Finding the Right Fit: 11 Steps for Smarter Hiring
January 23, 2019
The responsibility to interview and hire new staff can be stressful and time consuming, and the thought of selecting the wrong team member is worrying. Follow these 11 steps to guide your hiring and build an A+ team.
1. Develop a detailed position description and salary range.
Before you run an ad or start interviewing, be very specific about the key responsibilities, skills, and qualifications of the role. The clearer you are on what you are looking for, the more likely you are to find it. Use the criteria to establish a salary range for the position.
2. Advertise the job using multiple sources.
Write a catchy job ad that summarizes the position and qualifications and provides instruction on how to apply. Post the ad on a job platform such as Indeed, CareerBuilder, ZipRecruiter, or Monster that pushes the jobs to multiple websites. Sites like Health eCareers are helpful if you are hiring a nurse practitioner or physician assistant. Consider placing an ad on LinkedIn for a manager or executive level position.
3. Tap your network.
This is an effective and inexpensive way to identify potential candidates. A word of caution when considering hiring a personal friend of yours or of an employee: a good friend doesn’t always equal a good team member. Be sure you put them through the same process of consideration as you would any other candidate.
4. Critically review resumes.
Based on the position description, does the applicant have the required qualifications and experience? Is the resume full of spelling or grammatical errors? Make note of anything that strikes you as unusual or interesting that you will question if the applicant is invited to interview.
Separate resumes into three piles: Yes, Maybe, and No. Often the resumes in the Maybe pile more obviously become a Yes or a No on second review.
5. Check social media sites.
In an era where so many people broadcast intimate details of their lives on social media, overlooking this step would be a mistake. In a 2017 survey sponsored by CareerBuilder, 70 percent of employers reported using social media to screen candidates before hiring.
Consider the professionalism and appropriateness of public posts and photos. Are there provocative or inappropriate photographs? Does the candidate write negatively about a previous employer or fellow employee? What is his or her overall communication style? Social media profiles can provide an insight into the applicant’s personality that you will not likely pick up from the resume.
6. Conduct a short video interview.
At KZA we’ve become big fans of using Skype or FaceTime in place of what used to be the phone screening. This should be a brief interaction (15-30 minutes) to learn a bit more about the candidate and assess their phone and interpersonal skills.
I’m often surprised at how informally some candidates treat this call. I take particular note of how the candidate decided to dress and the location from which they take the call. Of course, I’m understanding of the currently unemployed applicant who takes the call from her car during a lunch break. But if she answers in her pajamas, it saves us both the time of an in-person interview.
7. Send the applicant an official application form.
A resume alone is not sufficient. For candidates of interest who you intend to interview in person, send them an application form that has been reviewed by a labor attorney and complies with your state and local labor laws.
It is immensely important that the application includes a signed statement certifying that the provided information is true and accurate and acknowledging that falsified statements are considered sufficient basis for dismissal, if the applicant is employed.
8. Conduct in-person interviews.
Hopefully at this point you’ve narrowed it down to two or three applicants to interview in person. We encourage involving multiple people in the practice to get a variety of impressions. Be sure that you and your staff are updated on what questions cannot be asked, specifically related to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, or genetic information, as prohibited by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Ask open-ended, behavioral-based questions. The goal is to see if the applicant can think and express themselves to suit you.
And remember, although you certainly want to give the applicant an overview of the practice and the position, this is not the time to brag about all of your accomplishments. Do less talking and more listening.
9. Administer testing, check references, and run a background check.
At this point you think you have a good match. Now is the time to confirm the applicant is who he says he is. Administer inexpensive skills assessments available online through a company such as Total Testing to evaluate the applicant’s aptitude in specific areas. Call references and ask questions about work performance and whether or not the employer would consider re-hiring the applicant.
A background check provides relevant, detailed facts that typically aren’t uncovered during a standard reference check. Our insistence on background checks has uncovered information such as:
1. Universities listed on resumes that the candidate never attended.
2. Degrees and certifications the candidate never earned.
3. Six-figure credit card debt for a candidate who was to manage an aesthetic, cash-based practice.
KZA recommends a service called Trusted Employees to conduct these searches.
10. Make the job offer.
Once you’ve selected your final candidate, it’s time to make the job offer. We suggest first making the verbal offer, allowing consideration for negotiations, and following up with a written offer letter. The offer letter should be clear that it is a summary of the benefits discussed and not an employment contract, as most states are considered at-will employment states.
11. Establish a training plan and KPIs.
An accepted job offer is cause for celebration, but don’t forget the critically important step of crafting a training plan. Outline an agenda and goals for the first two weeks of employment and establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the first 90 days.
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