7 Small Ways to Make a Big Impact on the Hiring Process

June 29, 2021

We’re all thrilled to be getting back to normal life, but one unintended outcome of the return to work is a wave of resignations. According to one survey, one in four employees plan to search for a new job once the pandemic subsides. Given those stats, it’s possible you and your company may be looking to fill roles in the near future (but get equipped at our Future of Work Resource Center to help minimize this).

A great employee experience begins the moment a future employee looks at a job posting. We knew we wanted to create those meaningful moments for prospective employees. So we took a step back and revamped our hiring process, seeking an equitable practice that aligned with our values and mission. Here are seven ways we kicked up our hiring process to take it from great to brilliant!

1. Get some perspective

We enlisted the help of Dorianne St Fleur to audit ALL of our people processes, including hiring. She helped to objectively look at what we were doing well and where there was room for improvement. The biggest takeaway from her assessment: the need for more consistency.

2. Get organized to stay on track

We created the Brilliant Ink Hiring Guide to create a consistent process from the start. For each new job posting, we determined the needs for that role and from those needs we developed a job post to attract the candidates with the right skills. We also developed a hiring timeline to keep us on track and to share timing with candidates so they had clear expectations on when they would hear back from us at each phase of the interview process.

3. Invest in the right tools

Our previous hiring process involved lots of spreadsheets.  As a result, tracking candidates was often messy, leaving room for errors. We utilized an applicant tracking system  (ATS) called Workable to help us post jobs on multiple hiring sites and keep track of the awesome talent applying for the roles.

Our search process also expanded beyond passive hiring (where candidates saw our posting and applied) to proactive sourcing. We developed some key terms for each post which allowed LinkedIn to scour its database for candidates who could be a fit and reached out directly to those candidates and encouraged them to apply.

4. Use numbers

Each applicant was evaluated based on a point system for each job requirement; if they met the pre-established threshold, they qualified for a phone screen interview. For example, when hiring for a role in our research department, candidates received a point for having Excel experience, a point for previous experience with a research project, etc.

Having a quantitative measure allowed us to quickly and easily sort through the applicants while making sure our personal biases weren’t causing us to miss someone who could be a great match.

5. Be consistent

To prepare for the phone screen interviews, the Hiring Manager and People Ops Lead worked together to develop a script of phone screen questions to ensure that each conversation was capturing consistent measurables on an evaluation template. Each behavioral or situational question had specific criteria which made scoring objective.  

Once the phone screenings were completed, the People Ops Lead would share candidate summaries, excluding names and race/gender-identifying information, and based on that information, the hiring manager selected the top candidates to interview, where similar methodology was used.

6. Check your bias.

We all have biases, some that we are aware of and some we are not. To cut down on the impact of bias in our interviewing process, we assessed all candidates using the same criteria and made a conscious effort to interact with each in the same way to create as close-to-the-same interview conditions for everyone.  

After the interview, we reviewed our interview notes and converted any words that were fuzzy like “friendly” to examples that gave a clear evaluation of the candidate such as “Greeted me warmly and asked questions that showed they had researched the role and the company.”

7. Phone a friend

Once all interviews were completed, the hiring team met to review all candidates, discussing both their scores and specific examples from the interviews.  We included someone who was not part of the hiring process in our decision-making process to check any biases and to flesh out more details in any descriptions or conclusions that were unclear.  

What comes next?

Once our hard work was completed, we were rewarded with getting to call the top candidate and offer them the role (and had the challenging task of letting the other candidates know that we would not be moving forward).

While this new process was a lot of work to put into practice, and is definitely more time-consuming than our previous hiring process, we are reaping the rewards and it has been a worthwhile investment!

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