Amelia Herring

The 10-Step Guide to Hiring in Today’s market

The 10-Step Guide to Hiring in Today’s market
Amelia Herring
Be confident that you gave your company the best chance for success by investing in its people.

When a job opens up in your company, you need to be fully prepared to act.

There are a lot of companies out there, especially small ones, that don’t have a blueprint for hiring. That’s like building a house without… well, a blueprint! Put studs in the wrong place, and when you least expect it, the whole thing can collapse. That’s a very costly mistake.

Even if you do have a plan, it’s good to review and update it periodically. Hiring decisions are amongst the most important professional decisions you’ll make, so you’ll want to have your ducks firmly and clearly in a row.

To that end, we’ve got some simple, step-by-step directions for you for the whole process.

First, identify the need. Maybe you’ve had to get rid of a problem worker or you’ve recognized a need to expand, but you know that you need to hire. That’s a good start.

Second, create the job description. You may have a general idea of what you’re looking for, but you’ll want to get specific and document what it is. Determine the skills, experience, education and other professional traits needed to perform the job.

Also, consider your preferences, which are different from needs. Preferences allow you to choose candidates closer to your perfect fit while giving those who just cover the basics a look as well.

Next is marketing. There are more options than ever for advertising a job opening, so consider your budget and desired audience carefully. Internet job boards reach a large job-searching crowd but can be pricey. Postings in regional newspapers and at community colleges are usually cheap, or even free, but will be seen by fewer people.

There is a low-cost, wide-reaching online approach, and it involves using your company’s website in addition to social networking channels. The latter can be particularly useful in recruiting Millennials.

Also, if you have one, use your intranet. That leads to an important question: Will you give your current employees first go at the job? If so, you’ll want to have a plan for that process as well.

Now, let’s move to the initial screening and testing phase of the hiring guide. At this point, the resumes are probably piling up. This would be a good time to direct applicants to any online testing systems you have set up. A simple pre-screening questionnaire would be a good place to start, then for those who pass that, a cognitive ability test, personality test for jobs, and behavioral reliability test.


After having processed and reviewed the scores from the initial round of testing, you can narrow the desirable candidate pool considerably. Now, rank who’s left. Consider how much time you will have for interviewing when deciding upon the number of applicants to keep.

Phone Interviewing

Arrange a time with your each of your prospects to talk on the phone. Interview them with questions about their resume and job and salary requirements. Emphasize your desire for questions in return… they can be very revealing. This is also the time to “sell” the position and your organization.

Onsite Interview and Testing

Now you should have just a few prospects left. Bring them onsite for a structured interview and any testing that requires proctoring.

Background and Reference Checks

Checking references is not a waste of time. According to recent research, one out of every five job applicants gets eliminated at this stage. As for criminal background checks, it’s prudent to save this step until late in the process in order to minimize the risk of disparate impact, and to comply with legal mandates if your business is located in Massachusetts, Hawaii and Philadelphia.

Now it’s time to choose “the One”

Consider all of the information you’ve gathered and pick the best candidate. It’s a big decision, but if you’ve followed all of the previous steps with diligence and care, you should be ready.

Make an offer

Know the industry-standard salary range and be prepared to offer the high-end in case your pick is highly qualified and far better than your next-in-line. You’ll likely want to do some negotiating, and be prepared to walk away if your candidate is too demanding. It’s important to note that not everyone is driven primarily by the money… your benefits package and positive work environment could be worth more than you think.

Hopefully, you now have an excited new hire that will bring great things to your organization. Given the time and effort you’ve put into following all the proper steps in the hiring process, you can be confident that you gave your company the best chance for success in the most important aspect of any business: its people.

I hope you’ve found this information both interesting and applicable to your human resource processes. Be sure to visit our blog for more videos and helpful articles, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for news and information on workplace and human resource issues, student achievement, and more!

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