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How to Run a Flawless Hiring Process


You recently landed that big account and you’re barely keeping your head above water. You need help, and decide it’s finally time to add that key person to your staff. You’re excited to move forward but have had trouble in the past finding and hiring the right person.

Before you do anything, step back and take some time to develop a hiring plan. This will mitigate obstacles that could prevent a successful hire and ultimately create a better, less painful hiring process. Follow these guidelines to create a flawless hiring plan for your company.

  1. Develop the Job Description – The more specific the better, as the reader should come away with a strong understanding of the role, the company, and the culture of the organization. Include a brief company summary, the job title, a summary of responsibilities / duties, the level of the position in the organization, the reporting and management responsibilities, as well as the educational requirements of the role.
  1. Identify the Salary – There are a number of resources available to benchmark salaries and it is important to identify a competitive salary range for the role. If your salary range on the job is too low you will eliminate a number of high performers before even getting started. 
  1. Assign Recruitment Responsibility – Who is responsible for recruiting candidates? Whether it’s yourself, HR, an external search firm, or a combination of all of the above, it’s important to define expectations with regard to the type of candidate and the number of candidates to screen. At this point, you should have the interview process in place and identify those who will be involved, the time commitment, and the number of interviews you will need to hire the right candidate.
  1. Candidate Identification – How long will it take to accumulate a specified number of qualified candidates? The answer to this question should be developed with your recruitment partner(s) since they will be assigned the task of bringing candidates to the table, and are the ones most in tune to market realities. 
  1. Candidate Selection – During the resume accumulation process, schedule the candidates you're interested in interviewering as soon as possible. Candidates want timely feedback and it's in your best interest to keep the process moving. There will be a number of great candidates available to you if you keep an open mind.
  1. Scheduling Interviews – The ideal process is to have specific rounds of candidate interviews scheduled in successive time periods. Grouping interviews in a limited timeframe will make it easier to compare candidates. Companies that keep the process moving and provide timely feedback have the best chance of landing their desired candidate.
  1. The Interview Process – Each interviewer should have a copy of the candidate's job description and resume, as well as the appropriate interview times on their schedule so they are prepared. After the first round of interviews, the hiring team can debrief and choose which candidates should move on to the next round and schedule those accordingly. If the group decides that none of the candidates are suitable to move along in the process a new search might be required, and the process may need to be adjusted accordingly. 
  1. Offer / Acceptance  Once the interview process is complete it’s time to move on to the offer and acceptance stage, a time where things can and will go wrong. Being prepared on the front end will greatly impact your chance of success on the back end, and that preparation entails having answers to the following questions:
    • What are the reasons the candidate wants to make a career change?
    • Do you know the candidates exact compensation package?
    • Are you prepared to offer the candidate a salary outside your budget for the role? 
    • Does the candidate have other offers pending?
    • Will the candidate consider accepting a counteroffer from their current employer?
    • Are there any impediments to the candidates desired start date?
    • Has anything changed with the candidate since you last interviewed them?
  1. Follow Up – Periodically follow up with the candidate before their start date to ensure nothing has come up in the interim that could prevent them from starting. Perhaps an office meet & greet or a pre-start lunch can be scheduled to have the candidate meet their future co-workers.

Unfortunately, there is no magic recipe to follow when hiring that next key employee. The steps above represent a guide to follow in an attempt to ensure the process runs smoothly, but as the saying goes and as often happens ...."The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry."  While this may be true, it is also true that a “failure to plan is a plan for failure,” and the more you do to plan the process upfront, the greater your chances of success. Good luck on your next hire and I hope the steps above will help you find your next great employee.


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