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12 ‘Diet’ Tips to Keep your Recruitment and Interview Process Healthy

The keys to losing weight and feeling healthy are no secret: Eat less and exercise more.  The mantra is simple enough, but when it comes to the demands of your recruitment strategy, knowing the right steps to take to get it to a healthy place can be tricky.  How do other successful companies shed the excess to run a robust, lean process?  Simple, follow some of the same expert tips any dieter does to stay fit.

Diet Tip No. 1: Don’t confuse thirst for hunger.

Sometimes when you’re not getting the results you anticipate, you might feel like you want to open up your funnel and fill the flood gates with more candidates.  But, having more candidates isn’t going to satiate your appetite when what you may actually need is to refine your pipeline to get a steady stream of tailored candidates.

Know when you need to narrow the field and focus on a select group of candidates versus opening up a free-for-all and wading through piles of unqualified job seekers.  Remember, more often than not, it’s about quality versus quantity.

Diet Tip No. 2: Think about what you can add to your (recruitment) diet, not what you should take away.

Diets aren’t always about restricting yourself.  If you want to have a healthy recruitment process, you need to think about what practices you can add that will improve your results and do away with unhealthy habits and procedures.

Perhaps it’s time to upgrade systems, infuse new recruitment technology, include more team members in the decision making process, or add another stage to the filtering process so you weed more candidates out before you get to the face to face.

Sometimes adopting new practices can help you see greater results in cutting time to fill and increasing quality of hire.

Diet Tip No. 3: Consider whether you’re really hungry.

Do you need this hire or have you just been in recruitment mode?  Are there internal hires that could be promoted instead of adding to the head count?  For robust organizations it can become routine to continue cycles of hiring without reevaluating the process.

This might be fine when the economy is up, but when you don’t have a scalable workforce and things take a turn, it can cause crash dieting to cut back on wages and workers which can have a ripple effect not just internally with employee morale, but externally with company image as well.

Or sometimes companies ’emotionally eat’ and recruit new employees as a means to cover up larger issues that they don’t want to deal with or just don’t see. (Such as hiring in a sales leader to bring profits up, when the real problem is a bad product that needs to be fixed in the production line or a marketing campaign that is bringing a company bad press.)

Always ask yourself and your team what your true needs are at any given time.

Diet Tip No. 4: Eat protein at every meal.

It might be time to beef up your screening process to make sure you’re asking the tough questions that get at the meat of what you need to know about a job seeker.

Make sure your candidate screening isn’t all fluff and feel good questions and that there are a blend of behavioral-based questions that provide insights into a candidate’s behavior and results, as well as questions that identify the candidate’s values and if they are aligned with the company’s.

Every step of the process should be blend of meeting the company’s needs as well as providing a good candidate experience.  Keeping a well blended process helps both sides to get to a better decision faster.  Heavier portions in either direction can lead to indecision on job seekers due to lack of sufficient data or turn off great talent because they don’t feel valued.

Diet Tip No. 5: Eat several mini-meals during the day.

Sometimes it’s necessary to have marathon recruitment sessions where you may have to schedule back to back interviews and pack in candidate reviews due to time constraints.  But, be aware of the effects this can cause on you and your team’s decision making skills due to things such as fatigue, stress, and lack of preparation.

Try to provide some space between face to face interviews to allow time for reflection and thorough note taking so you are not left with trying to recall what you thought of a candidate and so you are not rushing in to meet the next one which can appear unprofessional or off putting.

Additionally, the same advice goes for other parts of the recruitment process.  Break things down into manageable steps that you accomplish throughout the day.  Tackling everything in one fell swoop from beginning to end can lead to mistakes and errors in judgment due to rushing.

It may be enticing to sort through resumes, then immediately conduct phone screens,  after which you schedule face to face interviews all in the matter of a few hours, but you haven’t taken time to digest the applicants’ information or thoroughly assessed it against your needs. Looking at things with fresh eyes can provide new perspective and smarter decision making.

Diet Tip No. 6: Spice it up.

Getting bored or fatigued with the lines you’re feeding job seekers?  Spice up your screening process with some creative and though provoking questions.  Think outside the box on what you might require in a job application or from your recruitment panel, that can help you determine the best fit.

This might include anything from asking for specific writing samples on an industry topic, to an interesting interview question, to creating a presentation or assigning a puzzle or quick task to the job candidate.  It could also mean taking a different approach internally, having candidates meet with peers as well as hiring managers, starting ‘A Day in the Life’ recruitment days, or going from individual to panel interviews.

If your recruitment ads aren’t attracting the right candidates, get creative and figure out what will draw in the talent you’re looking for.

Changing things up and adding a little pep to the process, big or small, can get a stagnant recruitment process back up on its feet and producing results.

To be continued in Put Your Recruitment Strategy on a Diet, Part 2.

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