Hiring: Ten Essential Steps

I’m the Robin Eichert, your loyal companion and graceful leadership guide to healthy workplace relationships. Thanks for being here in the Learning Resource Center! In this video I’m going to be talking about the ten essential steps to hiring right. No one goes into the hiring process with the intent to hire the wrong person, but it often happens. It’s a challenging process no doubt.

Here you see the 10 essential steps at a glance. I’ll be offering a general view of each of the steps here in this video and you’ll find more end up information in separate videos in the Learning Resource Center.


 Step 1: Creating the Job Description

The first step is creating the job description. I know there are some of you out there that think this is a useless task.  I believe that it is such a critical step to understand the key attributes that you need for success and the job. It doesn’t have to be long or incredibly detailed, but it has to be clear on what you see as the priorities for success in the job. Without understanding that, you won’t  know how to evaluate the candidates. This is such an important step, please don’t skip it.

Step 2: Get the Word Out about the Job Opening

The second step in the process might seem obvious. Get the word out! You have this position and you need to let people know about it. There are a wide range of ways to do that,  some more effective than others. These range from your personal networks, referrals,  and through social media sites to paid advertising. More ways are discussed in the separate video about this step found here.  One important thing I do want to mention is that you should be posting your position internally and externally, even if you have the perfect person already in mind. Creating that open process creates more credibility to the person who eventually gets the job versus going through a process that lacks transparency.

Step 3: Screening Resumes

You’ve gotten the word out and you’re starting to receive resumes,  so the third step is screening the resumes. That can seem like a daunting task whether you have just a few or a huge amount. One mistake that I see hiring managers make when they’re filtering through resumes is to look for the exact same job title or job function. What I suggest is that you read between the lines. The important thing is the skill set.  Look for demonstrated experience and skills whether they’re coming from a separate industry or function. Those skills are transferable.

Step 4: Phone Screens

The fourth step is phone screens, which I think is a really valuable way to be efficient. Having a 20- to 30-minute exploratory phone call can really give you a sense of that the individual and whether they’re going to be a good fit or not. It can also give you opportunity to find out information that may be missing on the resume. You may also find out things that you want to explore more deeply in the interview.

Step 5: In-Person Interviews

The fifth step in the process is the in-person interview. That’s often what we rely on most for our decision-making. This makes sense because it gives us that opportunity to meet one-on-one and have that kind of personal connection to see if we feel like it’s going to be good fit. Be careful, because there’s more than meets the eye in that short conversational setting. In the video on this step I talk about the reasons why an interview can lead you astray and how to avoid that. That’s another reason why the sixth step is so important to the process.

Step 6: Using Assessments

Step six is using assessments to help you understand more about the individual. Using a scientifically developed tool will help you identify individuals strengthens and work style relative to their fit. Just having the candidate take an hour of their time can provide you with more information that you could get from hours on the job.

Step 7: Checking References

The seventh step is checking references. I often get the question do I really need to check their references, because I know what I’m going to hear from the individual. Yes, it is very likely that you’ll hear positive information, but not always. There are other good reasons to check references and we talk about those in the separate video on that particular step in the Learning Resource Centers.

Step 8: Issue a Formal Offer Letter

Now you ready to proceed with the candidate. In addition to talking through the specifics with the candidate verbally, I always suggest that you put the key information in writing. This includes the start date, compensation, and any benefits. In addition to making sure you’re on the same page, it really creates a wonderful reference to go back to later if any situations come up where there’s a disagreement.

Step 9: Background Checks

When you issue a formal offer letter you make it contingent upon successful completion of background checks.  Background checks are a very valuable way to validate what you’ve heard throughout the process from the candidate, things like educational degrees and industry certifications that are important to the role.

Step 10: Onboarding Process

You might think you’re all set once you have your offer letter signed, the background completed, and the candidate is scheduled to start work.  You think your work is done?  Not so fast. It’s really important that you put in place in onboarding process that helps the candidate understand the lay of the land both culturally and for the function. You believed in them enough to bring them on, so now it’s your job to make sure that you help them succeed.

There’s more information on all the steps in the Learning Resource Center available to you is a member and I encourage you to check them out. Here’s to your graceful leadership.

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