In the August 2, 2011 Ask The Headhunter Newsletter, a manager explains hiring like it ought to be done and earns an A:
I’m a hiring manager and I like to ask candidates to:
- Review our web site and provide written recommendations for improvement prior to the initial interview;
- Meet with a sales manager who can assess their knowledge of our market;
- Do a presentation;
- Participate in some relevant pre-employment training to see how well they learn and interact with others.
This works for us and it keeps our turnover very low. From a hiring manager’s point of view, I think it’s important to get multiple looks at a candidate, and to give a candidate multiple looks at us. However, this takes quite a bit of time. What do you think?
Here’s the short version of my advice:
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This is hiring like it ought to be. What you’re doing earns high marks, because you’re not conducting junk interviews. A candidate who is really interested in working for you will gladly invest time in your hiring process.
Often, the problem isn’t that companies spend too much time interviewing; it’s that they don’t spend it profitably. I believe hiring a person is like marrying them. Before you tie the knot, you should talk and work together in more than one context, and you should meet one another’s friends (or co-workers). That’s how to decide whether you belong together. In other words, the courting process must be substantive. I’ll offer three suggestions. (You’re already doing the first one, in your own way.)
First, Kick the candidate out of your office. Get the candidate out on the work floor, to meet your team and see how the work is done. Let the candidate participate. Don’t just test them; try them out.
Second, make sure you let candidates know from the start… (This is where some of my advice is omitted. To get the whole story next week, subscribe to the newsletter. It’s free! Don’t miss another edition!)…
Third, if you’re going to ask candidates to do a presentation and meet people in other departments, help them prepare. Suggest resources, discuss your company’s preferences and style, and offer guidance, just as you would to your employees. For example, you might offer to let the candidate talk with one or two members of your team, by phone, prior to the interview. (If this seems like a waste of time, reconsider filling the position, because if you’re not willing to make this investment, why should anyone invest time to meet with you?) To get the best out of candidates, I believe you have to help them, just as you would your employees when you assign them a project.
Hiring is a manager’s #1 job, and you do it intelligently. Most employers barely earn a passing grade at hiring, and their turnover shows it. I challenge them to reach for an A at interviewing. Your “very low” turnover proves what a valuable investment you’re making. My compliments. Thanks for sharing a manager’s point of view.
In today’s newsletter, we hear from an employer who knows how to hire for success and profit. What do you think of these interviewing methods? What else would you like to see employers do in the job interview? Tell us about an employer you know that deserves an A for interviewing and hiring — and why!