Interviews are arguably the most important element of a recruiting process, but too often employers let themselves down by failing to properly plan and inform candidates of what to expect.
And hereafter are some steps for effective screening processes.
Talking about the interview stage, one interview is probably too little and in most cases two is adequate - but when you have more than three or four sometimes it can be overkill.
When determining how many interviews to conduct, employers should keep everything in context and take into account the seniority of the position, because the one thing you don't want is to have too many interviews and scare candidates away, when good people are scarce.
Employers should decide early in the process how many interviews they need to hold, and whether they will be by phone, video-call or face-to-face (Recommend that at least one interview should be in person), and share that with the candidate.
There's nothing worse than candidates being blindsided by a process that takes longer than expected.
HR should also determine upfront whether the interviews will be highly structured or more conversational in style.
This can depend largely on the personality of the interviewer, "but somewhere along the line you need to have a balance of both".
If the line manager tends to be more conversational in style, HR professionals should be responsible for adding rigor and structure to the process.
Overall, don't let your process be the reason you lose candidates. Sometimes you may have to adapt it midstream.
If you've got good people, pull out all the stops to get them locked in, because while there is a clear overabundance of candidates at the moment, in a lot of markets the quality candidates are still getting jobs and you'll still find there's competition.
Beware of recruiting by committee
One of the biggest causes of delays in the process is when employers "recruit by committee".
When multiple decision makers are involved, HR professionals should lock in interview times early and try to ensure several people can be involved in each one. Otherwise, they risk the decision makers having completely different interactions with the candidate and failing to reach a consensus.
A direct line manager might be given a higher weighting, because that person is going to be working with the candidate closely, whereas the vote of somebody else who needs to give "a tick of approval" might receive a lower weighting.
It goes without saying that the managers involved should be properly trained in what is relevant to ask in interviews.
HR professionals are usually well on top of what's required, but they should remember to brief line managers and point them in the right direction.
Teach the people involved what they can and can't ask and be very diligent in making sure those things don't come up because aside from legal issues, there's nothing more likely to turn off a star candidate than an inappropriate question or anything that might be misconstrued as being out of line.
Training should cover not just potentially discriminatory questions or inappropriate remarks, but also the context of the interview.
If for example it's an 'A+' candidate you're really keen on, and the rest of the team really wants this person, the interviewer should know that in advance and focus on also selling the company.
Ask the right questions
HR professionals should also help ensure the questions asked of a candidate actually assist the employer to make the right decision.
If the role is technical, then getting into a high level of detail is really important.
Interviewers should quiz the candidate on how they would perform a specific task, or set a test for them, for example.
If HR feels that getting the right cultural fit is the most important thing they should be assessing for this.
You can sometimes train skills but you can't train values," so have values-based questions. 'If you were asked by a supervisor to do something you felt uncomfortable with, how would you handle it?'
Sometimes just seeing the process of their problem solving or how the candidate responds to these questions is just as important as the answers themselves."
Behavioral competency questions are also an established way of predicting future performance based on past behaviors.
Ask people to tell you about a time when they were stressed, or had deadlines, or felt particularly proud about a job and went home celebrating a victory - those things are often very important.
Dig down to find out about the person and see how they deal with particular questions. Where they may struggle initially to give a response you might have to probe a little bit further into their work experience.
Lucky people GET opportunities;
Brave people CREATE opportunities;
And Winners are those that CONVERT problems into opportuinities.