Today we are looking into the hiring of employees as a process.
We will go through many questions surrounding the hiring process. Looking at how each stage of the hiring process mitigates common problems.
Coming up in this post:
What is an Employee Recruitment Process?
Companies must ensure a suitable hiring process is in place. As we covered in our last post, up to 83% of applicants change their perception of companies if they’ve had a negative interview experience.
The hiring process in HRM (Human Resource Management) is simply a broken down step-by-step process of recruiting a new employee. It varies from organisation to organisation, but they typically follow common stages.
What is a hiring pool?
A hiring pool is a list of all the applicants to a role. A hiring pool can vary across job positions and industries. The size of an applicant pool is affected by the qualifications and experience required. The job description and the competitiveness of compensation matter. Even how the position is advertised. Online job postings often have larger applicant pools. This makes sorting through the inflated applicant pools time-consuming. This has given companies a way to rely on Applicant Tracking Systems, abbreviated to ATS.
The hiring of employees as a process- phases and steps
To make the hiring process more manageable and successful, a step-by-step process needs to be implemented. Here we'll go through each step of the hiring process.
1. Identify the organisational need
Identifying where you need a role filled within your organisation is the first step of the hiring process. The position can be newly formed or recently vacated and require a replacement.
2. Write the job description
To advertise the role, you’ll need to complete a job description to inform applicants what’s required of the role, and likewise, they can identify whether they can meet the expectations. This should include a list of the tasks to be performed, qualifications, personal characteristics, experience and even salary and benefits.
3. Advertise the position
As a general rule of thumb, organisations should advertise job positions externally as well as internally. If an organisation only wants to hire internally, they are not required by law to make the job position public. However, there are a few reasons why you should avoid only advertising job roles internally.
Firstly, by only internal job advertising, you are limiting your talent pool. But secondly, and maybe, more importantly, there could be a chance you’re indirectly discriminating against sex or race that is under-represented in the workplace, which could lead to consequences to you. This can occur when applications who hear about the role too late may claim discrimination because the recruitment method was a discriminatory arrangement.
External advertising includes company websites, social media, job fairs, online job posting and sometimes even local newspapers (yes still!)
4. Review applicants
As we’ve mentioned already, the hiring pool has increased significantly since online job posting. For this reason, it's sensible to use an ATS. The Human Resources team will review all applicants and go through eliminating candidates unsuitable for the role. When a list of suitable candidates is chosen from the hiring pool, the HR team will identify which to interview.
5. Initial screening with a phone interview
The initial screening stage is when the HR representative reaches out to candidates with a phone call. This initial call determines if the candidates can fit within the company culture and work ethic.
Most interviews are in-person and focus on an applicant's qualifications, skills, experience, work history, work ethic, attitude, and availability.
Depending on the organisation's size, the interview step can be sometimes made up of multiple interviews as candidates go through rounds of testing or with more senior staff to make the final decision.
Sometimes when multiple positions need to be filled, group interviews are conducted to save time and money.
Video interviews are becoming more and more popular by using dedicated interviewing apps or even video calling apps such as Skype.
7. Applicant assessment
Some job interviews require tests to determine the best person for the role. These can include personality tests, competency tests, problem-solving, reasoning, reading comprehension, emotional intelligence, and so much more.
8. Background and reference check
Carrying out the background check is a vital stage in the hiring process. Ensure you indicate in the advertising stage you’ll be completing a background check, especially if the role requires a DBS check if working with children or healthcare. These checks verify employment history, criminal records and even a social media snoop to ensure professional representation can be trusted. If the position requires it, a drug test may also be carried out.
You also need to check if someone has the right to work in the UK (or your home country if you’re reading this and not from the UK!)
It is during this stage references on CVs will also be called. This is to check the candidate is a worthwhile person to hire.
This is where the organisation chooses their top candidate and runner up for the role (providing background and reference checks). The second choice candidate will be called if the top choice declines the role.
There may be no suitable candidates from the hiring pool. In this scenario, organisations can decide whether to begin the process again and think about altering the hiring process to find a more suitable candidate.
