Monthly Archive for July, 2010

Be a hiring machine – Part 1: Overview

As a recruiting services company, our goal is to bring control to recruiting by building repeatable, robust and scalable talent-acquisition functions that will enable companies to accomplish their corporate objectives. In this post we’ll take look at the interview process in order to understand how hiring can increase retention, engender employee development and reduce hiring risk. The concepts in this post are intended to help companies build a consistent, repeatable recruiting program – to become a hiring machine!

Hiring is composed of four processes: Find, Filter, Face and Finish.

Find: Job Posting, Marketing, Direct Search, Job Bank Data-Mining and Research

Filter: Resume Filtering, Phone Screening and Candidate Marketing

Face: Interviewing and Candidate Marketing

Finish: Offer Generation, Candidate Marketing and Offer Close

Of course, the individual performance of each of Four F’s is tightly linked with the other processes. Since Gravity’s hiring solutions are designed to off-load the Find and Filter stages from our clients, it is the Face (Interviewing) process where we concern ourselves with client improvement.

Why do companies interview?

A company interviews because it desires to reduce the risk of a bad hire.

It can be said that a well-run interview program is the most critical of the Four F’s (in Modern Hiring). A poorly-run interview process wastes the performance of the other stages and leads to bad hires or no hires at all. Gravity develops interview programs for organizations that need to attract, retain and develop high quantities of complex ability—knowledge workers. Knowledge workers can be accountants, protein chemists, software engineers, product managers, salespeople or marketing communications managers, for example. Even though the skill requirements of these jobs are highly variable they all share something in common: the qualities that compose a successful hire are difficult to measure and bad hires are very costly. Gauging the risk associated with a hire of such complexity requires a systematic and repeatable interview process that is targeted at discerning the qualities that will make a candidate successful.

In order to mitigate the risk, and reduce the frequency, of bad hires (and increase the good hires) we need to look at how to improve interviewing and we need to understand what we are actually trying to measure by interviewing.

Next week – Part 2: Making the Determination: Interviewing for Ability, Talent, and Character

Interviewing without marketing is like cereal without milk

Interviewing is certainly the process by which we make the determination to hire someone.  However, there is another critical component to the process that too many businesses neglect—creating interest in potential employees.  Just as bad prescreening will lead to poor interview success (you’ll end up interviewing people that can’t do the job), a lack of effective marketing will lead to poor acceptance ratios during the offer stage. A critical part of every technical recruiter’s job is to market opportunities to potential applicants.  But marketing can’t just be a headhunter’s responsibility.  Companies (interviewers) must market to interviewees at every stage of the recruiting process.

When we refer to marketing, we’re not suggesting that businesses just share frivolous facts like how there’s a company pizza party every full moon.  Rather, companies must take care to provide information to the candidate that will reduce the perception of risk. After all,  candidates are interviewing companies and making assessments to reduce their risk of taking a bad job. So what makes for good interview marketing?  Naturally, it’s just good information about the job, project, environment, future, and prospects.

Here are some questions that must be answered during the interview process.

What will the candidate be doing?  Why is this interesting?

What growth opportunities will the candidate have?

Why should the candidate want to work for the company?

Effective marketing will answer these questions for the candidate as early in the process as possible and reinforce them at all stages.  The later the stage in the hiring process when marketing actually begins the less effective it becomes.  If you save your marketing punch for the closing stage of a candidate’s offer its reception will be lukewarm.  Inserting a corporate spokesperson (ideally a future co-worker) into the interview process is highly effective in increasing offer acceptance ratios.

Remember, the company that provides the most information to a candidate during the interview process will almost always beat a competitive offer.