Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tips for effective hiring.

1. Create a compelling vision of the job that includes a list of performance expectations. Present the job as a significant and exciting long-term opportunity. That way, candidates will want to sell you about their skills, instead of you having to sell them.

2. Don't talk about money before the interview. Delay any discussion of a salary range until after the first meeting or when you invite the candidate back for a second one. Use their acceptance of a salary range as their ticket to come back for another interview.

3. Don't oversell the merits of the job. You may think you can sell or charm a candidate into taking a job - but this isn't recruiting. While you need to convince the candidate to take the job, you're not likely to do this with a superficial sales pitch.

4. Talk about the merits of the job in one-minute sound bites before each question. To do this successfully, you'll need a complete understanding of the job, as well as an awareness of the candidate's suitability for it.

5. Create an opportunity gap. Paint a picture of what the candidate will learn by taking the job and do this before you've asked too many questions.

6. Test a candidate's interest throughout the process by asking challenging questions.

7. The more interviews you have, the more the candidate has a vested interest in accepting your offer.

8. Test all offers before making them formal. Ask, "What would you think about an offer of $___?" The worst thing you can do is to extend an untested offer and then wait for a response. If you hear "I have to think about it," it means you've moved too fast and lost control of the process. You want candidates to think about it when you're in control, well before the offer is actually made.

9. Practice active listening. Let the candidate talk freely when responding to fact-finding questions as this demonstrates your interest in him or her as a candidate.

10. Stay in touch. Follow up with the candidate every few days after the offer is accepted.

Recruiting is more marketing than selling. If you over-sell, over-talk, and under-listen, you'll either lose the best candidates or pay them too much.

The above comments are edited from Stay in the Buyer’s Seat! by Lou Adler.


Jon said...

Good points here. I also made sure to ask the candidates what they really wanted to do... both short and long term, early on in the interview. This helped me weed out people who would probably move on in a year or so and concentrate my efforts on people who were going the same direction I was.

john cotter said...

Good idea. I need to write about phone screening here as well. Thanks for the reminder.