4 things you should do to improve your hiring process


Bad hires are bad for business; hardly front-page news, we know. The short-term pain of a bad hire is obvious and immediate, but the long-term damage inflicted by poor hiring decisions is far more insidious.

There are so many causes for bad hiring, it would take several articles to address them all. In fact, we’ve previously addressed the reactive approach organisations take and the bad path this leads them down.

In this article, however, we’re discussing solutions to 4 common mistakes that are a) operational in nature, and b) quick & simple to fix.

4 ways to improve your hiring process

1. Secure stakeholder alignment at the beginning

Stakeholder misalignment is a very common problem when there is no central project manager for hiring, as the often-conflicting expectations from multiple stakeholders are not cross-referenced in advance by one person.

Make sure to ask, “Are the various decision makers agreed on the profile we are looking for BEFORE we start looking?”

In an ideal world, all stakeholders must be aligned with respect to the agreed essential and desired skills, drivers, traits, and values required for success in the role.

If this is not aligned at the start of the process, it is very difficult to walk back during the process and will waste a lot of people’s time at best, or cost you the preferred candidate / a lot of credibility at worst.

2. Double-check the viability of the role

Once the above alignment has happened, it is important to ask the question. “Is this role a realistic profile, regardless of salary?”

A brief review of the market to assess candidate volumes and skills can help you determine how realistic your approach is before you commit to advertising spend and effort. If you realise at this point, you are looking for that purple squirrel, stop the bus!

And remember, if you must rethink parts of the brief to make the role more viable, ensure you repeat step 1 and re-align your stakeholders.    

3. Review the basic process

Hiring can be complex, and it’s made more so if there isn’t a dedicated person to manage the process.

If your hiring process is shared between a team, you should agree on the process:

  • Are your timelines appropriate?
  • Are you able to reshuffle the process if you suddenly see a great candidate?
  • Is anyone on your side of the process about to head off for a holiday? (Anywhere nice?)

A simplified Gantt chart working back from the ideal start date will help focus everyone on the process with respect to their commitments. It will also flush out timing issues and confusion around accountabilities. Lastly if you can communicate the timelines more accurately to applicants then step 4 becomes immediately easier.  

4. Take care of your candidates’ experience

Every candidate needs to walk away believing that you are the best employer in town, based on the way they were treated.

Make sure you have agreed actions and answers for the following questions:

  • Are you ambassadors for your company and culture?
  • Is your pitch better than your competitors?
  • What is the career potential for this role and how do you convey it?
  • Have you booked an interview space for a professional conversation and is it clean?
  • Who is managing the follow ups and thanking applicants for their time, or sending briefing documents to help them prepare for the interview?
  • If a candidate was unsuccessful, did you give them constructive and direct feedback, showing you took the time to understand them and giving them something to use in future interviews?
  • In short, did you make it the best possible experience for every candidate, regardless of how they went?

Overcome hiring challenges with ease

Hiring shouldn’t be looked at as a one-and-done thing as your business will always need to be looking for new recruits – whether it’s once every few years or more frequently.

It’s vital to create an ongoing and proactive hiring process to ensure that you can attract the best talent and make sure to keep it.

At Stone, we’re experts in helping businesses achieve this – as well as tackle the four processes mentioned above. If you’d like to learn more about how to improve your hiring process or how we could help your organisation, you can contact us today.