Is your hiring process effective?

A few years ago, a large global company I worked with was hiring for a senior management level role. Long story short: It took us over 12 months to fill the role, and the external search firm costs were over USD $100,000! Not only was the cost horrendous, we also wasted time with endless interviews.

We finally did hire a person. They stayed for 12 months, and left.

I’d wish to say this was an isolated case – however, sadly, it was neither uncommon nor unique to this company.

To make this even more ridiculous, there was never any real analysis of why this situation occurred. Of course, there were excuses… but at no point did we commit to dig into the underlying problems and complete a review of the end-to-end hiring process. So the same recruitment process just continued on without change!

Could the process have been more effective? Absolutely!

I’m not suggesting that every business has a totally broken recruitment process like my example here, but it’s a question worth asking – when was the last time you really evaluated the effectiveness of how you hire?

Here are 3 questions to ask as you reflect about the effectiveness of your hiring process:

How do you know you are getting the best person for the role, every time you fill a position?

When you look at your workforce, who are the top employees? How did you source these people – was it good luck or was there a conscious plan put in place when you approached this hiring event?

Correlating your top and low performers and digging into what occurred in the hiring events will unearth patterns that you may not have seen before.

For example, a company I worked with often looked at all the people they had hired in the last 2 years. They grouped them into top, low and solid performers.

They then explored the hiring process that was followed for each group to see what trends emerged. They discovered the top performer group had several common elements in their hiring process:

  • There was a very detailed job profile, which described the accountabilities, scope and expectations of the role
  • The interview and assessment process was very structured with a set of questions asked of all the candidates
  • The interview questions focused on technical ability, motivation and alignment with company values
  • There were at least 2 different interviews and the interviewers integrated and discussed the responses of the candidates to align on a rating

The mid to lower performing employees did not have all of these elements applied in their recruitment experience.

Do you have access to simple and clear metrics that show key information about your hiring process?

If you are not tracking hiring performance, you are missing critical business information! Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) provide a general trend of information and will help identify patterns and when to take action.

While there are many different metrics, two of the main ones are Cost of Hire and Time to Hire.

Cost of Hire should include advertising costs, referral payments, and agency or search firm fees. This can be expanded to include the cost in terms of management time in having to review resumes, shortlist and interview, too.

Time to Hire is best measured as the time in days between developing a candidate pool and an offer being accepted.

In addition to just having these figures, you need to track them over time and have a best practice benchmark. That best practice benchmark might be against an industry standard or your own internal frame of reference.

What do the candidates say about your hiring process?

Almost everyone has been a candidate in a job interview. Some I’ve walked away from and formed an opinion that the company was unprofessional and I would never work there, while others, I’ve floated out of the interview so excited and crossing my fingers that I would get to work in that organisation!

The point is – as hiring managers, we review lots of resumes, we interview lots of people and then we offer a job to just one or a few. There are a lot of people who will ultimately be unsuccessful in their application.

There are two wonderful opportunities here.

One – we can help develop unsuccessful applicants so that they can close gaps in their experiences and grow to be better candidates. So, take the time to give real, honest feedback to unsuccessful candidates.

Two – ask candidates about their experience in the hiring process . What did they like? What words would they use to describe your hiring process? Find out what candidates are taking away from the process about the company/business.

Meeting and interviewing a candidate is a defining moment for that individual, and you want them to walk away from the experience with a positive impression of the company, even if they don’t get the job.

How do you gauge the effectiveness of your hiring process? Share in the comments!

Author: Kristy Minter