Hiring is Broken at Other Companies (But It Doesn’t Have to Be at Yours)

Sep 23, 2019

Just because everyone else does a terrible job, it doesn’t mean you have to. As a human resources geek, I have many friends who are also in HR, and I hang out in lots of HR groups. One of the things that fascinates me is the disconnect between how we see ourselves and how we see things when we’re on the other side of the table.

We talk about putting employees first and streamlining things and creating quality onboarding processes that make life awesome. And then one of us will go looking for a new job, and it’s almost always a completely messed up process. Invariably one of the following happens:

If this is happening to HR people–the people who (theoretically) run the recruiting process, how terrible must it be for everyone else?

Your business doesn’t have to be like this. You can be better than this. Here’s how.

Train your hiring managers

Most people don’t hire all that often, so they aren’t skilled in interviewing, and they may not know the laws around interviewing. While it’s not technically illegal to ask someone how many children they have, you’re going to make candidates uneasy. It is unlawful to treat women differently from men on the basis of the answer to that question. Create clear guidelines. Work with hiring managers to develop questions. Some hard work beforehand can help make the interview process run smoothly.

Have a maximum number of interviews

If you’re not organized enough to make a hiring decision after two rounds of interviews, then put off hiring until you are. Yes, it may be challenging to get the whole team in the office on the same day, but do you really need all 14 people to interview each candidate? (Answer: no.) 

Remember, your job candidates are doing you a favor by coming in to interview. They have to take time off from their current jobs, and that is no small sacrifice. If you ask them to do this, make it worth their while. Ideally, one and done should be your mantra for interviews. But never, ever more than two rounds.

Never use old job descriptions

Jobs evolve. That’s normal. But when you pull out the job description used to fill this position in 2013, it’s not going to be the correct one. If possible, when someone submits their two weeks’ notice, ask them to write up a job description before they leave. They know better than anyone (including their boss) just what this job takes.

That doesn’t mean you have to hire a clone. You use the job description they provide as a starting off point and adjust as needed. But the time to have this discussion is before posting the job, not after you’ve hired someone.

Stop ghosting

Just don’t do it. It is rude. It’s counterproductive. It gives you a bad reputation. Just knock it off. If your recruiters are too busy to send out a “thanks but no thanks” email to everyone who interviewed, then either adjust their workload or get new recruiters who can learn how to use your applicant tracking system. There is no excuse for this.

Make your company a place where interviewing isn’t a tedious waste of time. It’s an essential aspect of good company culture.

By Suzanne Lucas