Poor hiring decisions can be catastrophic to morale and teamwork. To make sure you hire the best possible candidate, you need to do more than pick the best resume. Hiring managers need to take the following steps to ensure the best possible outcome when hiring a new employee.
- Review resumes carefully and identify any potential problems. Are there gaps in work history? Does the candidate list a significant amount of experience that would be difficult to verify? Does the person have the skill set needed for the job? If you decide to proceed with a candidate, these questions should be addressed during the interview process.
- Run a background check before making an offer of employment. Background checks are easy, inexpensive, and becoming a standard as part of the hiring process. Doing a background check can help avoid any unpleasant surprises once the person is employed and can help protect your company from legal action. What happens if your new employee attacks another employee, then it is discovered that they have a history of assault charges? You could be held liable for not doing due diligence to protect your employees.
- Determine if the potential candidate is a good fit for the culture of your company. Recent studies have shown that cultural compatibility is potentially more important than the skillset when it comes to satisfaction for both the employee and employer. You can train employees to round out their skillset, but it is difficult to change someone’s personality. If you have a casual workplace where teamwork is valued, and the potential candidate prefers a formal workplace where individual effort is what matters, then it will be an awkward fit.
- Be creative in the interviewing process. You want more than just a review of skills, education, and experience. That information is available on a resume or job application. The interview is the opportunity to learn more about the personality and capabilities of the candidate. Some suggestions to consider in the interview process:
- Interview during a tour of your facility. You will get a better sense of who the person truly is if you avoid the standard across the desk type interview.
- Pay attention to how they treat everyone else from the receptionist to the president. Is there a difference in the respect they show?
- Ask specific questions about real-life problems you face in your industry? Ask them to tell you how they would solve a problem that is relevant to the work they would be doing. Ask them to give you an example of solving a problem that required teamwork or fast thinking.
- Consider conducting the interview over a meal, and if appropriate, have someone else from your company join you as well. Having an extra person there will give you valuable feedback about their opinion of the potential new hire. Pay attention to how the potential candidate treats the restaurant staff. Do they appear uncomfortable or easily flustered?
- Ask questions that will provide insight into their personalities, to assess how well they will fit in with the culture of your company.
- Make a note of the type of questions that the candidate asks. Do they seem legitimately interested in the values and goals of your business? Are their questions insightful or boilerplate?
The interview process is the most critical step in finding the right person for the job. Consider holding more than one interview, and having the candidate interview with more than one person. Depending on the position and what you need in an employee, maybe hold the first interview with the hiring manager. If that interview goes well, and the hiring manager thinks they are a good fit, then have a second interview with two or more team leaders that the employee will be working with.
Giving more than one person a chance to provide feedback will provide a well-rounded perspective on the impression the candidate makes. After all, whoever is ultimately in charge of hiring the person is unlikely to be the only person who the new candidate works with, so get as much feedback as possible.