5 Ways To Fix A Broken Hiring Process
We recently talked about the pain value of a bad hire, and what steps you can take to fix it. Let’s talk about getting hiring right at an organisational level. Agreed, Human Resources is there for a reason, but when is it beneficial, or imperative, for the higher management to be involved in the hiring process?
A company must do an internal check and ask itself these hard questions:
Have we nailed our screening and hiring processes?
Are we attracting strong candidates? If not, we’re losing out on time and resources and also selling ourselves short.
Are people eager to join our company?
Have the ones we’ve already employed been the right fit for the job?
Do we take too long to hire?
Is hiring at HR’s sole discretion or does management get involved? And at what stage do they get involved?
According to recent surveys, only 30% of companies actually run checks to see whether they are hiring the right candidates or not. Hiring is actually not the end of a process in one department, but the beginning of someone’s stint in another. As HR, one way to determine whether you’ve supplied a good fit is to ask managers whether they would hire Employee X again, given a choice. Other internal checks would mean assessing the longevity of that stint, turnover, satisfaction levels of the managers as well as the employee, and the employee’s growth trajectory through regular assessments. Somewhere along the line, the hiring story diversified so much that it may have lost its own plot. Recruitment started being outsourced to contractors and subcontractors that mostly just scour LinkedIn and job sites for “passive candidates,” i.e. people not interested in moving out in the first place. Even now, data is fuzzy on how these new practices are paying off in terms of finding the right fit for jobs. The last few decades have seen the mushrooming of start-ups around the world, in tech and other areas, too. Recruitment there has been fast and furious, with founders at the top of the organisational chart lacking enough experience themselves to take more than a cursory look at the hiring on the lower levels. Their expertise often lies in a different area altogether, and they may lack perspective on the hiring cost vs. benefit in terms of getting the right people on board.
Losses incurred due to a bad hire go beyond the financial: work suffers, reputation suffers, morale suffers; a ton of time and energy is wasted in training a lost cause. So it is beneficial for the management in this case to be actively involved in hiring for pivotal roles within their organisation.
5 ways to fix your hiring process
Apply all your learnings from what has worked to streamline your recruitment process. Track outcomes and identify the channels that yielded your best crop of employees.
Every screening procedure should check multiple boxes, right from alignment of skills to the job requirements, to cultural fit, to sharing the company’s vision, to a merging of personal goals to that of the company’s.
Carefully assess the cost-to-benefit ratio of promoting someone within the organisation vs. filling that position from outside. It happens all too often that disgruntled employees passed up for promotion think their only option for advancement is to leave, resulting in a hole to plug and increased hiring costs, not to mention the faith lost in the organisation as a place to grow.
Be realistic about what you are looking for. Convey the company’s vision accurately. This will be the baseline for your job description. The most accurate job description will be a screening tool in itself and weed out the unsuitable candidates as they simply won’t apply. Similarly, take down ads once the position is filled- don’t leave them floating around in case of future vacancies. By the time the vacancy develops, the job description would have changed yet again as the business too would have evolved.
There is no exact quantifier for interviews. Let the job requirement once again be your guide. Is it for something tedious and procedural, or does the candidate need to have charisma? Does he/she need to be a whiz at something? Do they look good on paper, only for you to find out that they lack customer-facing skills? The possibilities are many. Structured interviews and conventional panel interviews work for some. Presentations, skill shares, discussions and pitches work for others. Choose accordingly.
Hiring is not a process note once written and to be blindly followed. To hire and retaint the best, the business must constantly review what worked and what didn’t. A feedback loop is critical to fixing gaps and also adding on new techniques that are popular in the market.