hiring process

4 Ways Employers Can Improve the Hiring Process

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These posts are usually geared toward my regular audience of job seekers. But occasionally, I’ll write one for the audience of my audience: hiring managers. This week’s post is for both groups of readers, with an aim to help improve the hiring process, during and after the Great Resignation.

Employers are still struggling to attract good talent to their job openings. Therefore, they should take heed of the feedback job candidates and career coaches like myself give about the hiring process.

I invite hiring managers to do so by considering the suggestions below, and I invite the job candidates reading this post to provide additional feedback in the comment section. Providing this input can help employers attract more employees, and can make the job search and hiring process less frustrating for both parties.

What job candidates are saying about the hiring process

Last month, I came across a poll on LinkedIn asking job candidates for suggestions on how they would improve the hiring process. There was a lot of good feedback employers can use to attract more candidates. Much of this feedback included things such as:

  • Reduce the time of the hiring process. Currently it runs much too long.
  • Focus more on transferable skills than experience for entry-level jobs. Right now, most entry-level jobs require at least three years of experience, making it nearly impossible for a recent graduate to land their first job and start gaining experience.
  • Stop age discrimination against both younger employees and older employees.
  • And the most popular: stop using application tracking systems and digital screening programs.

The complaint with the last one is, it’s too time consuming to enter the same info already on the candidate’s résumé, into an online system for every single job. While it may be impossible to stop using such systems altogether, companies can at least try to come up with some alternatives, especially for the candidates referred by a networking contact.

For the employers and hiring managers who read this blog, take heed. You’ll likely see a change in the quality of candidates by listening to this feedback above, and the feedback below.

4 ways to improve the hiring process

I also hear the frustrations and feedback from my own clients in working with them as they go through the hiring process. As a result, here is my own list of recommendations which can help employers improve their hiring process, and therefore attract more talent.

1. Stop using personality assessments to make hiring decisions

I once had a client who had a stellar résumé and background, with experience at some of the top companies in the country. She passed every test of the interview process with flying colors for a position with a smaller company. The hiring managers loved her, and were getting close to making her an offer. The only thing she had left to do in their process was complete the DISC personality assessment.

As soon as the company saw her results, they grew cold toward her. She was very upset with how they changed their tone, and felt discriminated against because of her assessment results. It was as if all her experience, skills, and the hoops she successfully jumped through no longer mattered.

This was an improper use of the DISC, especially since the creators of the assessment clearly state on their website it should not be used to make hiring decisions. Instead, personality assessments should only be used in the on-boarding or training stage of a newly hired employee, or to help build teams of current employees.

2. Become skilled in interviewing

This brings me to my next suggestion. In defense of the small company my client interviewed with, they probably were completely unaware they shouldn’t use the DISC assessment to make hiring decisions.

This is why anyone outside the HR department who makes hiring decisions should learn how to interview well. While this person is obviously not an HR expert, he or she needs to learn some things to not just know how to hire the best candidate, but to also keep from getting the company into legal trouble.

I remember a former supervisor of mine who asked a candidate several illegal questions in a second-round interview. This was because he didn’t know any better. Hiring was not part of his job like it was for the folks in HR. But not knowing better didn’t make him less accountable if the candidate had decided to take legal action.

Take the time to learn from the HR experts at your company the best way to conduct interviews, both for good results and for legal protection.

3. Ask better questions

Don’t ask pointless interview questions just because they’re common, or because your company has always asked them. Consider first what these questions will really tell you. If they don’t tell you much about the candidate’s capabilities, ask better-worded ones instead.

For example, instead of asking, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”, ask, “What have you accomplished in the past five years?”

4. Stop ghosting

I’ve previously written about this topic many times, but it bears repeating. Some of my clients still experience ghosting from employers after having spent weeks or even months in their hiring process.

When you have a candidate who is a finalist but isn’t the one you offered the job to, show some common courtesy. Tell him or her your decision, and show some appreciation for all the time they devoted to your lengthy process.

4 more ways to improve the hiring process

For four more suggestions on how to improve your hiring process and attract more talent, check out my post, “Dear Recruiters, Treat Candidates the Way You Want to Be Treated.”

Dear Recruiters, Treat Candidates the Way You Want to Be Treated

Share your own suggestions

Job candidates, what are some things I left out you would suggest? Please detail them in the comment section below.

Also, if you need help maneuvering the hiring process, let’s talk. I can help you handle various situations and scenarios you may experience during the process. Click here for more information.

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