A company will always be only as good as its human effort. And we’re not talking about upper management or the C-suite only but the regular employees or what is known as the rank and file as well. There have been times when brilliant employees compensate for the inadequacies of their supervisor or manager—not ideal, of course, but it’s the reality in many organizations.
For this reason, it is very important for any company, especially startups, to make sure that every applicant who successfully passes the hiring process would indeed become a major contributor and not turn out to be a major headache.
Fortunately, the Philippines does not lack talent, in whatever industry you belong. It is for this reason that Filipino professionals and skilled workers are in demand in other parts of the world.
But it’s also true that not every job hunter will be a good fit for a company. An impeccable resume can only tell so much about the person applying for the job, and the intangibles usually spell a prized catch for the company or a dud.
That is why hiring managers need to do their due diligence. That’s where an effective hiring process comes in.
The Hiring Process
Getting a new employee to fill a need for a company is not as simple as browsing through a lot of resumes and interviewing applicants with the most potential. You would need to come up with a great recruitment strategy to prevent you from wasting time reading through tons of resumes just to find the right person. It also has the added benefit of making your company quite attractive even to the most-qualified applicants. You can strategize your hiring process by asking the following questions (and having the right answers, of course).
- What are my business needs, goals, and objectives?
- What are my long-term plans for the company? Will there be roles or gaps to fill or limit depending on the season or need that would compel the expansion or reduction of staff?
- What should be the best method to recruit personnel for specific job/s? Is it through traditional advertising or social media?
- Can my company offer a competitive salary and opportunities for growth for the new hires?
- How will I tell if my recruitment strategy is working?
By addressing these questions, you are setting up a solid guideline on how you would go about choosing the candidates with the most potential and eventually settling on the right person for the job.
There is a method to the madness, and every company wanting to land the best candidate for a specific job needs to keep these steps in the hiring process in mind.
- Accurately define your needs in the job description. This is where everything starts in your journey to add a valuable contributor to your organization. By clearly defining what the job entails, and the specific responsibilities that go with it, you avoid confusing would-be applicants. You can even use jargons that are specific to the role or to your brand, which in effect is helping you filter out those who might be thinking of just winging it from those who really know the job.
- Advertise. There are a lot of platforms to do that now, from the traditional (print media, television, radio) to social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and online sites, either paid or free. You can even have your existing employees recruit for you, encouraging them to do it possibly with a referral bonus.
- Use software to analyze resumes. Like it or not, as soon as that job ad hits the market, you will get swamped with resumes. So you need to come up with a process to keep the tediousness of reviewing each one of them to a minimum level. That’s where a software called an applicant tracking system (ATS) comes in. Among its most useful feature is the ability to filter candidates based on the pertinent words (keywords) mentioned in the resume based on your company’s business requirements.
- Do an initial interview by phone of shortlisted candidates. It should just take 15 to 30 minutes as this is just the “getting to know you” stage in the hiring process, but make sure to include questions about their experience and skills. Also, watch out for “red flags” such as inattentiveness, a pessimistic view, and even unpreparedness for the interview. If a candidate exhibits any, they shouldn’t get past this step.
- Do the final interview face-to-face or through video conferencing. Once you have narrowed down your pool of candidates, schedule them for a final interview that should be more in-depth. Better if you have a panel of interviewers to have different perspectives on the candidate. It will also show how the applicant handles such a setup.
- Give assessment activities. You would want to make sure that the most important claims made by the applicant in their resume and during your interviews are true and having them perform tasks related to the job they are applying for is one sure way to make it certain.
- Do background checks. You can start with the character references they have provided to see how the applicants are perceived by other people, although you can expect glowing feedback from them, otherwise, they wouldn’t be included in the list. Also, check with their previous employers if you can, which should give you a better idea of how the candidate performed on the job as well as the reason why they left that company.
- Make the decision. Once the background checks and the interviews and assessments are out of the way, it’s time to evaluate all the information you have. You may design a grading system based on the data you have, with the applicant with the highest grade getting the nod. But you should also consider your gut feeling. Did the candidate make you feel uncomfortable during your face-to-face interview or was it a pleasant experience? Did one show great skills but poor behavior while another was the total opposite? Remember that skills can be learned but an improper attitude can’t be masked forever.
- Offer the job. The best candidates don’t usually stay jobless for long. Often, they get offers from various companies at the same time so it’s them who may be considering you instead of the other way around. If you take long to extend a job offer, you may miss out on someone who could have made your company much better.
- Hire and onboard. Once the best candidate says yes to your offer, make sure that all the necessary documents (contract, non-disclosure agreement, etc.) are ready for their signature. Once this is done, you can proceed to the process of onboarding, which can include a few days of having them go through several “seminars” to learn about the company and its culture, benefits, and other perks, as well as rules and regulations. You would also need to introduce them to the members of your group and make sure that they settle down as soon as possible. By helping the new hire start on the right foot, you are helping ensure that they will stay with the company for as long as possible.
How To Make the Hiring Process Better
It’s never enough to reiterate that the best way to get the best candidate for employment is through an effective hiring process. Here’s how you can do it:
- Build a good reputation as an employer – it can be through social media and online sites by way of posts that establish your company as an ideal place to work in. More importantly, if your existing employees are happy, they would talk to friends and family about you, and especially in the age of the internet, word goes around.
- Set up an FAQ on the company website – this is important for applicants who may be interested in your company but are not quite sure what to expect while working for you. This FAQ page or section can put their concerns or worries to rest and entice them to join your company.
- Move quickly – as mentioned earlier, once you have settled on the best candidate, extend a job offer asap to prevent others from snagging your prized catch.
