Employee Management

Making the most of the hiring process

Tips for identifying candidates’ strengths, potential, and alignment with your company during recruitment.

1. Remember your business mission when reviewing candidates

To recruit staff, first make sure your hiring approach is grounded in your company’s values. Think about how you see your business mission materializing on a daily basis, and consider how you expect your team to carry out these principles. For instance, say you run a software company whose mission is to promote collaboration in technology. A crucial step, then, might be to take a note of a candidate’s work style: An applicant who prefers working solo may not be as good a fit as one who expresses readiness to work across departments.

2. Ensure the application process is communicated and understood

Outline the steps involved in your company’s hiring process upfront, which you may decide includes a performance test or an introduction to the team in addition to the standard interviews and reference checks. By clearly defining these steps for applicants during your initial conversations, you could display a level of organizational transparency that may be attractive to prospective employees — and also help weed out candidates who aren’t willing to go through the needed steps.

3. Articulate your company’s goals to your applicants

Once you’ve finished asking questions about the candidate, take a few minutes to let them know what’s ahead for the company and what you expect from your team. This part of the interview is primarily intended to serve the applicant — it can both pique the interest of well-suited candidates and offer a heads-up to less-aligned candidates who may not be the right fit for this position.

4. Standardize the candidate evaluation process

Evaluating prospective staff also involves establishing how your current staff will evaluate them. The details of the requirements may vary by position, but it can be beneficial to train interviewers to roughly measure candidates’ qualities in particular areas. Lillian Shapiro of HR360 recommends employers ask interviewers to rate candidates on topics such as their level of: behavioral fit (“How would they handle this situation?”), skills fit (“What is their fluency with this platform?”), and culture fit (“How did they interact with the people at the company?”).

5. Review your recruitment efforts and success rates

To identify which sources are generating the most viable candidates, keep track of the applicants who move through the recruitment funnel. This step may help you decide how to best allocate marketing or networking resources. Plus, your recruitment analysis might offer additional insight into your candidate review process: If a number of ultimately unsuitable candidates pass through, you may not be asking the right initial questions. Or, if you notice you’re moving forward with hardly any applicants, you may need to revisit how the position is advertised to ensure you attract quality candidates.