5 Factors of Successful Hiring – Boring Startup Stuff

5 Factors of Successful Hiring

5 Factors of Successful Hiring

It is understated how important hiring is to the success of a company.

With every hire your company reputation is on the line. According to CIO — "...if you give people a bad experience through the application, interview, and screening process, they're less inclined to apply to your company for the rest of their lives."

And it's not just about losing future candidates, your sales opportunities could be hurt. A Career Builder survey discovered that 58% of candidates were less likely to purchase a product from a company that didn't respond to their application and that number jumped to 69% if they had a bad interview experience. — This has also been shown to cost one firm over $5 million per year in lost customer revenue

A few weeks ago, we said that hiring is the only thing that kills startups. Equivalent to too much hiring, failed hiring. according to the U.S. Chamber Foundation, can incur a loss of up to $23,000 per unfilled positions every year.

Lastly, "hiring a single top performer at $100,000 per annum salary has the potential for adding $1 million to $10 million to a company’s revenue each and every year that the new hire remains with the firm."

Ok — so how can your team avoid all these mistakes. These are the 5 fundamentals to establishing a healthy hiring practice:

  1. Stay On Brand
  2. Know What you Want
  3. Have a Process
  4. Establish Fast Feedback Loops
  5. Always Follow Up

Stay on Brand

Applicants apply because they can see themselves working at a company. The way you market your company comes out in your job descriptions. Job descriptions and career pages do two very important things for your company:

  • Build a relationship with potential applicants
  • Ensure your applicant pool shares the same characteristics you value

What does staying on brand mean for hiring teams?

  • It means consistent introductions in your job descriptions
  • Well branded and clear jobs page that is inviting to users of all backgrounds
  • Clear job scope and purpose that aligns with your companies core goals

Consistency in message is important to getting the right candidates into your applicant pool. What candidates see during their application process carries through with them onto the job. Failing to present your company in your job posts will reflect on the applicants you receive and the hires you make.


Know What You Want

"...A drawn-out hiring process can directly affect a company’s reputation and lead top talent to look elsewhere. Delays may also lead HR managers to rush in making their decision, which could result in a bad hire which in turn affects brand reputation." 

A company that fails to communicate the role and requirements will fail to hire the best talent. Sloppy hiring processes that are filled with uncertain hiring managers and recruiters are damaging to the reputation of a company. To avoid ending up on the front page of r/recruitinghell  you need to know what you want.

When starting to plan for a hire you need to answer three distinct sets of questions:

  1. Why are we hiring and what does the business need?
  2. What hard skills does a qualified applicant need?
  3. What personality traits (or soft skills) will a qualified applicant need to be successful within this role and at this company?

The next step is to determine how to asses the hard and soft skills of an applicant. To make these steps easier here are a few pieces of tactical advice when going live with a new job posting:

  1. Iterate on the Job Description ahead of time - don't settle for a first pass and be sure to involve other team members who might have a stake in the role.
  2. Plan your more technical screening up front - this should involve a Hiring Playbook™ with:
    1. Clear mission statement
    2. Pre-planned screening questions
    3. Target keywords and phrases to identify during initial screenings
  3.  Focus your job description on the work to be done - this will keep the top of your applicant funnel clean and prevent too much noise in your applicant pool.

Have a Process

A consistent and measurable interview process is the biggest factor in predicting a new hire's work performance. There are decades of research backing the importance of a strong hiring process.

Measure everything. Review your candidate conversations. Monitor your process to see if:

  • The job description is attracting the right types of candidates
  • The screening process is identifying or qualifying for the right skill sets
  • Your team members are asking consistent questions in each interview

 

If the team's feedback forms are inconsistent or lacking, it might be worth investigating call transcriptions. An interview analytics platform like Chat Kick can help you decipher what's working and what's not in your interviews. Additionally, you can provide collaborative feedback to team members who are conducting your initial screening calls.

Not only is measuring and consistency key for your teams success in executing the hiring process, it also helps keep the companies brand intact. Every Candidate you don't hire will have an opinion of your process. And there are far more rejected applicants out there than hired, so their opinion matters a lot.


Establish Fast Feedback Loops

Feedback loops in a hiring process can take place at several points along the candidate journey and can occur in many forms. When determining where to establish some feedback practice you want to begin by looking at the following key components of the candidate journey:

  • The Job Description
  • The initial outreach or phone screen
  • The on-site or follow up interviews
  • The acceptance or rejection of a candidate

 

These 4 stops along the journey should face feedback from three parties:

  • The Hiring Manager
  • The Interviewer or Team Member handling the step
  • The Candidate

 

The candidate should have an outlet to provide feedback along all four stops. This can take the form of follow up surveys.

For feedback between hiring manager and team members, there needs to be a series of simple workflows. Comment systems on performance during initial screenings or on-site interviews like those available in Chat Kick provide a fast asynchronous outlet for feedback. When evaluating your interviews you might consider a few items such as:

  • How soon after an interview is your team making a decision?
  • Are your team members sticking to playbook? or are they introducing hiring bias a result of inconsistent interviews?
  • How easy is it for you or other team members to understand what is going on during interviews?
  • How can you improve on these questions? 

 

When constructing and modifying your job description you will want to track revisions, highlight areas of improvements and compare your candidate funnel to the posting you are set out to hire for. Some job description questions to consider tracking from start to finish:

  • Is your Job Description well written?
  • Does it contain implicit biases or tone that might impact who is applying?
  • What is the general sentiment or vibe the description presents to potential candidates?
  • How does the description compare to others in your industry?

 

Always Follow Up

The biggest embarrassment of the modern hiring process is the failure of many managers and recruiters to follow up when a candidate is not selected. If you follow your process and coordinate internal feedback, there is no reason to wait on making a decision on an application. Even an automated email is better than ghosting a candidate. Don't hurt your companies brand by leaving candidates high and dry.


Conclusion

These 5 factors boil down to a few characteristics:

  • A consistent process
  • A great set of feedback loops
  • A respect for the applicant experience

Consistency and quality of how you run your process will have direct impact on the results your team seeks. Poor planning and execution of your process result in poor hires. Once you know what you are looking for in an applicant, focus on finding great feedback loops inside your process. With an iterative, consistent process, you will be able to be decisive on the best and brightest applicants, reduce hiring bias and improve the candidate experience.

 

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