Most of my clients are hiring new employees and finding it much more difficult than it was several years ago. The main reason? Full employment. As much as they want to attract top quality candidates, it’s much tougher today.
This will sound like a sweeping generalization (and it is), but most candidates who have been unemployed for more than a few months without a reasonable explanation are out of work because they’re just not that talented. Of course, there are exceptions, but at 3.7% unemployment…well, you do the math.
Here’s another sobering statistic: 85% of applicants lie on their resumes. This has been the case for years, but in addition to standard white lies, candidates are becoming increasingly more savvy about outfoxing candidate applicant tracking software.
All this leads to the importance of your interview process. A resume is just the beginning. Do your candidates have the right behaviors and motivators for the job? It’s usually hard to evaluate this objectively, so use hiring assessments to diminish your personal bias.
Do you do telephone screens or email interview questions? If the person does any amount of client work on the phone, you’d better believe that a phone screen has value. And, asking interview questions by email shows you everything from their ability to compose a grammatically correct sentence to their level of critical thinking.
Does this add time to the process? Of course! But you’ll learn so much more.
During your actual interview, listen carefully to the answers. Recently I was interviewing someone who was considered as the “top candidate” for this position. She did not directly answer any question, but she finessed this by having articulate “interview answers”. Buyer beware!
Do your homework. Google the person and see what comes up. Check their profile on LinkedIn. Use your network to discreetly check on who might know them.
The bottom line is that we need to be significantly more diligent in our hiring processes. My advice? Create a solid process and follow it. Don’t take short cuts, because at the end of the day it will hurt you.