- Know the candidates more through their social media profile – while it may not be the most accurate way of establishing an applicant’s fitness for the job, it does offer you a glimpse of them as a person and how they behave generally. If your company has a conservative culture, someone who is more on the “radical side” might not be the best fit even if their skills are through the roof.
- Use social media to recruit – a lot of people have been hooked on social media for quite a few years now, checking their newsfeed first thing in the morning and before they sleep at night. By establishing a positive presence there, it’s more likely that the best candidates will take notice and decide that working for your company can be a great decision for them to make.
- Make your hiring process mobile-friendly – this should be obvious as most people nowadays can’t live without their mobile phones. An especially designed app just for your hiring process can make it an even smoother and easier experience for your potential target candidates.
A resume is simply the doorway for a person to enter the candidates’ pool, but for many hiring managers, it’s a tedious job that can sometimes be overwhelming, okay, a lot of times. This is particularly true when the COVID-19 rendered a lot of people jobless. Now that the worst of the pandemic is seemingly over and the world is getting back on its collective feet, companies are again opening or resuming at full capacity, which means there are a lot of jobs to be had, but even more people are interested in those jobs.
What does a hiring manager do to cope with the tons of resumes submitted for a single job opening to make sure that they get the fittest person for it? Screen those resumes, of course. As mentioned before, there is software that can do that task, but even then, once the field is narrowed, real people would still need to go through the shortlisted resumes. And what about those companies that can ill afford to buy such software?
Believe it or not, there are just three steps in effectively screening resumes:
- Screen resumes based on the job’s minimum requirements – it could be educational attainment, age bracket, basic skills, etc. This is the easiest to decide on because a candidate either has it or not and those who haven’t are automatically disqualified.
- Screen resumes based on the job’s preferred requirements – these are what is called the “nice-to-haves,” which make one candidate preferable over another. It could be a special skill or a training or seminar certification.
- Shortlist candidates depending on minimum and preferred requirements – if you need to hire a lot of people, then you should let candidates satisfying the minimum requirements advance to the initial interview portion. If you are looking for someone to fill just one job opening, then you should only pass those who satisfy the preferred requirements.
Easy, right? Now, on to the interview.
If the resume is the “appetizer” of the hiring process, then the formal interview is our entrée, giving hiring managers a full view of the candidate, their mannerisms, how they conduct themselves, and what kind of person they really are. Although a face-to-face (or even a videoconference) job interview may not take long, it should be enough to reveal a lot about an applicant’s personality and predilection, if you know how to look.
Treating this specific step as no more than a social call. You might think the resume is enough to prove if the person is fit for the job, and the initial phone interview seems to confirm that so that when you do meet in person, it’s just to ask the usual questions like, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” or “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
Falling for small talk. Talking about your favorite NBA team or player or going to the same school may get the applicant in your good graces, but such does not reflect on their capacity to do the job or to even be a good fit in the company’s overall culture.
Unusual but effective strategies
How do you avoid those common pitfalls then? One, you can be creative with your questions. Ditch the standard questions and go for something that would reveal the applicant’s inner thoughts.
Perhaps, more effective, is to do away with the usual interview-at-the-desk strategy and do these instead:
- Walk them around the office – show them how the company works and introduce them to your employees. See how they react. Do they ask questions? Do they show curiosity or interest in what people do at the office?
- Have lunch or dinner with them – this is a good way to gauge their character. Do they treat the servers with respect? Can they keep a conversation going while you wait for your meals to be served? Are they patient? How they behave in a restaurant can reveal if they are a team player or not.
10 Behavioral Questions That Would Get You the Right Person for the Job
So, while you are in any of the given situations above, you can start asking not the usual questions that can reveal more about the character of your candidate.
- What skill or ability do you have that others don’t have?
- If you were an animal, what would you be?
- What characteristics of your parents do you find the most endearing?
- How would you resolve a situation wherein several demands compete for your time and attention?
- How would you handle a most difficult person?
- Have you failed to keep a commitment? How did you handle it?
- What would you do if you were made to work with a person that you hate?
- Which one would you take: a great opportunity with a lot of risks or a lesser opportunity with minimal risks?
- When you need to make a difficult decision, how do you go about doing it?
- How do you plan and organize your work?
The way the candidate replies to these questions or even how they frame the answers should give you an idea if they are worth keeping or not.
Top Questions Applicants Ask That Employers Need To Answer Truthfully
On the other side of things, we should also remember to allow applicants to ask their questions. Not only will this give the assurance to them that your company treats everyone fairly, but it is also a good way to determine if the candidate is indeed serious about making an impact in the organization should they get hired.
Hiring managers should be prepared to answer these pertinent questions that every applicant should ask:
- What is the ideal candidate for the job for you?
- Can you describe a typical day for an employee in this position?
- What should I need to accomplish in my first three months?
- What is the management style of the company?
- What is the biggest reward of working for you?
- Is there anything you don’t like working here?
- Am I applying for a new job or is this a job vacated by someone else? If so, why has it been vacated?
- What company value has positively affected you the most?
- What are the company’s plans for growth?
- If I am chosen, how soon should I start?
In contrast, consider as a red flag any of these questions that an applicant asks:
- What exactly does this company do? – They should have researched the company before the interview.
- Can I go on a vacation for my birthday? – They’re looking for work and yet, it’s the time off that is also on their mind.
- Can I ask for a change of work schedule should I get hired? – Why?
- So, am I hired? – Seems impatient, are they?
Getting the right person for the job is indeed a tricky proposition. Do it carelessly and you could end up with an employee who can be a disruption instead of a contributor. But if you do it carefully, following all the tips laid down here, you would most likely have new hires that would help your company develop, grow, and soar to newer heights.
Now, if you happen to be an applicant instead, then here’s everything you will need to land that job.