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Hiring a new team member for your company and not sure how to hire the right person? We’re going to uncover some of the most talked-about best practices for interviewing candidates, what’s considered the best candidate interview questions, and overall hiring best practices for managers who want to make sure that their hire is the best possible fit for the role.
This list of items sounds great, but the actual process of hiring a new candidate can be a bit complicated. From writing the job ad to onboarding the new employee, there can be weeks or even months of time and tasks. This can be frustrating for both hiring teams and candidates, and this is why one of the best practices for hiring is to reduce the time to hire. How do you do that? Following a strategy from start to finish to keep your hiring team on track, as well as implementing a variety of simple practices to streamline the process. In this article, we will highlight some of the ways that you can improve your hiring process.
The first step to an improved hiring process is often a critical one, as it sets the foundation for the entire process. While there are many ways to approach this, a common and effective first step is needs assessment and planning. What does this mean? First, clearly define the position. Begin the process by first ensuring that you and your team understand the role you're hiring for. Know the job responsibilities, qualifications, and skills required to complete them, and what tools and tasks your new hire will be responsible for. Next, make sure that your new role and its requirements align with your company’s goals. Ensure that the new hire's role contributes to your company's overall objectives and mission.
Your next area to consider is budget and resources. Determine what is available for the hiring process, including salaries, recruitment tools, and time spent recruiting.
Many hiring managers believe that writing the job description is the first requirement of hiring, but in reality, you will not want to do that until you’ve completed the three steps listed above. Once you are ready to create the job description, you’ll want to develop a comprehensive list of responsibilities, skills, qualifications required, tools used, etc. This job description can also be added to your interview intelligence software if you’re using a program like Pillar to ensure that your hiring team has all of the important information at their fingertips throughout the process.
Lastly, you will want to establish a realistic timeline for the entire hiring process, from posting to onboarding. This step is crucial because it helps you identify what you're looking for in a candidate, ensures that the role is well-defined, and sets clear expectations for the hiring process. With a strong foundation in place, you can move forward to advertise the job, screen candidates, and conduct interviews more effectively. After all of these steps have been completed, you can begin considering the best practices for interviewing candidates and draft your candidate interview questions.
As you begin developing your interview structures, processes, and questions, you will need to consider what questions you need answers to in order to identify a qualified candidate. You should instill in your hiring team the importance of hiring the right employee for the job and ensure that the process is taken seriously by the team. If you’re wondering how to best train your hiring team to find the right person, one helpful option can be to co-create a hiring guide for managers and hiring teams. The collaborative process of gathering your company’s hiring standards and requirements will teach your team what to look for while also developing a standard operating procedure for future hiring.
An important hiring topic in 2023 is best hiring practices for diversity so it’s critical that you consider which steps you will need to add to account for diversity as well as minimizing bias in hiring decisions.
As you begin constructing your company’s hiring guide, you may want to include some of the following sections to ensure consistency, fairness, and effectiveness in the hiring process:
1.) Overview of the Hiring Process: This section will be written last in summary and will include an overview of the company's hiring process and procedures to showcase the importance of aligning hires with the company's mission, values, and culture.
2.) Legal and Compliance: A reminder about equal opportunity and non-discrimination policies, including guidance on how to adhere to local labor laws and regulations.
3.) Position Definition: Details on the open position, including the job description, responsibilities, and qualifications. You may also want to include information about the role's relevance to department and company goals.
4.) Recruitment Strategy: Tips on where and how to post job openings, including company website, job boards, and social media. If possible, include notes about which hiring sites have been most effective at finding qualified candidates. Also include recommendations for leveraging employee referrals and professional networks.
5.) Screening and Resume Review: Criteria for shortlisting candidates based on their resumes as well as suggested interview questions for initial phone or video screenings.
6.) Interviewing Techniques: Guidance on effective interview techniques, such as behavioral and situational questions and tips for assessing a candidate's cultural fit and soft skills.
7.) Assessment and Testing: Suggestions for skills tests, assessments, or work samples relevant to the role and guidance on conducting technical interviews or competency-based evaluations.
8.) Reference Checks: A checklist for conducting reference checks and what to ask former employers or colleagues.
9.) Candidate Experience: The importance of providing a positive experience for candidates, even those not selected. Tips on communication and feedback throughout the process.
10.) Decision-Making: A structured approach to evaluating candidates and making a final decision. Guidance on comparing candidates based on skills, qualifications, and cultural fit.
11.) Offer and Onboarding: Steps for extending a job offer, including salary negotiation. An overview of the onboarding process and introducing new hires to the company.
12.) Documentation and Record-Keeping: The importance of maintaining accurate and confidential records of the hiring process.
13.) Self-Assessments for Improvement: Encourage managers to provide feedback on the hiring process for ongoing improvement.
14.) Resources and Tools: A list of resources, templates, and software tools available to help managers with the hiring process.
Remember to customize the hiring guide to your company's specific needs and culture. Regular updates and training for managers on these procedures can also help ensure a consistent and effective hiring process.
Having a hiring guide in place for your team’s use enables you to ensure interviewer preparation before interviews and the team’s overall knowledge about placing candidates into open positions. Providing guidelines citing specific examples and feedback about how past processes worked or didn’t work will help your team better understand how to improve the hiring process for your company.
It can be difficult to identify true best practices without doing a bit of active research within your own company. For example, you may search online for interview best practices for hiring managers, but what you find will not necessarily apply to your exact situation. For example, when large companies offer advice, their experiences and processes may be much different from the lived experiences of smaller companies, and vice versa. The most effective research in this area will be primary. While you may attempt to implement certain practices that you see detailed in HR articles, ultimately you will need to adapt the practice to your company’s needs and policies.
Identifying your company’s interview best practices for hiring managers may require a bit of trial and error, but your results will be far more personal than anything you could find in an article about how to improve hiring process. Managers can report back on best and worst hiring platforms, most successful or least successful practices, software assists and glitches, task lists for different team members on the hiring committee, and anything else. Taking notes throughout the process can make the outcome much clearer, ensuring that future hiring teams will have these notes available to them. Providing simple guides can aid so much in ensuring your interviewers’ preparation before the interview process begins.
As you step into your hiring process, you are far more equipped to conduct a smooth and effective interview process with your candidates. Armed with your interview best practices for employers guide created by your team, you will now have a step-by-step guide to hiring, from the first realization that the hiring need is present to onboarding your new candidate. If you are using interview intelligence software like Pillar’s, you can save your interview questions with notes about which questions were most or least effective, which questions resulted in the answers that you wanted to receive, etc. Interview intelligence software is a great place to plug in your interview process as well to ensure that the same processes are used from candidate to candidate and from position to position, eliminating bias and increasing efficiency.
As we said, there may be lots of great advice for hiring available, but your interview best practices will be a very personal set of requirements. As every company and need is unique, this criteria may shift slightly from one candidate or position to the next, and this is why keeping notes is important. Think of it like a captain’s ship log of information designed to help future employees when they are trying to solve hiring problems that you’ve already worked out a road map for achieving. A best practices hiring guide designed for and by your company will give your team simple directions to future hiring success stories.
What are some items that would make your company’s hiring guide? What valuable things have you learned from your hiring experiences that would provide your employees with a clear roadmap for future hiring?