Recruiting Checklist – Tips to a Better Process

September 13th, 2013

When it’s done well and according to a time-tested process, recruiting can provide a high return on investment for any organization. Like an engine that’s been carefully calibrated and maintained, recruiting provides the foundational manpower by which all businesses thrive. Yet, few too many companies realize this soon enough, instead suffering with losses stemming from poorly managed recruitment processes.

Developing a Better Process with a Recruiting Checklist

It may seem simple, but a recruiting checklist can improve the recruiting process in many ways. That is, if it’s developed by an experienced recruiting team and designed to meet the needs of the business. The main idea of using a recruiting checklist is to avoid missing or making errors with any crucial steps in the process of sourcing, interviewing, and onboarding any new employees.

To help you get started, here is a basic recruiting checklist that can help to improve your process.

  1. Source candidates from trusted sources. The places you look for new hires can directly influence the quality of the employees you end up. Consider the advantages of working with an industry staffing agency that’s familiar with your unique needs. Frequenting social networks or general resume directories will not produce the kind of results you need to build your team.
  2. Carefully screen and interview every candidate. In recruiting, it’s never a good idea to select candidates based on their appearance or resume information. Instead, use unbiased candidate selection tools that include a combination of phone screening, group and individual interviewing, and skills assessments. Check previous employment references as part of this step.
  3. Use a branded recruitment package. The impression you make with candidates from the start comes from your corporate brand. The way you deliver this brand also matters. When working with candidates, take the time to distribute a branded recruitment package that includes an overview of the company within the industry, and a general outline of compensation and benefits.
  4. Schedule the orientation day to meet business needs. Instead of reacting to personnel shortages, a recruitment checklist should proactively meet the human capital needs of each phase of growth. Schedule a structured orientation program to take place each month on a specific day. This ensures a more productive onboarding process for all new hires.

As part of your recruitment strategy, it’s important that you also have a system for supporting new hires and giving them the tools to be successful. The more time you spend with candidates in the recruiting checklist steps above, the better the results will be in terms of selecting the right people for your business.

Did you know that LC Staffing offers full recruitment support? Check out our guidelines for Guaranteeing Hiring Success and get more tips like this to help you recruit smarter.

Avoiding Perfectionism in Your Hiring Process

April 26th, 2012

Perfectionism has its time and place – neither of which can be found anywhere during the hiring process. It might seem like, with so many people lining up for any and every available job, now would be the perfect time to find the perfect candidate. However, you can get so caught up in the search that you overlook excellent candidates who would serve your business well today. Doesn’t that sound better than sifting through mountains of resumes and dealing with an endless queue of interviews? Here are a few things that should help you with your search.

There’s No Such Thing as Perfect

Every candidate, no matter how many checks he has in the plus column, is going to bring some negatives to the table. That’s the beauty of dealing with people. They all have strengths and weaknesses. Your job is to find out which strengths and weaknesses you can and cannot live with.

Sometimes the Best Employees are the Biggest Surprises

Most of the time, the hiring process is a bit of a crap shoot. You never know what you’re really going to get. Some people interview well but really don’t work all that well once they’ve been hired. Others look great on paper, but the reality doesn’t quite meet with the expectations. While you don’t want to hire people who are completely unsuited for the position you have available, that doesn’t mean that you should wait until the one who looks perfect on paper comes along either.

Weigh the Pros and the Cons of Individual Candidates

The odds are high that you’re going to receive a lot of applicants for the position that’s available. Once you eliminate from the mix those who are completely unqualified for the position, the challenge becomes figuring out which candidates are better “fits” within your organization. The best way to do this is to make a list of pros and cons for each candidate.  See how they stack up to the position you need filled by also listing the strengths and weaknesses already present within your organization. Remember that most companies operate as a team of people working together these days. One person’s strength can make up for another person’s weakness.

How Trainable is the Candidate in Question?

At the end of the day, it all comes down to trainability. No matter how much industry knowledge or experience a candidate has coming into an organization or business, there is going to be a bit of a learning curve. Can this person be trained to operate in the way your business needs? How long do you believe it will take to turn each candidate on your short list into a real winner for your organization?  If you’re interested in a long-term return on investment, choose the one that offers the most potential, not the one that seems “perfect” right now
Sometimes, a little perfectionism can go a long way towards making the world a better place. But, there are also times when it’s best not to  wait for the perfect solution when there is a perfectly good possible solution right here, right now.

Does Size Matter? Make Your Small company Culture Stand Out to Candidates

January 15th, 2012

The past few years have been a bit of a “buyer’s market” when it comes to employers. There were simply too many prospective employees for too few positions. The times are changing. Quickly, we hope. This means that companies, big and small, are going to have to start competing, once again, for the best of the best when it comes to employees.

