Friday 25 November 2011

Recruiting, hints for managers out hiring

First find out what you are looking for. If you are hiring for a manger are you sure you want the same as the last one. He/she might have worked out well but their field speciality is probably well covered for now. Maybe the next one should be slightly different. 

Time from announcement/advertisement to first interview should be as short as possible. Specially if you recruit for tech jobs where there are many companies looking for the same candidates. How many times has your company lost out on a candidate that is no longer available. How many has turned down an offer of interview. If the number is high you need to look at your process again.

If your plan is for more than 2 rounds of interview your recruiting is not as efficient as it could be and you are likely to lose out on the best candidates.  Did you weed out enough of the chaff by reading the cv’s thoroughly or are you wasting everyones time by just skimming them for the first time at the interview.  Large multinationals are big sinners in having many rounds of interviews. Is that a sign of too many corporate layers = bureaucrazy. Is there to many people involved in your decision process. However if you the manager ain’t technical, bring an expert from your team. It gives them the chance to meet their potential future colleague.

When doing the interview do you do the “take me through your cv thing”. That means you have to fit it to the job. An alternative approach could be “take me through samples of your experience for each of the requirements in our job description”.  This will give the candidate the opportunity to bring in more relevant stuff, and will let you see if they can translate their earlier experience to their new tasks.  

Do you use a technical test already at first interview. It will help you confirm your initial opinion, and you can have more experts evaluating it, covering a larger technical field.  There is nothing wrong with programming on paper. Many universities still use it for their exams. Personally I don’t see any problem with manuals, helping aids or mobile phones either. If they can get assistance at the test, they can get it in their work, and what you really want is somebody that can complete the job.  
There is nothing wrong testing for all the nice to haves also.  Remember one thing, if the candidate knew the answer to all the test questions, the test wasn’t hard enough.    

When you have done a few interviews you know the do’s and dont’s. Bring personnel in on the second round, reducing the times you have to wait for their availability. And they don’t really need to meet anyone that isn’t to be hired. One of the biggest delays can be organizing a time that suits everybody.  Therefore bring as few interviewers as possible, but always minimum 1 other for legal reasons.  And It gives you thinking time.. If you are not the final decision maker, think about if you yourself need to see the candidate more than 1 time and leave the final interview to the decision maker and personnel.  I would suggest just 2 for second rounds, just so there is a choice. And you don’t have to send forward anyone you can’t live with yourself.

If you are unsure of a candidate, or rather you think there could be a better candidate out there who’s cv you haven’t seen yet. If the potential candidate is free on the market at the moment, take a chance.  That’s what probation is for.  It’s takes less ruthlessness  to trial somebody currently out of work, than somebody that has to quit their current job.  And your deal with the recruitment agency should always include a step down ladder in fee if a candidate is later found not suitable.

Lastly, give a thought to all that was unsuccessful. It won’t cost you much to tell them, but it will mean a  lot to them to know.

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