4 Expert Tips for a Successful Hiring Process

January 24, 2019
4 Expert Tips for a Successful Hiring Process

There are many steps hiring managers must take to fill an open position. These include sourcing applicants, screening candidates, interviewing, skills assessment, writing the offer and onboarding the new employee. In the mad rush to hire someone to fill an empty spot, many managers overlook a few key areas that can be the difference between rushing into the costly mistake of hiring the wrong candidate and finding the perfect person to fill a position.

Here are some hiring best practices that will help ensure you always hire the best people who will improve your organization, enabling your company to grow and ultimately become more profitable.

1) Clearly define the responsibilities of the role

If you want to hire someone who is well suited to the requirements and responsibilities of the job, you must make sure these are clearly defined. Start by writing a very specific job description.  

Your job description should include:

  • A very clear explanation of the job duties, including all major areas of responsibility and what the successful applicant will need to be able to accomplish to be successful in this role
  • Required level of education
  • Work experience, including specific level they’ve reached in their profession and required level of mastery in key areas of responsibilities
  • Any industry-specific accreditations you’re seeking
  • Hard skills, including computer applications, machinery and technical abilities
  • Soft skills, such as ability to manage people, work with others effectively and motivate colleagues

Use these requirements in both the job ad and to drive the interview process. In this way, you will receive exactly the information necessary to make an informed decision.

2) Keep interview questions relevant

If you want to streamline the job interview, don’t ask questions that have nothing to do with accessing candidates’ qualifications for the job you’re trying to fill. I distinctly remember a time, during an interview, when a hiring manager asked a potential candidate what kind of tree he would be if he was reincarnated.

What?? This question is completely off-topic and not related whatsoever to the responsibilities required in the role they were interviewing for. Hiring managers should focus on trying to understand candidates’ ability to handle the responsibilities of the job and should ask questions that get at the following:

  • Relevant work experience 
  • Job-related skills
  • Professional motivation
  • Interpersonal skills and behavior that will lead to success in your company, with your other employees and in the job itself

3) Put candidates to the test

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned as a recruiter is that candidates often exaggerate on their resumes. To avoid surprises after hiring, evaluate each candidate you’re considering to verify that they do, indeed, possess the skills and experience they claim.

Formalized skills tests are a great way to prove that a candidate is capable of the position. However, I have also found that a simple conversation specifically regarding their skills and experience is a great way to understand if they have what it takes to do the job. During the conversation, listen closely to find the golden nuggets of information that will give them away. I like to call these golden nuggets MSAs. MSAs take into account what the candidate has made, saved and achieved:

  • Made – What has the candidate made, as far as generating revenue, increasing sales or making their company more competitive. Think bottom line here.
  • Saved – How has the candidate saved the company money, time, resources or made the company more efficient by implementing best practices.
  • Achieved – When have they received commendations for a job well done or been recognized for hard work and innovation.

Find these MSAs by asking the candidate how they would approach or manage challenges in their skill set. Put them in a hypothetical role-playing situation that allows them to showcase their experience.

4) Allow the team into the hiring process

When I worked as a corporate recruiter, I always advised my hiring managers to include other members of the team into the final interview stage of the hiring process.

Inviting other members from the team to assess the candidate will provide additional perspective on the candidate that the hiring manager might not have seen. Plus, it will tell you the chances that the rest of the team will be able to work well with the new employee - thus increasing the odds of a successful hire.

Adding these tips to the hiring process will help eliminate interview surprises, miscommunication and unrealistic expectations. These will also help show potential candidates that you are an organized, smart and efficient organization, as well as give them a clear idea of what to expect in their new role – so that they make an informed decision.

This communication is for informational purposes only; it is not legal, tax or accounting advice; and is not an offer to sell, buy or procure insurance.

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