interview relevant candidates
  8. Check references
  9. Make an offer
  10. Reach out to all candidates after making the offer

The rest of this article will elaborate on some of the steps above, to assist in how you can get the best people for your business.

How to Write Effective Job Ads and Descriptions

Writing an effecting job ad, also known as a job posting, is vital to attracting the right candidates and to grow your employer brand. Along with the role’s title you can also provide a job description to prospective applicants which will provide more information about the role, and your organisation.

The job posting and description can be used highlight what is great about your company and narrow down characteristics and skills needed for the role. You can further use these characteristics and skills to assist in selecting applicants.

When writing a job ad, think about the role you are looking to fill and determine who your audience is. You might have to change the tone or structure of your ad, depending on what kind of person you are trying to attract.

For example, if you are hiring a technical position, you might want to provide some more detail about the role and the business and how that role will impact a certain part of the business. On the other hand, if you are hiring for as sales role you might want include earning potential, incentives and other perks.

Ensure that you are writing a structured ad. The general style should include information about your organisation, a brief summary about the role, and the responsibilities and skills needed to succeed in this role. You might also add a paragraph about reasons why an individual should work for your organisation. Think about what sets you apart from other businesses: Do you have an on-site gym?; Do you offer free breakfast?; Do you offer exceptional professional development etc.?

Think outside of the box and always remember when hiring new employee, you are vetted by the candidates just as much as you are assessing their suitability. You might even want to add the paragraph titled “What’s in it for you” at the top of the ad to capture their interest.

When writing an advert, keep in mind that most candidates browse through job ads on their mobile phone. So, keep the advert as concise as possible and limit the number of bullet points to a maximum of five.

Lastly, think about your employer brand. Do you have banners or videos that you can include when posting on a job board? Anything that will capture your audience and set you apart from your competition is important here. Maybe even include a link to your company’s LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram pages, so prospects can get an idea of life at your company.

Strategic Interview Questions to Ask Candidates

Remember that an interview can be quite stressful for the candidate, so set them up for success by allowing them to fully concentrate on the interview without distractions. One easy way to do this is to ensure you are in quiet and separate room.

Ease them into the interview with a little small talk and start out with an easy question about themselves or ask them a question about what they know about the organisation so far.

In terms of questions, ask the candidate open-ended questions when finding out more about who they are and see themselves as.

On the other hand, ask technical questions relevant to the role and based on their previous experience to find out their suitability for the role. You might even want to consider including a skill assessment as part of the interview.

Behavioural-based questions such as “Tell me about a time when you received negative feedback. How did you react?” are a good way to find out more about their perspective on life and previous experiences in their career. However, hold this harder line of questioning until later in the interview.

Finally, ask the candidate why they want to work for your organisation. What motivates them? Where do they want to be in 3-5 years’ time? The answers to these questions may establish if they will stick around when things get hard, and if your organisation can offer what the candidate is after long term.

Always end the interview by setting the expectation around the next steps and provide the candidate with a time frame of when they can expect to hear back from you.

Keep in mind there are some questions you should not ask.

Selecting Qualified Candidates via Passive Candidates, Hiring New Employees and Background Checks

Depending on what kind of role you are looking to fill, a lot of qualified candidates may not be actively looking for a new role. If this is the case, you may need to utilise different sourcing methods to get the attention of these ‘passive’ candidates and get them interested in the role you are offering. The following are examples of sourcing methods you can use in this situation:

  • Referrals
    • If possible, speak with other employees in your organisation with a similar skillset to see if they can recommend someone for the role
  • Database search
    • Conduct a search on your computer to see if a suitable candidate might have applied for a similar role in the past. They might have been too junior back then, but have just the right level of skills you need now
    • Note that depending on the business, there may be restrictions on your ability to keep previous candidates’ data due to privacy legislation
  • LinkedIn Recruiter
    • This is a great tool to find candidates with the skillset you need. You can use specific key words previously identified to narrow down your talent pool. This will give you access to a wider pool of prospects.
    • Bear in mind that not all of them are actively in the market. Even if they might not be interested in a career move at this stage, always ask for referrals. They might know someone in their network with a similar skillset that is actively searching for new opportunities
  • Networking
    • Attend specific networking events to connect with talent in a specific area that you are hiring for

Once you have found the talent you are looking for, it is vital to ensure the candidate has the best possible candidate experience. Whether or not you hire them in the long run, you want to leave a positive impression with every candidate you engage with.

