Our previous blog discussed a range of issues to consider prior to hiring a new staff member. This article will outline the next step in the recruitment process: the development of a formal interview process. By having a consistent approach to the interview process you will be more likely to choose a candidate with the right skills and attributes, as well as comply with relevant employment laws.
Finding a pool of candidates
Once you have finalised your job description, you are ready to start the search for your new employee. Where should you look to find that person? Networking can be beneficial to facilitate introductions to potential new employees. Maybe your existing team members have contacts. However in some cases it may be necessary to run an advertising campaign to create a pool of candidates.
Structured Interview Guide
After you have generated a pool of candidates it is time to start thinking about the interview process. It is good practice to have a consistent set of questions you ask each of the candidates selected for interview. This interview guide will ensure fairness to each of the interviewees and make the process as objective as possible, removing any conscious or subconscious bias. These questions should cover a range of areas, including the candidate's background, relevant experience and some examples of how they have performed doing similar tasks previously. You may also wish to ask some behavioural questions relating to your organisational values, as it is often more effective to train for skills than try to make someone fit with your culture. Don't forget to take notes!
A set interview guide will provide hiring managers with a resource that will enable them to ask job-related questions, and avoid asking those that are not specifically related to the job and may be illegal. It also allows a more systematic way to benchmark all candidates against the one set of criteria creating a more robust rating system.
When interviewing candidates it can be difficult to really nail what a candidate can and has done, rather than what they think they might do (and what we might want to hear) in a particular situation. This is where the STAR technique can be useful. The acronym stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result.
This allows you to probe candidates with questions that ask what the situation was to understand the context of what they were doing. To understand the task, we need to identify the candidate's exact part in the story. The actions taken are the steps the candidate took to complete the task. The final portion of the STAR, is understanding the result and how the situation played out.
There are a number of sample interview guides freely available on the internet which can be adapted to your particular recruitment activity.
What do you offer the new employee?
Don't forget the interview is also an opportunity for the job seeker to interview you. So be sure to have relevant information about the role, your company, the reporting structure, benefits available and opportunities for growth.
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