Organization during the hiring process is critical to retaining and attracting potentially highly valuable candidates. Unfortunately, not all hiring procedures are a one-interview-and-done situation. Organizations that conduct more than two interviews before making a hiring decision, however, tell candidates that their interview process is broken (this isn’t true for all positions, namely highly skilled or executive roles).
Careful consideration should be taken when restructuring the interview process. Each company (and department) is different, so adjusting the interview process can’t be a cookie-cutter solution. Each step has to be tailored to your organization’s needs. Interviewers and the hiring team should know ahead of time what they are looking for in a candidate and be able to determine how each individual emulates the ideal candidate. Without preparation before hiring and interviewing even begin, the entire process is destined for uncertain repetition of interviews. So, as a resolution to create a better candidate experience, here’s how you can expedite the interview process.
Step 1. Train Decision-Makers
If hiring managers are uneducated about what the position needs, it will be difficult for them to make the best hiring decision. Plus, if they don’t know what they are looking for, the interview process will take that much longer. 58 percent of interviewers report having either no interviewer skills training or relying on their instincts. This forces candidates to endure multiple rounds of professional interrogation. It adds unnecessary amounts of stress on the candidate and the department as the position takes longer to fill.
Training hiring managers before the hiring process begins not only allows organizations to tailor potential changes in the interview process to their needs, but it also decreases hiring spend. If the team knows what to look for from the beginning, interviews have the potential to be succinct. Educate your hiring team about what the organization needs from the position and how to decipher if the a candidate’s skills could fit that mold. Help them communicate with recruiters and HR in order to build a deeper talent pool from the beginning. This will accelerate the process for the sake of your team and rectify any candidate experience issues.
Step 2. Create A Plan Of Action
What’s the best way to shorten the interview process? Create a plan of execution first. Uncertainty only elongates the hiring process, therefore frustrating your team and the candidates. Seemingly the root of innumerable interviews is the absence of preparation and planning. Lack of training and situational awareness to what the team and the organization needs leads to multiple interviews until someone somewhere kind of figures out what they might need.
“There’s never an excuse or a quantified business reason to do that [interview with excess]. But I think what’s happening is people don’t know exactly what they’re looking for so they throw everything at the candidate.” — Debby Carreau (@DebbyCarreau), Founder and CEO of Inspired HR Ltd.
Step 3. Make The Most Of The Interview
Repeating interview questions shouldn’t be on your to-do list, as the last thing your process should be is redundant. You might not have a lot of time during the interview, so it’s important to make the most of the time you have. Even if there are questions you have to ask (or can’t ask) due to organizational requirements, you can augment the quality of the interview with targeted questions.
Eradicate repetition by asking the right questions from the beginning. Evaluating soft skills shouldn’t require asking the same question in three different ways. Instead, ask candidates about how they resolved a problem with a supervisor or how they dealt with a difficult project with a team. Questions like these accurately determine the soft-skill fit of a candidate.
Adjusting the interview process can’t be resolved with a cookie-cutter Band-Aid. Because every organization develops at a different pace, it’s a faulty assumption that the same solution for the company next door will work for yours. Take these steps as a base for what you can do to improve the interview process and fill in the gaps with tools and practices fit to your organization.
About the Author: Raj Sheth is the CEO and Co-Founder of Recruiterbox.com, web-based recruitment software that helps growing companies manage their incoming job applications.