As a leader, you’ve interviewed hundreds of candidates during your career. You know what you’re doing, right? You’re running from meeting to meeting, and you’ve got that interview at two 0′clock sharp with what’s-his-name. Who cares, right? All the pertinent information is in the Outlook invite.
This is the common thought process of many leaders when it comes to hiring, and yet hiring can be a make-or-break factor in building a successful career and organization.
In today’s hot job market, candidates are fickle. According to LinkedIn, the No. 1 reason why people look for new jobs is career opportunity. Other common motivations include more money and better work/life balance.
As a leader, you need a strategy for convincing top-tier candidates why they should want to join your company. Leaving interviews to chance is risky – for your team, for your company, and for your own career and reputation.
Here are a few ways to build a better hiring process resulting in better hires:
1. Make Interviews Consistent
Think about the difference between baking a cake with a recipe and baking one without a recipe. Not sure how much sugar to use? Just throw a fistful in! It will be okay! Maybe.
Interviewing is a lot like baking a cake. If you’re prepared to ask the same questions in each interview, you’ll quickly determine who is your top choice at the end of the process. If you go to each interview unprepared and just wing it, you won’t get comparable views of each candidate.
If you yourself don’t have time to conduct proper interviews, craft a list of questions and hand it over to your in-house recruiter or hiring manager. That way, they’ll gather the valuable information you can’t gather yourself.
2. Compare Notes
Once all the interviews have been completed, spread out the notes and resumes on your desk. This way, it will be easier to see patterns, identify the pros and cons of each candidate, and compare them. The quality candidates in terms of skill set and cultural fit should rise to the top – your best hire should practically jump off the desk.
3. Get Some Outside Influence
Consider having one or two team members the new hire would work with weigh in on the hiring. Be sure to take these future colleagues’ feedback seriously, but don’t base your entire decision on it. In the end, this is not a democracy – it’s your hire.
If you invite team members into the hiring process, be sure to prepare them. Talk about what they can and can’t, should and shouldn’t ask candidates. Also, beware of puffed up team members who now feel empowered because you asked them to be part of the interview process. Think about your team panel interviews carefully before putting them and the job seekers through the process.
Hiring from your gut is rarely the best choice. People lie in interviews and one bad hire can ruin the entire team. Preparing interview questions, reviewing team feedback, and looking at the information you’ve gathered will ensure better hires.
Elizabeth Lions is an executive career coach based in Dallas. You can learn more at ElizabethLions.com.