Oct 9, 2012
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

You are ready to hire, but before you start slinging out job postings consider these seven questions.

How fast do you want the candidate? Many hiring managers say they need the candidate right away but drag their feet responding to qualified candidates to set up interviews. Lengthy delays in the recruiting process may convey to the candidate your organization is not interested in them and they may take another offer. If you are planning on being on vacation, out of town, or just unavailable, then this should be clear to your recruiters from the start so they can best establish the time frame expectations with your candidates.

Is your gut really right? Many hiring managers claim to know within five minutes or less of meeting a candidate whether they are right for the organization. Often gut reactions are based on subconscious biases and good candidates are overlooked in favor of candidates who feel less opposing and most closely mirror the attributes and culture of the hiring manager.  Mirror-image hiring can be very damaging to an organization as it leads to idea stagnation and an army of “Yes Men.” If you want to hire good candidates you must be willing to step outside your comfort zone and hire skilled candidates who may challenge you in the workplace.

How important are the candidate’s skills? Recent studies suggest hiring managers are six times more likely to hire for cultural fit than for the candidate’s skills. Of course skills are essential, but will personality play a huge part in your decision making process? If so, consider defining the skills that are absolutely required to qualify a candidate. Also consider using an assessment company to evaluate your candidates for key skills such as Word, accounting, writing, or even listening. Most assessments are provided online, automatically scored, and the results easy to interpret.

Behavioral assessments: Yes or No? Behavioral assessments can be time intensive for the candidate and may slow the hiring process; however, most are provided online and can be taken at the candidate’s convenience. While the results are generally immediately available, having a consultant review the results with you is often necessary but can be very valuable.  Additionally many assessments provide in-depth interview questions designed to probe the candidate for key aspects of their behavior which allows you to learn more than you could through traditional canned interview questions. This interview guide works best with managers who don’t make a gut hiring decision within the first 90 seconds.

Are you an early adopter? Video interviewing will become the norm in the next few years as it helps reduce travel costs associated with flying in candidates, eliminates the scheduling hassles associated with phone screening. and proves its value as a more revealing tool when trying to determine who is worth bringing in for the face-to-face interview. The question may be: What are you waiting for? Do you fear process change or new technologies? Are you getting or giving push back when you are approached with new technologies that could make your hiring process easier? Are you still holding on to your rotary phone?

Are you compliant? Despite who your gut tells you to hire, you are required by law not to discriminate against protected classes such as race, gender, and age. If your gut for instance is always telling you your candidate is too old, too black, or too feminine, then you may run the risk of non-compliance with federal entities such as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. Drawing their ire could bring fines, not to mention bad press and lower employee satisfaction. As mentioned earlier you must step outside your comfort zone when hiring and employing a diverse workforce is a great way to do this.

Will everyone but you get blamed for the bad hire? According to recent studies, recruiting is the HR function that has the highest business impact! Take a second and read that again. Though recruiting is left largely in HR’s lap it cannot be solely responsible for the recruiting process nor can they be solely blamed if hiring does not go well. HR cannot fully understand all the nuances, complexities, and skill requirements of each department. The hiring manager must be involved in the hiring process from start to finish ensuring they are getting the candidates that best match the skills and behavioral attributes necessary for the job. This way time is not wasted unnecessarily.

Recruiting and hiring well has a huge impact on an organization’s success and surely there are many more points to which I could give consideration. Please feel free to share your suggestions.

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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