Hiring the right team members is a crucial responsibility for any leader. Over the course of my 30-year career, I’ve made approximately 55 hires with a few of those being bad hires. Determined to learn from these experiences, I did an autopsy of each of those experiences to uncover the reasons behind these missteps. While there are no foolproof methods, I have identified six best practices that can significantly improve your hiring process.
Six Best Practices in Hiring
1. Develop a clear vision and an updated job description.
Before even thinking about interviewing potential candidates, it’s vital to have a clear vision of what you’re looking for. Take the time to define the position’s responsibilities, required skills, and desired qualifications. By having an updated job description, you’ll be able to effectively communicate your expectations to applicants and ensure that both parties are on the same page from the start.
2. Create a process and follow it.
To maintain consistency and fairness throughout the hiring process, it’s essential to establish a well-defined process and stick to it. By following a structured approach, you can compare candidates more objectively and make informed decisions based on their qualifications and fit for the role.
3. Involve multiple people in the interview process.
Seeking different perspectives is crucial when evaluating potential hires. Involving multiple people in the interview process brings diverse insights and reduces biases. Collaborate with colleagues who will work closely with the new hire. You could also include team members from different departments to gain a comprehensive understanding of the candidate’s potential fit within the organization.
4. Use a Personality Assessment – Culture Index is my preference.
While interviews provide valuable information, they often fail to uncover certain aspects of a candidate’s personality and work style. Supplementing your evaluation with a personality assessment tool can provide deeper insights. Culture Index, for example, offers valuable insights into an individual’s strengths, weaknesses, and preferred working environments. This helps you assess their compatibility with your team and company culture.
5. Always conduct a background check.
A thorough background check is a critical step in the hiring process. It helps verify the accuracy of the candidate’s credentials and ensures transparency. Contact previous employers to confirm their employment history, reach out to references to gather additional insights, and conduct any necessary criminal record checks. This due diligence helps mitigate risks and ensures you’re making an informed decision.
6. Call references listed on the resume and at least one that is not on the resume.
Contacting references provides an opportunity to gain valuable information about a candidate’s past performance, work ethic, and interpersonal skills. It’s essential to speak with the references listed on the resume. You should also consider reaching out to an additional reference not mentioned can provide a more comprehensive view of the candidate’s abilities and character, helping you make a more well-rounded assessment.
While there are no guarantees when it comes to hiring, implementing these six best practices can significantly reduce the likelihood of making a bad hire. By developing a clear vision, following a structured process, involving multiple perspectives, utilizing personality assessments, conducting background checks, and speaking to references, you can build a high-performing team that propels your organization towards success.