10. Offer the job
When offering the position to the candidate, companies should confirm salary, paid leave, benefits, start date and other information pertinent to the role. Sometimes there may be negotiations at this stage from the candidate.
After a contract and salary are agreed between candidate and organisation and the job is accepted, they now have a contract with you as their employer. Relevant paperwork must begin at this stage.
Your responsibility as an employer is to inform HMRC before their first day.
Orientation and induction should be completed, so employees are professionally welcomed to the organisation whilst integrating them with company procedures and processes.
13. Contact unsuccessful candidates
Tie up loose ends by contacting and informing unsuccessful candidates they didn’t get the job. They may ask why; you can provide valuable feedback to the candidates about why they didn’t get the role.
Who makes the final decision in the hiring process?
The senior manager usually makes the final decision of the department. The HR recruitment team does not usually make it.
Why is the hiring process so slow?
There may be a few reasons as to why the hiring process is slow. There are changes you can make to your hiring process to speed things along. Speeding up the process is beneficial to both the candidates and to you as an organisation.
Let’s take a look at why the hiring process taking too long:
1. Larger candidate pools
Sometimes the job description lacks detailed information, which can contribute to larger candidate pools. It is a good idea to well-define the role in the advertising stage to whittle down hiring pools.
2. Inefficient interviewing
Pre-planning interviews is an absolute must. You can ask the right questions and have a clearer idea of who is most suited to the role. Many organisations follow a template interview questionnaire that's used across the whole company. However, in addition to this, specific questions should be asked about their experience and skills utilised for the role.
3. Absent staff
Some staff members are only qualified for certain roles, so when on leave or sick, their tasks are put on hold until their return.
4. Finance issues
Recruiting takes up resources. Sometimes the financial resources aren’t in position as they can be held up in the accounts department, which needs to be formally approved.
Some senior managers have limited time, and if they are required to be involved in the hiring process, it'll have to fit into their busy schedules.
How long should the hiring process be?
The hiring process can take an average of 42 days! But if you’re looking to secure the absolute best employees, you need to act quickly as the most qualified candidates are only available in the market for 10-days!
How to improve the hiring process?
You realise you need to complete the hiring process in an efficient amount of time. However, you don’t want to compromise the quality of candidates. Here’s how you can improve the hiring process:
1. Use software
We mentioned earlier the benefits of using an ATS system.
2. Keep up communication
Communicate with candidates the timeline expectations. This will keep top candidates in the loop and interested in the potential role.
3. Be realistic with your ideal candidate.
Select 5 top attributes, and as soon as candidates meet these criteria, add them to the yes list.
4. Use professional recruiters
If you don’t have the time or expertise in recruiting to maximise your recruiting success, turn to professional recruiters who do this day-in and day out. They will complete the process much faster and more efficiently than your underqualified team.
Drawing out the recruitment phase can cost companies up to £285 each day a vacant position remains unfilled.
5. Revise job descriptions
Make them attractive enough for qualified candidates but detailed enough to reduce the number of total applicants.
How to reduce bias in the hiring process?
These days, it is a challenge for organisations to hire candidates that are the absolute best fit for the role while avoiding potential discrimination.
It’s important to recognise that affinity bias does, in fact, exist. We often want to recruit people who are the best fit for the company, and this means people who act, operate and behave like the rest of the organisation will be favoured.
With that being said, the best way to avoid potential bias is to do the following:
1. Blind the hiring pool phase
Use software that removes name, gender, age and more to ensure the absolute best person for the role is selected, and there is no accidental unconscious bias on your company's behalf.
2. Use neutral language in job postings
Ensure there is no stereotyping in your job descriptions that could potentially turn away great candidates for the role outside of the typical stereotype for the role.
3. Use structured interviews
Structured interviews that follow the same defined questions per candidate allow for better organisation and, more importantly, allow you to compare candidates' skills and performance more effectively.
The hiring of employees as a process
Remember, hiring employees can be made simple and effective with a considered plan in place.
To begin your hiring process, ensure you take the initial time with your HR team to outline your hiring process as an organisation.
Consider company culture, language, and attributes to all fit within the hiring process strategy. Be sure to work these into each stage of the hiring process to have a well thought out and highly efficient recruitment strategy.