Whether your company is a well-established corporation or a brand new startup, one hiring questions is always the same: how can your hiring team ensure interviews are run effectively while maintaining a high-quality candidate experience?
Time, cost, and manpower are common objectives and roadblocks that can make this difficult. Hiring goals will always be (somewhat) difficult to achieve. However, the key to having a great interview process is creating a standard hiring process.
This involves deeply understanding the current lay of the land, while also having the ability to process and set concrete plans and goals to scale.
How can you create a standard hiring process?
Companies typically encounter issues with their hiring process before the candidate even sets foot in the door.
This is, of course, referring to the initial phone screen. A lot goes into setting up a phone screen and making sure that your recruiters’ (and candidates’) time is valued.
First, of course, is determining the criteria for selecting qualified candidates. This should be determined before the requisition is even posted during an intake meeting.
After these criteria are established, you also need to also specify the training that these phone screen interviewers should have. Training isn’t just important because it enables interviewers to pick top talent more easily, it also gives them confidence.
Once you’ve determined the above, the final piece is scheduling the interview. I’ve spoken to many different companies, and, in my experience, the average hiring team typically takes between 6-14 emails to schedule one interview. I like to call this “calendar Tetris,” which is basically both parties trying to find an available time despite the fact that both of their schedules are constantly changing.
It goes without saying: there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes into creating an effective interview and great candidate experience.
Best laid plans go awry
All of the above are important in establishing your standard hiring process, but what happens if even the best-laid plans don’t work out?
Take this scenario: Sara, a top Software Engineer, is going on maternity leave. The big boss just mentioned that they have two open sales requisitions and one open engineer requisition. The timeline to hire is very short (maybe too short): all new hires need to be in the door within 30 days. **cue stress sweats**
You’ve got five possible candidates, but, unfortunately, the previous three interviews haven’t gone well, and there’s no purple squirrel sitting in your back pocket. You’ve already sent each candidate an email with no response. Your top interviewer is out of the office and the only person you’ve got is Tom from the Marketing team who’s interview reschedule rate is through the roof. LIONS AND TIGERS AND BEARS… OH MY!!
This is why every single standard hiring process needs to have a contingency plan. In other words, for each interviewer for each stage that you’ve specified, there needs to be an additional back-up interviewer to take their spot in case anything happens.
Building back-up or alternate interviewers into each interview ensures that your recruiting coordination team isn’t spending all of their time scheduling and has more time to work on additional projects to propel themselves in their career. It also ensures that candidates are speaking to a well-trained interviewer and not just, well, someone who happened to be free.
Calendar hygiene is also an aspect
You’ve somehow got the panel all figured out. FINALLY, things are looking good!! But wait, Lisa over on the Customer Success team is OOO and I have no backups. The candidate is going to be here in 30 minutes. Why does this always happen?!
Another part of your all-important standard hiring process contingency plan is making sure all individuals involved in hiring are practicing good calendar hygiene.
This means responding to all calendar invites, putting in PTO with the appropriate wording, making sure to put in travel buffers, etc. This makes sure that whoever is scheduled for an interview can actually attend!
…and don’t forget about feedback forms!
Phew! The process is almost over and you’re sitting at home reminiscing on the past 8 hours (which felt like a full 48). All that’s left is feedback forms and keeping mental tabs on all of the people in your org who made this process oh so fun. Seems to be one of the smaller problems, but who enjoys “finishing” a project, and then having to fill out more forms, and bouncing back and forth from your ATS to a spreadsheet?
As with many of the aspects of a standard hiring process detailed above, there are tools that recruiting teams can leverage to alleviate some of the burden and allow them to focus on the crucial candidate experience.
One of these tools is an Interview Logistics Platform, which automates all scheduling, interviewer training, and interviewer selection! There are also tracked metrics and insights for your hiring team to determine which interviewers are rockstars and which ones, well, maybe decline a little too much.
About the Author:
Kevin works in sales at GoodTime!