How to Improve your Hiring Practices

A company is defined by the people it employs. All too often, companies reflect back on an employee’s performance and wonder why they did not catch an obvious error in a job application, interview or background check. One of the reasons these red...


A company is defined by the people it employs. All too often, companies reflect back on an employee’s performance and wonder why they did not catch an obvious error in a job application, interview or background check.

One of the reasons these red flags are not caught is because the company does not have a formalized plan for recruiting, hiring and retaining successful employees. To that end, it is recommended that companies audit their hiring practices to ensure that they are CLEAN.

The acronym CLEAN stands for: Comprehensive job application; Listen and learn during the interview process; Ensure that background checks are conducted; Acquire the pre-hire and new-hire documentation; Never forget the employee handbook.

JOB APPLICATION

The first part of the CLEAN hiring practice is a comprehensive job application. This is essential to the hiring process. Unfortunately, many companies have opted to only require prospective employees to provide a resume for consideration.

While a resume should also be required, a job application allows the employer to elicit important facts needed to assist in making a determination for hiring.

The application should include the actual employment application; a clear, current and accurate job description, duties and responsibilities of that particular position; and notice of other required information, such as a resume, references and supplemental questions that are particular to the job.

While an interview is a great place to elaborate on the duties and responsibilities associated with the position, providing such information at the start of the process will help to ensure you are only receiving applicants who are qualified, or at least interested, in that specific position.

It is also extremely important that you obtain a prospective employee’s signature and affirmation that the information submitted in the application is accurate and complete. Such affirmation may provide grounds for termination if it is determined at a later date that an employee lied on their application.

Pay close attention to the time and effort each prospective employee took in filling out the application. You should consider only those applications which are complete.

If a prospective employee did not take the time to complete a simple job application, how will that person perform for your company when asked to complete substantive work?

Since you could potentially be receiving hundreds of applications for any one job opening, your company should have a records retention and destruction policy in place that complies with applicable local, state and federal law. During the time the applications are in your company’s control, they should be stored in a secured location with limited access to other employees since they contain sensitive information about a prospective employee.

INTERVIEW PROCESS

Once you have narrowed the potential applicants by reviewing applications, the interview is your next best tool to find your ideal employee. This is the next part of having the CLEAN hiring practice.

The person doing the interviewing must listen and learn during the interview process.

The interview is a mutual decision-making process. It allows both the employer and prospective employee to envision whether or not they are a fit for each other.

It is imperative to make sure the interviewer has been trained. Just because someone is in management does not mean they will be an effective interviewer. A good interviewer will know how to digest the application and obtain essential information needed to make a hiring decision.

The interviewer should always try to stick to the 80/20 rule - the applicant should be doing 80 percent of the talking during the interview. You will be surprised what some applicants will say in the interviewing process that will make it that much easier to narrow the field.

Depending on the situation, you may want to conduct follow-up interviews for your finalists. While this may be time-consuming, the objective is two-fold: to find the best possible candidate for your vacant position, and to make certain you are not hiring someone who will give the company problems in the future.

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