5 Tips to Improve and Personalize Your Hiring Process to Attract & Retain Your Target Candidates
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The “Great Resignation” continues to impact organizations and teams big and small, team members new and tenured, and all industries, skill levels, and demographics. As companies and leaders continue to discuss how to re-imagine certain processes and mindsets, the hiring process is a significant one that needs to be part of the discussion. Many practices need an overhaul, and Managers and anyone else involved in the hiring/interviewing process needs to look at it through a new lens, i.e., one where they are focused on not just vetting candidates but speaking directly to their motivators and all the exciting details and perks, to attract them and keep them engaged.
Here are five of our favorite tips for a better, more effective hiring process.
- Speed is of the essence. The market is extremely competitive and to attract and increase your offer to acceptance ratio, it’s imperative that you not only move quickly through the interview process, but also that you pull the trigger on hiring when you find someone you like. Great talent will not be on the market long and, in most cases, candidates have competing offers. Take some time to audit your interview process. How many people are involved? How many steps? How long between these steps? Is there anything you could condense and/or combine? We recommend that you have a maximum two interview steps because there are plenty of opportunities, and companies, out there that accomplish everything in one. When you find someone that is a great fit for you team, role, etc. make sure you are making an offer in real-time. We’ve seen and heard of one too many scenarios where a manager waited “to see what else is out there” and then they ended up with no one or lost the person that would have been an amazing fit. Additionally, if you do have multiple steps in the process, ensure that it isn’t weeks from the first interview to the second. That is a sure way to lose top talent.
- Less is more. Is your process hurting because you have “too many cooks in the kitchen?” Are you losing candidates by giving them pre-work, too rigorous of exercises during the interview or post-interview homework? Are you potentially losing candidate interest because your interviews are either impossible (in terms of line of questioning), all over the place (and potentially communicating you don’t know what you want and/or aren’t organized) or super stressful? Managers lose candidates due to all these scenarios, often without realizing it. In addition to auditing your process and interviews through the lens of the “candidate experience,” take some time to solicit feedback from your hiring partners and from recent team members who are probably the best to tell you direct feedback and suggestions.
- Small talk isn’t just a nicety, it can give you a serious advantage. One of the biggest shifts we’ve all seen in the last few years is a lessening gap between professional and personal lives. Most people consider this a positive, as they now have gotten to know their managers, peers, clients, etc. better. Many job seekers have some level of stress and anxiety around the interview process, so we always recommend starting the interview with small talk. Not only is this a great way to ease their nerves and get to know them a little better, but candidates are looking for common connections and this is a great way to accomplish that. Ultimately, people want to work for people who care about them as individuals, and if you can set the tone for that in your interview process, then you’re off to a great start!
- Demonstrating impact is a 2-way street. Just like you want to see and hear the impact of what they’ve done in their projects, candidates want to understand the potential impact and value they will have the opportunity to make in this job! What problems will they be helping the organization or end client solve? What difference will they have the chance to make? If you aren’t already specifying the WHY behind the project and this role, it’ll be easy details to start to communicate to interviewees and could make all the difference in the world in them choosing your role over another!
- Communicating growth, potential and path. This is a topic often left out of interviews, yet it’s incredibly important. Training, development, and career advancement are topics top of mind for those entering the workforce. When people can envision their future at your organization, that can really assist with them accepting your offer over a competitor’s. Not only can you lay out your career path, but how the team and/or company has progressed since you start. Then, share the 3–5-year roadmap. This could involve geographical expansion, technical roadmap, additions to roles and personnel, etc. Where do you envision the role going? Help them see the future and how they fit into it.
Join our Webinar
For more tips and insights please join our upcoming webinar on How to Hire Top Business Analysis Talent Monday, 27 July 2022 | 12:00 - 13:00 ET hosted by IIBA and top recruiters from Apex Systems.
About The Authors:
Cate Murray is responsible for managing the nationally based talent acquisition strategies of the Apex Systems PMO and Business Analysis Practice and holds her PMP certification from PMI.
Erica Woods is the Director of Contractor Programs and Philanthropy at Apex Systems. Her focus is on overseeing programs, teams, communication channels, and other resources that support and add value to their IT Contractor Community of 16,000+. Erica also oversees corporate philanthropy efforts and acts as a technical community evangelist for various STEM programs/nonprofits.