Whether you are hiring one employee or dozens, the process will always look the same. Following the same process every time will help you to streamline the hiring process and ensure you can uncover the best candidates every time.
Creating an in-house hiring process doesn’t have to be complicated. We’ve broken it down into 10 essential steps you need to cover when adding new people to your teams. By following this plan, you can make recruitment easier, more transparent and fairer for everyone involved. Here are the 10 steps every new employee selection process should include…
Define the job role
You can’t hire for a new role until you know exactly what the role is. If this is an existing job, make sure you speak to those currently in the role to check if the job description accurately matches their day-to-day responsibilities. If you are creating the role, make sure you get input from those that will be working alongside the new hire to determine if the job description is accurate. Remember that an accurate and detailed job description will attract more applicants than one that is vague.
Profile your perfect candidate
Before you start the hunt, create a profile of your ideal candidate. What are the non-negotiable skills they need and which are the desirable skills? Start to build a picture in your mind of who would be best suited to the role.
Advertise the role in the right places
If you’re in a hurry to hire, you want to cast a narrow net and get interviewing quickly. But if there is less of a rush, you can cast a wider net to find more candidates that might not be as obviously suited to the role. Advertising the role in relevant places will help you to avoid having to sift through a lot of applications from those who are just applying for anything and everything.
Shortlist your applicants
Set a deadline for applications so that you can have a clear next step. Once you have all of the applications, you can start to sort them into “yes”, “maybe” and “no” piles. You might start to get a good feeling about particular candidates. Try to remain open-minded throughout the process and be open to having your initial instincts be proven wrong. How individuals represent themselves on paper might be very different to how they show up in real life. Remember that the best candidates won’t stick around forever, so you need to act quickly if you want to snap them up.
As mentioned above, the best applicants don’t stick around for long. So you need to start arranging interviews quickly. You should also determine a timeline for the next steps so that you can be clear with applicants when they make the time to meet with you. You can assume that the most talented applicants will be interviewing with multiple competitors, so don’t keep them waiting around. Be clear when you arrange the interviews how long you expect them to take so that candidates can properly plan. It’s not a bad thing if they have multiple interviews back-to-back – it means that they are in demand.
Reassess after the first interviews
At this stage, you might have completely shifted your thoughts on who is the ideal candidate for the role. It’s time to reshuffle your candidates into “yes” and “no” piles. In an ideal world, there will be one stand-out candidate that ticks all of the boxes, but it rarely works out this way. You’ll often be left with multiple candidates that tick all of the boxes and each bring something unique to the table. If this is the case, you may need a second interview – and to bring in a second opinion – to help you make the final call.
Arrange a second round of interviews
You’re now close to making your final selection, you just need to decide between the best of the best. The second interview is all about getting a feel for what the candidates hope to bring to the role and how you can support them. Getting a second opinion at this stage can help to make the final decision easier. At this stage, candidates know that they are close, so they are more likely to let their guard down and express their true selves. This can be eye-opening if you are looking for a particular culture fit for the team.
Before you make an offer, it’s time to check the candidate is who they say they are and confirm their work history with their references. You should alway confirm with the candidate before seeking a reference, as this could be problematic if they are currently employed and haven’t let their employer know they are looking for another role. Some employers will also need to carry out a credit check or DBS check, particularly if the role involves handling money or working with children or vulnerable people. These steps should always be carried out with the candidate's knowledge and consent.
Make an offer
When you’ve chosen the ideal candidate, it’s time to make them a job offer. Your offer should include the job title, when you expect them to start and the starting salary with any additional benefits you might be able to offer. Remember that this is a starting point for negotiations. Your candidate might want a higher starting salary or have to work through a longer notice period. Be prepared to negotiate to secure the best candidates for the role.
Onboarding the candidate
Once the candidate has accepted an offer and you have agreed on a start date and starting salary, it’s time to begin the onboarding process. An effective onboarding process can help to increase job retention by ensuring that the employee has everything they need to be successful in their role. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel every time, you can easily use the same onboarding process for everyone.