7 Steps to Building a Great Hiring Process

As top executives in a company we understand that it takes top people to make things happen. The right person can make a project exceptional. To get exceptional people, it is imperative to have an exceptional recruitment process. There are several ways to ensure that a hiring process brings in top talent. I would love to provide you with some guidelines and resources to take your recruitment to the next level.

Step 1: Understand Your Company’s Needs

As an executive of many years, I have learned that the most important part of a recruitment process is first and foremost to understand my needs as a company. I must determine which candidate skills are critical and which are only nice to have. In some instances, phone support is required. In additional to technical expertise, I will require a candidate that excels at customer service. Perhaps I need to bring in young talent, with fresh ideas and the latest technical know-how. Or, perhaps I am looking for an experienced legal professional that knows the ins and outs of all legal matters on a particular topic. Whatever the role, I always take the time to brainstorm on what key factors I am looking for in order to make the best hiring decision. With new technology on the market, predictive hiring systems offer a cost-effective way to determine which skills are needed to succeed in a role.

Step 2: Craft a Detailed Job Description

The next step in the hiring process is to write a detailed and engaging job description. The right candidate will be motivated by engaging work and strong direction. I always want my employees to be excited to come to work every day. There is no better motivator than simply loving your job. Also, be sure to know and understand the role for which you are hiring, or consult someone who does. You want to put as much detail as possible in the job posting and title to get the right individuals to apply.

Recruiters will used details in the description as ammunition to collect resumes from the right individuals. Also, it never hurts to come across as friendly and human in the job description. This will help draw in the candidate that truly enjoys working. Finally, be sure the job description is clear. Clarity is a key to success.

Step 3: Define Success for the Position

When filling the role, define what success will mean for that particular job description. No candidate will be perfect, but I always make sure to clearly define my major expectations for the position. Perhaps success means driving a particular amount of sales. Other measures of success might include a specific number of deliverables to be completed within a particular period of time. Whatever success means for that particular position, I always ensure this is properly communicated to my recruiter, hiring manager, human resources, and the individual candidate.

Step 4: Creating an Effective Talent Pipeline

An effective talent pool comes from building a talent pipeline. This might mean reaching out to a local college to hire graduating students. Or, it might mean teaming up with a training website such as cybrary.it to find talented professionals studying in their spare time. A company career page or job board might be a good start as a recruitment strategy, but it is even better to promote word of mouth through employee referral programs. I like to make sure the company career page reads like an advertisement. It is a great opportunity to convince the right talent that they want to work for my company. Some fun things to include might be photos or videos and fun employee facts. Also make sure that your career page is mobile optimized and that it is easy to apply so prospective talent is not frustrated by the hiring process. Job boards such as indeed are an important part of recruiting technology and are a good way to drive traffic to the site and increase visibility to prospective candidates. I don’t always assume more is better. Picking the right site will reduce extra noise and provide quality job seekers rather than quantity.

Step 5: Determine Your Interview Crew

When conducting interviews, it is important to determine who will conduct the interview and how they will conduct it. For positions with many applicants, I might utilize a phone interview as a way to screen candidates before meeting them in person. This helps a hiring manager to find any glaring issues and determine that the candidate meets all the base criteria. This might include location, willingness to travel, capability to lift, a specific degree or background, etc. It is also a good time to set expectations for compensation.

For qualified candidates, it may be critical to have the hiring manager take the call or heavily technical associate as opposed to a human resources representative. This will ensure that technical skills can be appropriately evaluated. Including additional personnel in the hiring process allows for many perspectives on a potential candidate. For instance, it may be useful to include a sales manager as well as a member of the engineering team when evaluating a candidate for a technical sales position.

Step 6: Streamline the Interview Process

Onsite interviews should be heavily structured to make them as efficient as possible. I always establish what I am looking for in a candidate before the interviews begin and review this criteria with all staff involved with hiring. I want to be sure to reduce any unconscious bias on the part of the interviewer. Don’t just address the technical skill set. Make sure to identify if a candidate will fit in with the culture, is able to communicate effectively, and is proactive in addition to meeting any technical skill sets. Be sure to standardize questions among applicants to enforce objective comparison. Be cautious however, to make sure the conversation still flows naturally. When deciding on personnel, only one person should be responsible for the final say on a candidate however, get feedback from all involved. Be sure to gather thorough reference checks on all candidates.

An applicant tracking system is an important part of the human resources process that may also help to create a repeatable process that is scalable among large applicant pools. It can send interview dates and times direct to the interviewer’s calendar and provide guidance on what they should look for in the candidate. Questions can also be provided directly to the interviewer from the application.

Step 7: Move Quickly on Job Offers

Be sure to move fast on offers to candidates so that other companies cannot jump in with a competing offer. A fast paced offer makes it clear that you are excited to have them join the company. Deliver the offer slowly and gauge the reaction of the candidate on each portion. It is sometimes helpful to use questions to uncover any reservations the candidate might have at the time of the offer.

A paramount part of the hiring process is speed of hire. It is important to monitor the overall time to hire. This includes the time a candidate is first engaged until the final offer. Recruiting technology can assist in this process. Often I use web generated analytics to create background reports on all key metrics. I believe it is important to keep in mind that the top candidates are always evaluating my company as I am evaluating them. It is also important to try and make each experience as positive as possible. It is always valuable to get feedback from all potential hires on their overall experience.

Be sure to take the time to improve your overall human resources process by taking advantage of both recruiting technology as well as process improvements such as the ones listed in this article. These steps will make all the difference in hiring the right candidate and will ultimately lead to success in business. I wish you luck in your future hiring endeavors.


SENTIO offers a predictive hiring solution designed to help human resource professionals and small businesses make their best hires. Learn more about how SENTIO can aid in matching the best hires to your company’s needs and cultures at www.mysentio.com.