This includes providing candidates with feedback in a timely manner. Keeping the candidate updated on any changes in the process or if the timeline has changed – sometimes things happen and almost all candidates will be understanding as long as you let them know.

When going through a recruitment process you should make sure that you are following the same process and are asking the same interview questions to be able to objectively compare the candidates to find the best qualified candidate for your vacancy.

Once you are ready to extend an offer to the candidate don’t forget to check their references. Speaking to previous employers about their strengths, weaknesses and if they would hire them again will be a good indicator of the type of individual you are planning to bring on board.

The Importance of The Right Cultural and Values Fit

Hiring candidates with the right cultural fit that are aligned to the values of your business is key to the success of your organisation and a long-term professional relationship.

Employees that fit the culture and identify with the values of your organisation are generally more engaged and committed to their role and your business, which subsequently results in better performance and productivity. It results in higher job satisfaction and leads to employees being happier, more outspoken and able to think more creatively and freely, allowing them to grow in their own roles and assist the business’ growth.

Having a team in place that identifies themselves with the company and its values leads to better teamwork, clearer communication and boosts the overall efficiency of the business.  A bad hire, someone not aligned with the culture and values of your organisation, can be detrimental to your entire team and bring morale down, which will lead to less productivity and an overall disinterest of your employees in their role and your business.

Always ensure you are finding the right fit for your team and do not budge on cultural and values when hiring. A great way to incorporate the wider team is to take the individual out for a coffee or a drink after work to meet the team in a more casual setting to ensure their team fit.

Things to Consider

Keep in mind that at all stages you should ensure that your process does not create any legal risks. In particular ensure that your selection criteria and process does not directly or indirectly result in a person with a protected characteristic being disadvantaged.

Not sure what a protected characteristic is? Call 1300 651 415 and Employsure can give you some free, initial advice on this topic.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What Is the Meaning of the Hiring Process?

    The hiring process allows you to identify a need in your team or organisation. You will go through a process of reviewing applications, selecting suitable candidates to interview and choose which candidate you will ultimately hire for your business. You will be able to perform a skill assessment as well as reference and background checks to determine the suitability of a candidate for the role and your business.

  • Why Is the Hiring Process Important?

    The hiring process is vital to ensure you are bringing qualified candidates into your organisation. Going through a hiring and recruitment process requires commitment from both the employer and the candidate. It is a 2-way process where both parties determine if they are a good fit.

  • What Is the Main Purpose of Recruitment?

    The main purpose of recruitment is to attract talent for your organisation. Recruitment focuses on building the best positive impression of your organisation to the prospect candidates. You should aim to build talent pools to enable your organisation to select the best candidates for your business as quickly as possible when a specific skillset is required.

  • What Are The Key Steps To Take Before Interviewing A Candidate?

    1. Identify what the “ideal” candidate looks like including the technical skillset required for the vacancy but also ensure alignment in cultural fit and values
    2. Create a position description and job advert to attract qualified candidates. Remember passive candidates might be harder to find and it takes a few extra steps to engage with them
    3. Review CVs to narrow down your list of prospects
    4. Conduct interviews, if required include a skill assessment as part of the interview process and don’t forget to check references before extending an offer!
  • How Long Does A Recruitment Process Take?

    The recruitment process takes an average of 3 weeks. Depending on a specific skillset you are looking for it can take longer.

    Do not forget that active candidates might be in process with several prospect employers. You might have to act quickly to ensure you are not missing out on a qualified candidate. Open communication with your candidates is vital. Avoid surprises by asking “Are you interviewing elsewhere?” or “How is your job search going?”.

  • How Do You Make A Hiring Decision?

    To help give you structure to your hiring decisions, here is a quick six-step list:

    1. Identify your need
    2. Use relevant job boards or other sourcing methods to find qualified candidates
    3. Create an exceptional candidate experience
    4. Select the right hiring team
    5. Stay objective
    6. Act quickly

About Employsure

Employsure is Australia’s largest workplace relations specialists. We take the complexity out of workplace laws to help small business employers protect their business and their people.

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