Some might ask why I am writing about hiring during a global pandemic. Chances are, your company has stopped or at least slowed down on hiring since March of 2020. I think this is exactly the right time to start thinking about how you are going to hire in the future. You have the time to make some changes and get plans in place to grow. Hiring is too complicated and nuanced to cover in a single article. This is the introduction to a series focused on hiring.
So, what are my qualifications? I have been hired, I have hired people myself, I have advised others on who to hire and I unfortunately have terminated employees. I have spent the last 13 years dealing with one aspect of hiring or another. I think the single most impact to the long-term success or failure of an organization is who a manger hires. As a result, I have a mild obsession with the hiring process.
My obsession began when I was 15 and interviewed for my first job as a bag boy at the local grocery store. In the days before online applications, I went to the store and filled out a physical application and interviewed that day. There are two things that stick out in my mind about that interview. First, the references section of the application, I was 15, I had no references. I put down my Mamaw (Grandmother). Second, during the interview I was asked “What skills can you bring to the job” I remember thinking “I’m 15, I don’t have any skills!” I said something along the lines of showing up on time and being able to learn. Apparently, that was good enough, I was issued my Polo Shirt and name badge.
Graduating college, I applied to every single position available through the university career center. I had over 100 interviews, trying to get into a design role. Something I was passionate about and knew I could do. It took me 100 tries to convince an employer of that.
When I became a manager, Oil and Gas was still in a boom, so I was able to hire quite a few people. I took all my experience from the candidate side and started to formulate how I wanted to go through the process of hiring. Over the course of several years and with the feedback from people I work with as well as the people that I hired I have refined this process. Over the next coming weeks, I will detail my process for hiring.
Finding the right people - You can only hire people that apply to the job. So how do you get the right people to apply? Most managers will create a job description, send it to HR and hope they get some good resumes back. Your HR department might go out to a recruiter if they are having a hard time getting qualified candidates. All this is important, and you need to do it. But I suggest you also act as your own recruiter. I will detail a specific method that has proven very helpful in getting great talent to interview with you. I will also deal with criteria that matters and criteria that does not matter.
Finding the Right People Part A - Searching LinkedIn
Finding the Right People - Part B: Wanting The Right People
Interviewing - Interviewing is the most important part. I will detail out an interview process that will separate out the people that speak well in an interview and those that actually have the skills needed to be successful. I will have several articles detailing everything from environment, questions, to follow up.
The Interviewing Formula
A final note, none of this advice should be taken if it violates employment law or company hiring practices. In Texas when done correctly and carefully my advice complies with both the letter and spirit of the law and company policy. I would suggest you consult your HR department to make sure the plans you put in place comply as well.