Have you had a hiring nightmare?

What’s the scariest thing that’s happened in your hiring process? Watching your job post receive zero applicants? A candidate ghosting (pun intended) an interview? Finding out your top choice *exaggerated* on their resume? Or, maybe you’ve gotten all the way through the hiring process only to find that your new hire wasn’t the fit you expected them to be. Unfortunately, hiring nightmares like these can be all-too-common without a great hiring process in place.

In this article, we’re sharing our own hiring horror story. (We bet it’s not what you think it is!) But first, let’s talk about how to avoid a hiring nightmare in the first place.

How to avoid a hiring horror story

In the best case scenarios, a hiring process should move quickly, generate a diverse pool of qualified candidates, and provide you with enough information to make a hiring decision (and an offer) you feel confident about. How can you ensure that this is your experience? Here are a few tips:

Cast a wide net in your search

Avoid pulling candidates from the same pools every time you need to conduct a search. Expand outside your personal network to reach untapped talent pools. Not only will you have more candidates to choose from, you’ll also build a more diverse and inclusive company.

Recruit passive candidates

With low unemployment rates (and even when they’re higher) it’s important that you don’t wait for applicants to come to you. Work with a recruiter who knows how to reach passive (currently employed) candidates. They’ll need to be able to truly “sell” your organization and the position to motivate a candidate to make a move. But in the long run, this type of recruitment is key–especially in a position that requires a unique skillset, background, or location requirement.

Use assessments

Once you’ve found some excellent candidates, assessments can help you determine whether or not they’ll be a fit for the role. Assessments may help you understand certain behaviors that are crucial to the role, a candidate’s motivation, or other key factors you can use in making the right decision for your organization.

Communication is key

Lack of communication is the root of many hiring nightmares. Avoid it by making sure to be proactive, transparent, and effective in your organization’s communication throughout the entire process. Check in with candidates, give them insight into your process, and help them know how to prepare and what to expect. In addition, be clear, vivid, and passionate in the way you talk about your organization. That can help candidates become more excited (and informed) about the role. Finally, today’s candidates often expect organizations to be transparent about compensation from the very beginning. Be prepared to offer a compensation range (and share information about your benefits) early in the process.

Appoint a point person

Hiring is time consuming. Hiring well can be even more time consuming. It takes a great deal of time to source great candidates, conduct research and background checks, facilitate and schedule interviews, and communicate with multiple candidates and hiring managers. Often, many of these tasks fall on a single HR person or the hiring manager–both of whom are already juggling their other work. If you don’t have a point-person within your organization, it might be worth outsourcing part of your hiring process to a recruiting firm.

Build a talent pipeline 

One of the best ways to ensure an effective and efficient hiring process is to build a talent pipeline. Having a slate of qualified candidates at-the-ready makes filling a position a much easier task. This is especially helpful for companies who are hiring rapidly or preparing for growth.

Sharing our hiring nightmare: The Monster Mask

We recently had the opportunity to write a hiring horror story–and we don’t mean metaphorically. Our own chapter on hiring is a part of the recently released book: Scary Stories to Tell in the Board Room. You can check out our chapter here, but only if you dare!

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