Last month we talked about defining roles. So now that you’ve properly defined the role you are hiring for, it’s time to start talking to candidates.
The first step is to find applicants. Attracting candidates can be difficult when unemployment rates are as low as they are. If you’re not collecting enough applicants on your own, you may want to look into hiring a recruiting firm. However you source your candidates, first review their resumes and find some that you’d like to learn more about. Then, invite them to a short screening interview.
Hold screening interviews.
This first interview will help you determine which candidates you’d like to talk to further. It should be short and sweet, about 30 minutes. Enough time to give you a better understanding of the candidate and an initial assessment of their fit for the role.
You can have fun with the questions you ask here. Ask them what they want to be when they grow up, or what they like to do outside of work. Any question can give you information about the candidate and an initial judgment on whether you think they’re a fit for your company.
As long as you are actually listening to their response that is. Throughout the hiring process, it’s important to remember that you have two ears and one mouth. You should be listening twice as much as you are speaking. Your job is to get to know these candidates as much as possible and you only have a limited amount of time to do it. Don’t get caught up relating to a story they told. Keep asking questions that get you the information you need to make a great hire.
Once you’ve screened candidates, move the finalists on to a Comprehensive Interview.
For Eure Consulting, that means having them complete a behavioral assessment and then coming in for a debrief and discussion of those results. Generally, reviewing someone’s assessment with them first, before moving on to official interview questions, helps them to relax and let down their guard a bit.
A debrief of the candidate’s Behaviors and Driving Forces starts the show.
This is your opportunity to understand your potential employee on a deeper level. The debrief gets the candidate thinking about themselves in a manner that allows them to open up and tell you freely all about themselves. It is something for which the candidate cannot prepare. Traditional interview questions only scratch the surface. Answers can be shallow or untrue. By taking the time to debrief a candidate you will get to know things that perhaps no other employer has ever known.
Candidates will walk away astonished that you know so much about them. And they’ll appreciate that you’ve taken the time and made the investment to get them assessed. You’ll demonstrate that you take the hiring process seriously and are focused on finding the right match.
Your attitude during this debrief must be one of neutrality. You are debriefing the assessment to ensure its accuracy and allow the candidate to expound upon the results. Do not feel a need to defend the results. Listen to what the candidate is telling you about themselves by their responses.
During the debrief, ask for more clarification where you have interest. Simply asking “And?” or saying “Tell me more about that.” will get you more information.
After the debrief, ask the candidate what they thought. How accurate was it? What did they find to be the most accurate? What didn’t they agree with?
If you are still interested, continue on to the more formal portion of the interview.
If not, end the interview: “Jane, thanks for your time today. I was happy to share your assessment with you. This is your copy to keep. You have a lot of great attributes. However, the opening I have is not a good match for your abilities. Can I keep you in mind for future openings?”
The second part of the Comprehensive Interview is your chance to tie up any loose strings.
You entered the debriefing segment of the Comprehensive Interview with a lot of data, some concerns from the data you had gathered to that point, and a list of questions. You will have a much clearer picture of the candidate after the debriefing session.
What new concerns do you have? Are they a fit culturally? Do the comments they made in the debrief match what you thought? Do they have a good level of self-awareness? Where are they on their career path? Are they a good fit for what you need today and in the future? Are they a high potential? What other questions are still unanswered?
The second half of this more formal interview helps get you the answers you need to make a great hiring decision. Make sure that you take the time to figure out what you need to know and ask those questions. Ask questions specific to the role. Determine if their skills, knowledge, and experience is appropriate. Will they be able to succeed in this role at your company?
After the formal interview you are at another decision point; continue or stop with this candidate.
In your next face-to-face you will want to make them offer, so you need to be certain that you’re moving your top choices forward. Is this one of your top two candidates? If so, ask them if they still wish to be a candidate. If they do, schedule a third interview on the spot. Ideally, try to schedule your 1st choice a day or two before your 2nd choice.
Ask them to come back with a list of questions. Also ask them to come back with a list of the expectations they have for you, the company, and the job. Have them do some homework. Tell them you will have a list of expectations for them as well that you will share with them. Your list of expectations for them is already created in the Job Defined Agreement for the role.
If you’re still impressed with them after this final interview, make the offer. And congratulations, you’ve got a great hire on your hands.