When you have an open position, do you simply hire an applicant simply because he or she is interested in the position? Conducting a search for the right candidate requires an investment of time as well as an efficient hiring process. Unfortunately, many companies do not invest the time into planning an effective interview process.

When you consider a company’s most important asset is a human one, can you really afford not to invest the time to search for qualified candidates? Here is a list of do’s and don’ts to help you improve your hiring process to find the right person:

  1. DO include written information clearly stating your company’s culture. Clearly state the company’s service policies, commitment to customers, what the company stands for in the market place, ethical standards, as well as company values. Include information about drug and smoking policies as well as any other employee requirements. It is important to determine how the applicant fits into the company culture before starting a lengthy interview process.
  2. DO send applicants a pre-interview letter describing the company’s business, how this position fits into the big picture of the company, as well as a detailed job description including salary expectations. It is best to weed out applicants that are not a good fit before investing valuable face to face time with them.
  3. DO invest time into developing a good interview form that is custom designed with questions for which you need the answers. Another option is to develop a supplement to a standardized interview form containing additional questions designed to search for the information that is of value to you.
  4. DO determine an accurate employee profile for the position. What specific talents, skills and experience is required for the position for which you are hiring.
  5. DO develop a list of ten to fifteen behavioral questions that effectively uncover how an employee utilizes his talents, skills, and experience when reacting to specific situations. The right questions provide a better selection tool.
  6. DO NOT hire people for the wrong reasons. For example, because they are a friend or relative, appear to be a nice person, or are good looking.
  7. DO NOT hire a candidate because they are willing to work for less pay. The cheapest labor can end up becoming very expensive.
  8. DO add “do and observe” tasks to the interview process. Getting an applicant into the actual work environment can be one of your more accurate interview selection tools.
  9. DO require a candidate to interview with two to three supervisors.
  10. DO develop a rating process to subjectively evaluate each candidate against the profile.
  11. DO verify and uncover the applicants past history by checking references thoroughly. Also conduct extensive background checks from a reliable investigation firm.
  12. DO develop a step by step interview process. Being prepared is the key to conducting an effective search.
  13. DO NOT hire quickly. Invest the time to collect a large enough pool of candidates from which to select.
  14. DO NOT fire too slowly. It is best to let people go quickly when they are not a good fit.

Unfortunately, most business people are ill prepared to conduct an interview process that will uncover the best candidate. Most of us have never been taught how to conduct an interview or uncover the talents and skills necessary to excel at a job. But when you consider effective interview skills can be the difference between success and failure of your company, it is well worth the time to establish an effective interview process.

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