Another Source

Streamline the interview process in 7 steps

Mar 2023

Marcie Glenn

Whether you are a first-time hiring manager or well-versed in the recruiting process, how you present your company or organization is essential to engaging the right talent.

Most likely, candidates are applying to more than one position and taking multiple interviews, so consider how you are setting yourself apart as a top employer. Are the next steps in the application clear and response time reasonable? How well are you prepared to answer questions about the role and company culture?

With limited energy and availability, streamline your interview process to ensure the most effective use of your time and focus. Here are seven best practices to implement in your hiring. 

  1. Clearly define the responsibilities and qualifications of the job.
    You may hear this sometimes referred to as role clarity. Identify who the position reports to and under which department it belongs. What skills are needed for success? Similarly, have you considered what other experiences would bring a unique perspective to the role? Doing this exercise will help you as the hiring manager share relevant information with candidates as well as anticipate any questions. 
    After you have determined the duties of the role and ideal characteristics, be sure to include them in your job description. Share related information about how the work contributes to the mission and vision of the organization as well. Often, a job posting provides candidates with their first impression of both the position and the employer’s culture.  
    Regarding pay transparency, be aware of whether your city or state has recently enacted legislation on sharing salary ranges. Even if not legally required, providing this information can attract the right candidates whose compensation goals align with yours.

  2. Make scheduling interviews as easy as possible.Setting aside specific blocks for interviewing is beneficial for communicating with candidates, not only for completing your own projects. Include enough time to review notes from your conversation and, if needed, discuss with your team. Blocking meeting times also eliminates the need for any back and forth with candidates since it clearly indicates when you are available. While you may opt for a tool such as Calendly where others outside of your organization can choose when to meet, mark the time on your Google or Outlook calendar to avoid accidentally double-booking.
  3. Ask everyone the same questions!

    To fairly assess each candidate, you must have the same frame of reference. Use a set list of questions that can be appropriately addressed within the time frame of the interview. If an assessment or writing sample is needed, give every candidate the same prompt and amount of time to complete the task. 
    Asking candidates the same questions also eliminates the opportunity for introducing unintentional bias during the interview. Of course, use active listening in the conversation and adjust the order of the questions if appropriate.

    A seated person wearing a mustard yellow sweater works on a laptop.

  4. Be transparent about the hiring timeline with candidates.Remember that during their job search, many candidates are applying for different roles. Moving with speed is therefore critical to secure top talent. Some employers outline the timeframe in the job description, while others provide an overview during the interview process. Send an email with the next steps after the conversation, so that both candidates and anyone involved in the hiring process are aware of key deadlines.Make it clear that you value and appreciate the time commitment involved for the candidate. Even if you do not move forward with them, you want every candidate to have a positive experience of your companyin the future, they may apply for a different position or even refer someone from their network.
  5. Communicate when appropriate and through the appropriate channel(s).Demonstrate accountability by following through on your commitments. Should anything change, as a courtesy reach out to the candidate so they are updated on the status of their application.  Candidates shouldn’t be left guessing, even if they are not selected for the role. Many applicant tracking systems (ATS) will send a notification to all candidates when a position is filled.
  6. Nurture relationships with existing candidates.Although a qualified candidate may not have been hired for a current role, it may help to keep them in mind for a future opening. If they have given you permission to keep their contact information on file, keep that relationship warm. At Another Source, we send occasional updates through our database to candidates who have opted to receive our emails. A simple message will suffice – for example, if someone applied for an accounting role, they receive an email when a finance position opens up.  
    In addition, rather than starting the search process over entirely, by maintaining contact with existing candidates, you will have already completed their screening and/or interviews.
  7. Allow candidates the opportunity to share relevant feedback.You can anonymously survey candidates after the interview to better understand what is working effectively and what could be improved upon. Some sample questions may include:On a scale of 1 to 5, how clearly did the hiring manager (or recruiter) explain the details of the role to you?
    – Would you recommend a friend to apply?
    How satisfied are you with the recruiting and interview process?Use your best judgment regarding the feedback received. If applicable, the changes you implement can create a more robust candidate experience moving forward.

Now that you are equipped with these strategies, which ones would you apply to your interview process? What are the results you have witnessed from trying these methods?  

Please share these seven tips if you found them helpful for your recruitments. Follow Another Source on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to stay current on recruiting updates and more best practices.

  Written by Evelyn Kwong 2023

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