At one point in my corporate career, we needed to fill a role, and I was given a budget to hire a recruiter. For context, this was before LinkedIn and smartphones.
I was shocked at how much money we paid the recruiting firm, especially when I was not impressed with the quality of work I witnessed. I remember thinking to myself: “I could run circles around these recruiters.”
You can probably guess what happened next. I fired the recruiter and ended up doing the work on my own— basically, I reached out to my network and asked if anyone was interested in the job I had open. Sure enough, I filled it with a great candidate.
When I opened up Turning The Corner in 2011, I remembered that experience. And I wanted to ensure that our clients would never feel the same way.
The problem with recruiting
Fast forward to 11 years of recruiting later. Today, I feel much more appreciation for the work that goes into recruiting. But, I also feel more disgusted by many of my competitors.
It’s become my life’s work to bankrupt every recruiting agency in this country that doesn’t treat their company clients and candidates with the grace they deserve.
Being a job seeker is a soul-crushing experience. For candidates, the day of an interview is one of the most important days of their whole year. Yet many recruiters and hiring managers seem to forget that or simply don’t respect it.
Our team knows this because we work with thousands of candidates every year; we know how hard this is for them. That’s why we aim to create a space where people have a different kind of experience—the kind of place where, almost always, interviews will end with people saying, “it was so refreshing working with you.”
Hiring is a process, and employers should give it the importance of any other business process. You would never take sloppy care when bringing in a new piece of equipment or signing up a new $100,000 customer with a complex product solution. Yet we do that as hiring managers, and it’s because we don’t take the recruiting process seriously.
We’ve got a different point of view when it comes to the recruiting process, and that’s why it is something we teach in our management training classes. It’s also the recruiting process we use at Turning the Corner for our own team and our clients. The result is minimal internal turnover and our continued success as recruiters.
You might feel like you’re doing it wrong. Or maybe you simply hate the hiring process—as many do! So, what’s the secret to getting it right? I’m going to share it with you now.
Hiring Process: Recruiting + Interviewing + Onboarding
Step 1: Take the time to deeply understand what a perfect employee looks like
I recommend that you get interviewed by one of your colleagues and have them ask you questions about the perfect candidate for the role:
– “What qualities does the person have?”
– “What does this person do for you if you have them on board?”
– “Can you describe the perfect skill set for this job?”
– “What’s their personality, and how does it fit our culture?”
Those questions will help guide you and reveal what you need in your new hire before starting the interview.
Step 2: Take that information and write a fantastic job advertisement
This advertisement needs to be good, so take the time to make sure it actually is. It’s what you will dangle out in front of people to see if they might be interested, both on the job boards and in your network.
Step 3: Do that hunting and advertise like crazy
You never know from where a job seeker might come. We’ve all seen the stats, but I’m going to remind you that three out of four people hate their jobs. That means a lot of people are looking for something new.
Maybe it’s your time to be that next great employer for that excellent candidate who’s underappreciated in their current job. If you cast a wide enough net, you might just catch them.
Step 4: Take the interviewing process very seriously
If you create an extremely welcoming environment, it will help the nerves involved in the process. The goal of the job interview is for you to interview your candidate, but equally for you to be interviewed (especially in today’s market).
Take the time to understand what this person needs from a job and what you can provide. Don’t ask stupid questions like: “What are your weaknesses?” and “What would you do if you were a fish in the ocean?” Or the worst, “What’s your favorite cereal?” These questions are a waste of both of your time, so ask the valuable ones instead.
If you need someone who is great with customers, ask them questions like “how much interaction do you like to have with customers?” and listen for the words they choose to answer the question.
Lastly, care about them through the interviewing process and stay in touch with them. If you don’t select that person, give them feedback on why they didn’t get the job—but DO NOT BE A BLACK HOLE that does not respond to people. They deserve to know they didn’t get the job.
Step 5: At offer time, know that most people will negotiate the salary, benefits, working times, and other things
You would do the same (and if you don’t already do it, you should. Everyone should negotiate at offer time.)
Step 6: Don’t forget the importance of an incredible onboarding experience
You’ve put in all the time and effort to hire a great candidate. Don’t lose them right after!
Onboarding is just as important as recruiting, if not more. If you don’t have a plan for what to do with your new employee, believe me, they’ll quickly find someone who does have a plan, and it won’t be you.
It’s as much a science as an art
Many recruiters out there could get the job done and put butts in seats. But if you want to change your relationship to the hiring process, boost your retention, and experience all of the benefits of engaged employees, these six steps are a great place to start.
Here’s the last piece of advice I’ll leave you with: you don’t have to do it alone.
We love what we do, and we’re here to help if you have any questions on either side of the hiring equation.