As a hiring manager, you have a lot on your plate. Finding the right candidate is a multi-step process, one that is impacted by a variety of internal and external factors. You’re tasked with quickly finding a hire who’s not only technically proficient—which can be enough of a challenge on its own—but also meshes well with the rest of your team and company culture.
This is especially compounded by the industry you work in. In the tech industry, for example, we’ve seen firsthand just how competitive recruiting has become. Great candidates today are mostly passive recruits who aren’t actively applying for jobs. Instead, they’re being approached by recruiters or getting connected to new roles via their professional contacts. It’s tough out there for hiring managers!
With all these factors in place, how can you ensure that you’re doing all you can to make the right hire? Here are our 6 best tips.
1. Have a clear understanding of your company’s vision, mission, and goals.
It’s essential that your perfect candidate forms a connection with you and your company. After all, the job interview is a two-way street—just as you’re deciding if this person is the best hire, the candidate is deciding if they’d like to work for you.
The best way to form that connection and influence your candidate positively is to have clarity in your company’s vision, mission, and goals. This means you have an understanding of not only what your company does but why it exists. It should be a concise and engaging message. Get to the heart of your company, culture, and values, and then get to the heart of your candidate. Align those two things.
If you don’t feel like you can effectively answer what your company’s vision, mission, and goals are, do some research. Read through your company’s website, read your employee handbook. Talk to your leadership. Ask them why the company was founded. What vision did the founders have in mind? How has it evolved? Find out the company’s purpose and learn to talk about it in a meaningful way.
2. Embrace your own feelings and values
The interview is about having a genuine conversation. Your interviewees will likely come prepared with questions to ask—about the role, about the company, about what success looks like, etc. They’re looking to see where they fit in with your organization, and it’s your job as a hiring manager to paint a clear picture.
In order to paint that picture and connect with your candidate, do some introspection. What motivates you to go to work? What do you love about your company? What frustrates you? How do you deal with failure? Make some space for authenticity—it can go a long way in how you talk to your candidate in an interview and ultimately influences how you feel about each other. Are you having a great conversation? Does it feel forced, or like a mismatch? By embracing your own feelings and values, you’re better equipped to not just make great hires but to find hires that are a perfect match for your company culture.
3. Consider the candidate experience
In this competitive landscape, candidate experience is crucial. While questions like “Why do you want to work here?” or “What interests you about this role?” are often commonplace, they also put a lot of pressure on candidates to sell themselves with little pressure on hiring managers to do the same. If you love a candidate and want to convince them to work for you, show it! Think about why you want a particular candidate and how you can make sure this experience is valuable and worthwhile to them.
How your candidate feels and their perception of your company during the interview process is extremely important. Are you trying to sell the candidate on something? Are you trying to make sure they’re listened to and cared for during the process? By building empathy on the candidate’s experience, you’re better set up for success as you move them through the hiring funnel.
4. Clearly outline job responsibilities
Can you clearly define what the core responsibilities are for the job? While there are several variables in most roles, the most successful companies can paint a clear picture of any position. Instead of compiling a 20 point bulleted list of duties, think instead about how the role itself evolves over time. Be prepared to tell candidates what to expect 3 months into the job, 6 months into the job, etc. Who are they working with? What does the team environment look like? What hard and soft skills are needed? What technology will they be working with?
5. Overcommunicate the process
When it comes to hiring, efficiency can be a huge challenge. There are often multiple rounds of interviews and various stakeholders involved in making your hire. There are challenges in coordinating schedules of decision makers and there are logistical concerns like checking references or doing background checks. There are also external factors to consider—is your candidate interviewing with others? Are they juggling multiple offers? Are they feeling abandoned or ignored?
The truth is, you can’t control a lot of the obstacles that hinder your hiring process. But what you can control is how you communicate. The worst thing you can do between interviews is leaving your candidate hanging, especially if they have other offers on the table. If you are passionate about a potential hire, be explicitly clear about what they should expect every step of the way. Is one of your interviewers on vacation for a week? Let your candidate know! Do you need extra time to sort through references before you can reach out to the candidate again? Be clear about this. By overcommunicating the process and setting expectations, you’re managing the risk of losing out on a great candidate due to a technicality.
6. Work with a recruiting agency (like us!)
There are tons of benefits to working with a recruiter. Not only is placing candidates their full-time job, they’re extremely tapped into their market too. At VanderHouwen, for example, our recruiters are experts in the information technology, engineering, and accounting/finance sectors. They’re at user groups. They’re at meetups. They hear about layoffs, mergers, and big organizational changes within companies long before a lot of the public does.
Because recruiters are so tapped into their community, their biggest value is having quick access to a highly skilled talent pool. Recruiters are able to find talent swiftly, negotiate with that talent, and be a true partner to your success. If you’re particularly stressed about hiring—you feel like you don’t have the time to do the job right, or you just need support in finding the right fit—know that recruiters can help you bring peace and perspective to your process.
Ready to get working with a staffing agency? We’ve got the perfect match for you! Reach out to us.