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Best Practices for Hiring

The use of structured interviews combined with valid assessments and well-defined job descriptions can increase your hiring quality significantly. Follow these guidelines to gain the best workforce for your company.

Before the Interview: Prepare for the Selection Process

First, outline the job responsibilities and skills needed for the position and decide if any skill tests are required. Century II has several assessments to take the guesswork out of defining and replicating the common traits of great performers. Train your interviewers on the process and have multiple people interview the applicants.

Identify your applicant pool to determine the most effective delivery method for your job notice to get to your prospective applicants (i.e. newspaper, Career Builder, Craigslist, professional associations, trade schools or organizations, job fairs, etc.). When you begin receiving resumes, keep them organized and be sure to contact the most qualified candidates quickly.

Gather and organize paperwork for the applicant to complete:

  • Use a standard employment application for all applicants, with a statement on the form to note all employment is "at-will." Also include a waiver to allow the company to check references and a non-falsification statement.
  • Consider the need for non-competes and confidentiality agreements.

The Interview

It is always a good idea to have multiple people interview candidates.

During the interview, remember to be consistent in your questioning and apply the same selection method to all candidates. Using structured interviews with planned questions helps ensure consistency.

Make sure to tell applicants about any background checks, drug tests, skill tests, etc. Over 90% of small businesses check references before making hiring decisions because it helps employers learn about past job performance and work habits of an applicant. This helps you hire the best person for the job.

Take careful interview notes so you can refer back to them later. Use them to assess the candidates successfully and accurately. Use the job description's physical requirements as a guideline to ask about an interviewee's abilities.

Avoid Common Interview Mistakes

Avoid common biases and interview mistakes by recognizing them before meeting with applicants. By avoiding these common interview mistakes, you can be confident that you are hiring the right candidate for the right reasons:

  • Remember that first impressions, both positive and negative, can be wrong.
  • Try not to allow a single strong point of the interviewee to overshadow their possible shortcomings.
  • Do not immediately reject a candidate based on a single piece of negative information. If you have a concern, give the interviewee an opportunity to address it.
  • Keep in mind that strong candidates who interview after weak ones can sometimes seem more qualified than they actually are.
  • Use the job description's responsibilities, experience, educational and physical requirements as a guideline to ask about an interviewee's abilities. Allow the candidates to tell you if they are not able to satisfy any requirements.
  • If you want to hire the right candidate, remember not to make a decision based on characteristics you share with the interviewee. Instead, focus on job-related criteria.

After the Interview

Rely on objective criteria and get feedback from multiple sources by completing background and reference checks as needed. Century II offers many tools to check references and background of potential employees.

Once you have decided to make someone an offer, remember to point out that the offer is contingent upon satisfactory completion of background checks. If the candidate accepts your offer, it's a good practice to recommend that the new hire take a week off between jobs whenever possible.

Century II is Here to Help

We hope this brief overview of good hiring practices provides some guidance. We offer training programs for our clients to learn effective interviewing and screening techniques. Century II can also provide helpful interview questions so that you and your hiring managers can identify the skills your company needs.

If you have specific questions about interviewing skills or hiring practices, please do not hesitate to contact Todd Porter.
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