How to be more effective in hiring the right employee
For many, the hiring process is the standard way to choose the best possible candidate for a vacant position in their company. But are you doing it effectively and using the right interview process to do it? Smaller companies are also looking for their PERFECT MATCH in the form of the right employees, but they do not have sufficient capacity to implement large processes. Many therefore mistakenly believe that a standard interview is the thing that should work seamlessly and deliver the desired results. The candidate sends in their CV and during the initial phone call we find out their motivation and previous work experience. In case our recruitment processes are not well prepared, or we haven´t encountered them properly yet, there are some very useful tips and tools that we can use to better identify, whether the person we want to join our team has enough potential to do the job. Firstly, it is important not to underestimate the preparation. This consists of defining the key experience and requirements of the candidate – while also identifying the key skills and competencies needed for the role. We then write a list of requirements that are important to us when selecting an employee.
As hiring managers, we always want to select the best person for the team, no matter what position we are filling. But how do we know if this is the right person? A simple question, to which answer is not so simple.
Traditional calculations show that a poor choice of an employee can cost you up to 30-50% of the money allocated for the candidate’s salary. This means that although the candidate may prove to be a good fit, you will find out later that you have lost out on the cost of recruiting and later, also on the onboarding process before the person starts to perform for you.
The fundamental of every successful interview is also the preparedness of the interviewer. If you’ve never done such an interview before, ask someone experienced to be present with you, ideally a recruiter or head-hunter, or an HR professional. If you already have experience but have made a few bad selections in the past, don’t worry. There are plenty of ways to make the process easier for yourself.
A good place to start would be using the classical method with combination of different methods, such as multiple rounds of interviews. There is no need to stretch the interview process unnecessarily, although interviews at companies such as Google or Meta typically take 4-8 weeks. However, their feedbacks are handled very efficiently due to their strong recruiting team.
In case you don’t have a large team and a lot of spare time, remember that communication with the candidate and sending feedback are more important than you think. Just saying thank you to the candidate for sending the CV and the time spending with you, whether you accept them or not, leaves a good impression. This is how you build your brand as a company, and this brings a huge number of benefits to such communication. You never know when that person may recommend you to someone else, saying that although the company didn’t hire them, they were very nice and helpful and would love to work for them.
Another thing that doesn’t work quite well are classic CVs. A lot of times we get influenced by emotions and in interviews we mainly focus on the ability to answer questions, whether the candidate can perform an activity, or we find out some of their basic emotional experiences. We want to focus on the candidate’s ability to perform our job, and often it’s not entirely relevant when hiring managers are only looking at what a particular person has done as part of their CV. It’s rather misleading, as we are looking for someone who not only fits into the team as a team player, but also fits the position itself.
The first interview can be used to explore the emotional and soft skills sides of the candidate and break the recruitment process into two, ideally three, rounds. However, due to the time-consuming schedules, this can also be challenging for the candidates themselves, especially in a dynamic IT market where companies try start with a classic initial interview online and combine the second round with a third – which brings us to an interesting point,
where many IT companies use assignments for the candidate to complete. Afterwards, the two parties meet and review how the candidate did the assignment, why they made such choices, which gives the manager insight into whether the candidate will be able to do the job effectively.
In the article for the „Harvard Business Review“ on hiring, the guys, who have worked for Deloitte for many years, took the concept of hiring employees and compared it to the concept used by start-ups to present their imperfect products. They called the concept „minimum viable demonstrations of competence“. It means that any progress path needs to be narrowed down to the smallest plausible hypothesis and steps taken to find out what happens. If it goes well, move on, if not, correct course.
An example is one of the hiring folks, Jeff, who spent several years hiring writers and used a script-writing assignment he gave to candidates after a brief initial interview to assess their skill. After accepting the assignment, he then conducted an interview to understand not only what was written on the pages, but also the candidate’s decisions in creating them. These are small tasks that you can prepare for the candidates and observe if they meet them with some minimum level of your expectations – the tasks themselves should correspond with the job.
Minimum viable demonstrations of competence, or the „reveal“ for short, are therefore a brief and less demanding tests that still provides sufficient evidence of a person’s competence. This means that the test you give them to do, however small it is, shows the skills they can use in practice – the same skills that are essential for our work. The „reveal“ refers to the moment in poker when the players turn over their hands and show what cards they are holding. For many types of tasks, this method can offer the same moment of uncovering.
These little tasks are applicable to any business, e.g., in manufacturing – it’s even easier, because nowadays there are various Virtual reality training materials or interview process trainings where you can give a person a virtual assignment and watch how they react.
And this is exactly the combination of skillsets and behavioural interviewing, where you can combine it in different ways and achieve the desired result easily.