“Sleight of hand and twist of fate…
You give it all, but I want more. And I’m waiting for you.”
Interviewing In The Key Of C:
How To Conduct An Interview The Correct Interview Process That Is Both Exhaustive AND Efficient Is Critical To Hiring High-Impact Talent (HIT®)
Bono talked about sleight of hand and twist of fate.
You don’t want either when hiring for a key position. There’s no magic and you can’t leave your hires to chance. You want to know for sure. Will you be better off with or without any given candidate? How can you determine that? Who are YOU waiting for? How will you know?
You need to know how to conduct an interview. Yes, the dreaded “P” word – Process. Everybody seems to hate the word when it comes to hiring. You run your business according to a variety of processes and strategies. So why would you NOT have a strategic approach to your interview process?
It’s a make or break component of your hiring regimen. You have to have a complete hiring process, one that is exhaustive and efficient at the same time. They are not mutually exclusive.
So, What Exactly Is A Correct Hiring Process?
An interview process is an organization-specific model that consists of our screen, I interviewing and assessments based on a clearly defined set of expectations, requirements and a consistent method of evaluating potential transformational talent, The kind of “Key Hires” that will take you to the next level of success.
Are the interview process steps always the same?
Every organization and company is different.
What works well for one company may not work well for you. That’s why the ability to be self-aware is a crucial component of the interview process. You can’t do what sounds like it might work within your organization. You must do what DOES work. And Key Hire can help you do exactly that so you’re never just rolling the dice. You have real control, you’ll know how to conduct an interview.
So, your interview process has to be complete and consistent. It’s your blueprint for success. And the following two guiding principles are critical to creating a process that works for you.
Your process has to be efficient, so your time is not wasted. We never present prospects that we don’t believe are at least an 80% match for you. But efficiency doesn’t mean cutting corners. It means doing the least to get the best result. Smartly and with purpose. When you ARE engaged with a prospect, you have to remember that YOU ARE the brand to him or her. High-Impact Talent prospects need to be sold on you and the opportunities you offer. Why? Because they’re probably already being paid well and treated well by their current employer. However, recruiting passive candidates is NOT easy.
Remember these three key things about how to conduct an interview and you’ll be on your way to creating an efficient process:
Set a timeline and stick to it. We recommend no longer ten days from contact to offer. That is what employees expect when they apply or are contacted for an offer
Remember that if you’re interested, so are other employers. Act accordingly. There really is no excuse for losing a potential candidate because your process is too long or complicated
Having a sold, efficient process will set you apart from other suitors
You might think being efficient and being exhaustive is contradictory. The opposite is true — they are two sides of the same process coin. So make sure you do your homework to create the right process.
Here are critical things to keep in mind to make sure your process is as comprehensive as the position demands.
You don’t want to waste your valuable time that can be spent elsewhere in the business. So make a schedule and stick to it
Create the right process for each specific position – the roles and duties of line-level employees are markedly different than a senior executive. Your process should reflect those differences and you should talk to everyone involved about how to conduct an interview.
Use all the tools you need to for each position. Assessments, you include what you need too. If you use assessments, include them, make sure if certain people need to speak with candidates, include them
What follows is a sample overview of three major dynamics required to complete (exhaustive) and streamlined (efficient) interviewing process.
Before The Interview: Preparation
When you begin looking for a key hire for a new position, it’s important to establish a search timeline to stay on track and save time.
Your pre-screen should be very short and sweet. You want to either move a candidate to the next stage or eliminate at the end of every stage. Start by setting a target interview date and determine how many candidates will be attending the interview. If you’re smart it’s probably just one or two.
Who Will Be Involved In The Process?
Next, decide who will participate in the interview and brief them on how to conduct an interview for the position you’re looking to fill. For example, include an executive, department head, and someone who will be working closely with the candidate. Most importantly, set limits on the time you wish to invest in the process. Follow the schedule. I advise my clients to do a phone interview first. Set a 30-minute time limit. That way you can break off the call if you think it’s going south.
Your goal is to minimize your time for maximum impact.
During The Interview: Branding
If other senior team members will be involved, assign them specific areas for them to focus on id they don’t know how to conduct an interview (and they probably don’t). Keep it brief but on point and make sure they stay in their lanes. Each of them represents a different look at your brand. Including you. Remember that these prospects demand respect and you are what you say and do when with them.
After The Interview: Consensus
Make sure to schedule a post-mortem so team members can convey their evaluations – the good, the bad and the ugly. These interview team members need to follow a process for providing actionable feedback that has value and helps YOU make the final decision.
Interviewers should be prepared to support their observations with specific examples and notes from the interview. Your process should provide the tools for this in whatever form makes sense for your culture. And, most important of all:
Don’t forget to let the candidates know when they should hear from you or when a decision will be made.
Keeping them informed will help make sure they don’t accept another opportunity while a decision is being made.
Having the correct interview process not only saves time and money, but also it ensures your people know how to conduct an interview and make the right hiring decision. Key Hire can help you identify your needs and create an effective, exhaustive and efficient process to help bring on board the kind of transformational talent you need to reach the next level of success.
And remember, there’s nothing magical about creating an interview process that works. Just smart work and a clear objective – and don’t leave anything to chance.
Make Your Business Rock
Corey Harlock is a driven consultant, teacher, keynote speaker, and three-time business founder. After shutting down his Recruiting Agency HRN in Canada to move to Houston, Texas, Corey realized that the huge majority of businesses and business owners were being severely underserviced and, in some cases, ignored. So, he created and launched a company with a mission of helping only small and mid-market businesses, authored dozens of articles on team building, talent acquisition and the power of Building a High-Impact Team for growing companies.
Corey is currently the Principal Consultant of Key Hire Recruiting Solutions, a strategic talent acquisition firm that helps business owners acquire the talent and build the teams they need to meet their growth objectives. Key Hire’s proprietary process takes a deep dive into a company’s organizational culture and determines the people to target, engage with and hire to meet and exceed their growth objectives in a controlled manner.
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