Finding the perfect candidate for a job can feel a little bit like assembling a jigsaw puzzle. It takes time and patience to find pieces that fit together. Once you find the right pieces, the whole picture becomes clearer.
But if you’ve ever put a puzzle together, you’ll know how hard it can be sometimes to keep from rushing things and just let the process do its work.
You’re not alone if you’ve ever wanted to complete your hiring puzzle with an energetic employee who presents a red flag or two but could ably address present needs. But you need to remember that your future plans can easily end up sabotaged if you skip steps or take the wrong ones in your hiring process.
Want to complete your talent puzzle in the right way—the first time? Start by eliminating these bad practices that can sabotage your hiring process.
1. Write a muddled job description
If you can’t figure out how to clearly and accurately describe your job, you’ll never find the best available candidate for the position. Job descriptions should be free of jargon or details that make no sense to anyone outside the organization.
Pinpoint exactly what skills, abilities and behaviors you want the ideal candidate to possess, then make it easy for a job candidate to see what the job requires. You’ll have a better chance of generating an initial pool of candidates who look good on paper.
2. Make your candidates spend too much time in the hiring process
Due diligence during the hiring process is never a bad idea. Hiring the wrong person, after all, can add up to extra costs and wasted time.
Making a candidate wait for excessive time periods between steps in the process could end up driving the right candidate away. Without skimping on the data you need to collect to make the right decision, try to make your screening process easy to complete—and as efficient as possible—to keep candidates engaged.
3. Hold back on feedback
Your candidates will get frustrated and lose interest if they don’t receive updates on each step of the hiring process. What’s more, little to no feedback can create a bad image for your organization.
If you’re able, take ownership of the hiring process and follow up after every interview or other step in the process, giving clear feedback so candidates know where they stand at all times.
Never forget that communication is a two-way street. Even if a job candidate turns out to not be a good fit for your needs, it’s a huge mistake to just simply ignore them and move forward.
4. Place too much emphasis on the wrong assessment methods
It isn’t enough to simply do a routine interview and hope to catch lightning in a bottle.
Trial and error has no place in the hiring process. You need to use effective in-depth assessment methods to pinpoint your ideal job candidate.
Assessments should include components that answer crucial questions concerning each candidate and project their future job performance. An in-depth assessment should include tests of leadership style, cognitive abilities and interpersonal skills and appropriate personality traits—and then integrate and relate all of these back to the job description and to your organization.
You should then follow up on the assessment with a final interview with the hiring manager and, of course, reference checks.
This robust approach, naturally, will help you form a much more complete picture of what a candidate brings to the table.
You’ll also gain more control over your hiring process.
Which—let’s face it—is what you want in the first place.