There was once a time when big corporations had all the aces as far as benefits and enticements were concerned. They could offer employees the moon, the stars, and a big fat retirement on a nice sunny beach. That was once considered the ultimate “benefits” package.

Now, there has been a shift in logic and thinking for employees. People are looking for more “user friendly” benefits packages. That is good news for small companies that are struggling to compete with the mega-packages offered by big companies. But, what it is that you have to offer your employees that can possibly compete with what the big boys in the industry have to offer?


Family Atmosphere

First of all, there is something to be said about the small company culture. People want to be treated like part of a big, extended family rather than as employees. Size does seem to matter and for, perhaps the first time in a very long time, smaller-sized companies seem to be fairing better by offering the family atmosphere so many people are looking for in their workplaces.

Flexibility of Work Hours

Larger companies need to have standard, one size fits all, policies and procedures in order to avoid pandemonium or chaos from reigning supreme. Smaller companies have a little more flexibility. This is ideal for parents who need flexible schedules to work from home when children are sick and cannot go to school or simply want the flexibility to work four 10-hour days rather than five eight-hour days.

This is also attractive to people who have learned that their most productive hours of the day are not nine-to-five but earlier or later in the day. There are many people in the world who are still committed to excellence in their careers and want to be proud of the work they do for the living they earn. Employees are able to do just that when they feel they’ve put in their best effort and gotten the best possible results. Allowing your staff to work the hours that are most productive for them, makes that possible and greatly increases their attraction to the positions you have available.

Choice of Compensation

Some prospective employees prefer the choice of a benefits package or higher salary. Some families, for instance, have the benefits package of one partner that offers everything they need. They would rather be able to choose a slightly higher salary, one or two percent greater employer contribution to their 401(k), or even extra paid time off during the year.

You don’t have to offer golden contracts and top-tier benefits packages that are sure to consign your company to the ranks of bankruptcy in order to attract highly qualified and motivated candidates. Be creative in coming up with an attractive package that works well for all parties. The results are sure to be impressive.

Photo Credit: Ambro

Why You Should Avoid Hiring Anti-social Candidates, and How to Spot Them

October 8th, 2011

As a hiring manager, have you encountered times when you wish you had not hired someone due to their anti-social behavior that came out weeks after they started working for your company? A poor hiring decision can happen to even the most seasoned HR professional, mainly because candidates tend to present themselves in the best possible light during the interviewing process. However, an anti-social candidate can cost a company over the long-term through team breakdown, low employee morale, sabotaged projects, and unhappy customers.

Learn how to spot anti-social candidates before making this costly mistake.

Check Every Candidate’s Work Background

All the resumes, cover letters and personality tests in the world cannot tell you the true story behind every candidate. Instead of relying on information provided directly by the candidate, make it a point to do a thorough background check on the candidate yourself. Take the time to not only check the candidate’s provided references, but also call on past employers to find out more. While most previous employers are somewhat reluctant to provide too much information, ask the right questions to get the scoop on the client. Let the HR person know what kind of job you are considering the candidate for, and then ask if he/she thinks the candidate has the right skills for this assignment. The answer will shed more light on the candidate’s ability to handle the work without any drama.

Use Drug and Criminal Background Checks

The way candidate’s look and act during the interview process is generally not indicative of their true nature. Coupled with the overwhelming stresses that people go through, it should not surprise you that often the most clean-cut applicant can be hiding a scary past that can involve drugs, crime or more. Always get every candidate’s permission to conduct a complete drug test and a criminal background check. Run the candidate’s name through the local court records system to uncover any potential problems, such as pending criminal or civil court cases. This step alone can save you a great deal of hassle later on.

Test Candidate Personality Profiles

There are a great many ways to discover how a candidate may react to common workplace issues. One of these resources that all recruiters have at their disposal is the personality profile test. As part of the application process, ask each candidate to take an online personality test using a reputable service, and then review the results privately. While some candidates will be adept at “fudging” the questions, good personality profiling systems have ways to determine if a candidate is being truthful or not. Use this information to decide if a candidate is worth moving forward with or not. Again, use this consistently with all candidates and keep this information in a secure file to avoid discriminatory hiring practices.

Trust Your People Instincts

Many times as hiring managers, we forget that we are very good judges of people. Despite handling multiple interviews and reviews, in addition to other recruiting and HR duties, we have the innate ability to get a gut feeling about some candidates based on their behavior or career history. It is important to treat all candidates fairly, but do not settle just because you are under pressure to find a suitable candidate. Remember that this person can and will become part of your organization and if they have any tendencies at all that make you feel uncomfortable, imagine how this will impact the rest of your workforce? Trust your people skills and never hire someone unless you get a good feeling about him or her.

Want more advice about finding the best candidates for your company? Please come back often and browse through our directory of helpful articles and tips, and check out our job listings today!