To recruit great employees consistently, you must follow a consistent recruitment process. This hiring process checklist delivers the best are taken every time.
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The Foolproof Hiring Process Checklist

Steps That Deliver Consistent Recruitment Results 

I’ve developed this hiring process checklist for businesses who have consistently hired the wrong person in the past, and for those who are hiring for the first time. If you have never made a bad hire yet, then congratulations – you’re already using this hiring template.

I’ve spoken with hundreds of business owners and heard hundreds of hiring horror stories. Managers who have only made a handful of good hires in all their time of recruiting for talent. Others who rely on luck, hiring as many candidates as possible in the hope that one works out.

This checklist for hiring employees takes the guesswork out of the recruitment process. Using this, you will put in place a logical and methodical hiring system. This ensures you attract as many quality candidates as possible, and eliminates weaker candidates at every stage. You’ll be left with only the strongest candidates who will excel in your job opening.

Why is a checklist for hiring employees crucial?

There are several reasons put forward for why companies make bad hires. These include:

  • Prioritizing technical expertise over cultural fit

  • Hiring too fast and hiring too slow

  • A poor pre-employment process, with inadequate background checks

  • Misperception of role

  • Recruitment affected by unconscious bias

All of these – and any other reason that is put forward – can only be corrected by employing a standardized and comprehensive hiring process. In other words, if you’ve made bad hires, it’s your fault.

A hiring process checklist ensures that you treat all candidates equally. It makes sure that you cover all your bases, obtain all the information you need, and test for skills and personality fit for the job, the team, and your business.

Without a checklist for hiring employees, you risk attracting the wrong candidates and hiring a candidate on gut instinct instead of one who is perfect.

You can’t rush recruitment

Before we get into the checklist, I want you to understand that making a great hire takes time and effort. I’ve found that it’s rare to make a top-quality hire within two to three months. My foolproof hiring process consists of four steps:

  1. Preparing the details of the job role

  2. Creating the application process

  3. Conducting the interview

  4. Making the final decision to hire

You’ve got to slow down to hire effectively. What would you rather do? Hire fast every three to six months? If you follow my hiring procedures checklist, you should employ a candidate who will give your company a boost and help your business to grow. Better still, they’ll stay with you a long time. That’s what I call a double bonus.

Your checklist for hiring employees

I’ve broken the new hire candidate checklist into the four steps of my hiring formula. This will help you to visualize what you must do at each stage before taking candidates further. I’ve added some detail to all the mandatory steps along the recruitment journey – you can discover more detail in my eBook, ‘4 Foolproof Steps to Make Your Hiring Process More Successful’.

1. Preparing the details of the job role

There are four hiring procedures to follow in this step, each of which is mandatory.

a. Write your job description

It’s essential that you understand the role you wish to fill to write an effective job description. You’ll need to detail their day, including all their duties and tasks, and any supervisory or management role they will have. You’ll need to consider how they will work, the team they will be working with, the skills and experience they will need, and the technology they will be expected to use.

b. Complete the job posting

Using the detailed job description, it is now time to compose your job posting. This is the job description you use to sell your company and the role. It’s also your first opportunity to deter time wasters and underqualified applicants.

In your job posting, describe why your company is so good to work for and the emotional payback of the role. You’re offering a terrific opportunity to join an incredible team, doing work that candidates will love to do. Sounds like everyone should apply, doesn’t it?

Here’s where you start to weed out the candidates you don’t want to apply.

As well as selling your company and the job, you include the major challenges of the role. This will naturally screen out those who aren’t up for the challenge. You also include the specific required and ‘nice-to-have’ skills that you wrote in the job description. This too will screen out those who can’t do the job.

(For help with your job description and posting, download my job posting template.)

c. Promote your job

Now advertise your job vacancy. You’ll need to decide where is best – job boards, professional organizations, via your employees, LinkedIn, etc. Don’t go for blanket coverage. A targeted campaign should attract the best candidates and reduce your workload.

Your job posting should request a resume and the answers to up to six accompanying questions, designed to check the candidate’s suitability. Ideally you will use an online form or applicant tracking system to collect candidates.

d. Review resumes

As the candidates’ resumes begin to arrive, you must review them. The accompanying questions that you requested will have deterred some candidates from sending in their resumes. You wouldn’t want to employ these anyway, so, again, this hiring process has helped to eliminate poor-quality candidates.

Eliminate any resumes that don’t match your requirements, and any that don’t match your expectations of the detail required.

Now you can move to the next step.

2. Creating the application process

In this step, not all steps are necessary. You should decide which are needed specific to the job advertised and the size of your company.

a. Request and review application forms

A mandatory step, often done with an online application at the time of resume submission, but can be requested after you have reviewed resumes. 

The application form must include role specific questions. You only need to review those whose resumes meet your expectations. Any candidates who haven’t filled in the application form will deselect themselves.

Any application forms that are lacking in detail or that conflict with the candidate’s previously submitted resume should be added to the reject pile.

b. Conduct a phone screen

Another mandatory step. Conduct a short phone screen describing the role and the company culture and confirming the candidate’s experience, skills, and character traits. (You can download my phone screening script to keep you on track.)

c. Conduct a first interview 

This is the first chance for you to go in depth with those candidates that made it through the phone screen. 

d. Request work samples

The next mandatory step. Request work samples from all candidates who pass the phone screen. Set a piece of work that replicates what the hired candidate will be doing in their new job to test their ability in a ‘real-world’ situation. Any who don’t complete this process satisfactorily have bluffed their way through thus far, but can now be rejected.

e. Test the candidate’s personality

This is not mandatory, but again a step I recommend. Ask each candidate to do a personality test. This will provide areas to explore in an interview.

3. Conducting the second interview

I always recommend second interviews. Candidates will have the chance to ask more questions, and you get to evaluate them again in a different atmosphere.

By this stage, your list of candidates is likely to have been reduced to a handful of exceptional quality.

a. The interview process

You should always meet a candidate in person if possible. If hiring remotely, then you may complete a virtual interview – the best practices for interviews remain.

Never make a hiring decision on gut instinct. Take your time, and follow a consistent template for all the candidates you interview. My free-to-download interview guide will help you prepare interview questions, and conduct and review interviews, removing any unconscious bias and helping to deliver consistent results.

4. Making the final decision to hire

All your hard work has led you to the stage where you are ready to make an offer. Before you do, you must follow these steps:

a. Discuss concerns with the candidate

From your post-interview review, you should have noted any concerns you have about the candidate. Now is the time to call them and discuss these. Doing so will allow you to set expectations and show you care, and provides a starting point if future performance needs to be discussed.

b Conduct background checks

A vital step. Contact references by phone, and ensure they give you glowing reports. Also, carry out any background checks needed.

c. Make the decision to hire

Finally, you are there. Your final choice will balance the person who is best suited to your company, the team they will work in, and the role-specific duties and responsibilities of the job.

A consistent process will produce consistent results

Yes, recruiting top-quality candidates into your business is a time-consuming job. It’s also a job that, when done well, will deliver consistently great recruits into your business. The only way to achieve this is to ensure that you follow the hiring process diligently. Never skip any step that must be completed, and ensure that you complete each step without shortcuts.

You can find out all the details of this process for hiring employees in my eBook, ‘4 Foolproof Steps to Make Your Hiring Process More Successful’. Or you could do what many of our clients do – take advantage of our small business recruiting services

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