Forum Insights: Hiring Best Practices

On November 15, 2017, Nimble hosted a Forum where we assembled an all-star panel to explore the multi-faceted world of hiring.  

Candidate Experience:  Interviews Are a Two-Way Street 

It's no secret: the hiring process can be REALLY inefficient.  Organizations that want to attract top-talent will have an advantage if they pay attention to the candidate experience.  Here are some small things our panelists recommended:

  • Make sure interviewers are on time and prepared 
  • Plan an interview schedule that is reasonable in both length and number of interviews
  • Be respectful of the candidate's time-don't reschedule or postpone at the last minute
  • Give the candidate time to ask questions and provide information on why s/he should want to join the organization
  • Provide timely feedback--both positive and negative--after the interview

Remember that hiring is a two-way street-you're picking a candidate, but s/he is also picking you.  Basic professionalism and common courtesy go a long way to showing your organization values people.   

Behavioral Interviews: Keep Digging

For quite a few years, behavioral interviewing has been touted as a best practice.  In this style of interviewing,  the candidate is asked to share an experience/story that demonstrates how well they demonstrate the skills or behaviors needed for a job.  The idea is that past performance best predicts future behavior.  The panelists had mixed opinions on how effective these questions really are.  It turns out that you can Google the answers to the most common questions making it easy for candidates to talk a good game.  Here are some tips to ensure that you really get the information you need:

  • Don't take stories at face value.  Instead, ask probing questions until you get to the real substance and detail. Don't be afraid to ask the tough questions even when it feels awkward
  • Try asking "Why?" or "Can you tell me more about that?" or "What did you learn from that?"
  • Just listen.  Use silence to encourage candidates to keep talking
  • Structured behavioral interview guides can be helpful to managers who are less experienced with interviewing

The information you gather will only be as good as the questions the interview team asks.  It is worth it to teach your hiring teams how to ask the right questions.  

Candidate Assessments:  Done Right, Data Adds Value

Studies show managers consistently overrate their ability to predict performance based on interviews.  In fact, most hiring decisions are little better than a coin-flips when it comes to quality of hire.  Kaleb Embaugh, a Management Consultant with forum sponsor PRADCO, shared how assessments can bring data to the process and significantly improve outcomes.   

PRADCO’s Employee Assessments provide data about how a candidate will perform and fit with your team.  The benefits of including assessments in the hiring process include the following: 

  • Clarity about what really drives success in the position
  • Candidate specific data that helps interviewers ask better questions
  • Increased accuracy and efficiency in the selection processes
  • ROI through reduced voluntary turnover and more effective hires

Legally,  assessments must be job-related and have a validated ability to predict performance for the position.  When adding assessments to your hiring process, it is important to do so thoughtfully and to teach interview teams how to use the information correctly.  

While most people acknowledge the importance of hiring great talent,  many organizations struggle to make the hiring process a priority.   At Nimble, we hope you can apply some of the advice from our forum panelists to make your hiring process just a little bit more effective.  

If your hiring process needs significant improvement,  consider letting Nimble help:

  • Consulting-we can design and implement a hiring process that works for your organization
  • Nimble Guides-we offer a do-it-yourself toolkit that includes process advice and templates that you can quickly implement 

Contact ElizabethBrooks@NimbleConsultingServices.com for more information.