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Can one size fit all? How to standardise your recruitment process in 5 simple steps

March 12, 2024
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Hiring a new employee is one of the most difficult decisions managers have to make. As we all know, your staff makes or breaks your business, so recruiting someone who can not only do the job well, but also fit neatly into the team and company culture, share your business values, and be passionate about the job is essential for your organisation to succeed.

But how can you gather all this information from a short recruitment process? The reality is that businesses fail to do so — three in four small businesses have hired the wrong person for the job. That’s why so many organisations are working tirelessly to adjust their recruitment to become more scientifically valid and reliable. In order to do this, the first step is to ensure that your entire process is standardised.

What are the benefits of standardising your recruitment process?

Standardising your recruitment is a useful way to increase your efficiency and effectiveness of your hiring process. What this essentially means is that you will have an identical process for all candidates for a certain position — you should still tailor it to each individual role.

If done right, a standardised recruitment process will help you:

  • Speed up your decision-making process
  • Drive consistency in your hiring
  • Highlight data and other non-human elements
  • Make the process fairer
  • Improve your candidate experience

Further reading: Should you standardise your recruitment process?

How to standardise your recruitment process

Standardising your recruitment process is an exercise that every business should consider. In order to do it correctly, you can follow these steps:

1. Define role requirements

The first step is always trying to understand what you’re actually looking for. Many organisations pluck job specs out of thin air, not truly considering what they expect their employees to achieve and how they require them to accomplish this.

Consider what the role actually entails — a salesperson might need to be extroverted and quick on their feet, but does an accountant really require these qualities? A doctor needs qualifications and relevant degrees, but does a marketing professional? Seriously think about what it is that this role is about, and distil this into tangible qualities, skills, qualifications, or experience.

2. Consider company and team requirements

As previously mentioned, role fit isn’t just about the ability to perform the role — it’s also about how well this candidate would fit into the team and the company. However, some companies leave these at an amorphous level. Part of standardising your recruitment is making sure that every stage and requirements is clear, tangible, and measurable.

Another thing to consider is the gaps in your existing team. Questioning what’s missing and trying to find people who have those skills, personality traits, or competencies can help you find the perfect piece of the puzzle.

3. Set evaluation criteria

By now, you should have a long list describing the ideal candidate. At this stage, you should match these requirements with measurable evaluation criteria. If your values include a collaborative approach, for example, you need to consider how you can figure out whether the applicant has the same mindset. Perhaps you’d use a personality test to determine how collaborative they are, or ask specific questions about teamwork to assess their working style. Either way, there should be a clear, corresponding assessment of these values.

It’s vital that you incorporate some non-human data in this process, however. Some people are more talented than others at presenting themselves well, not to mention the impact of unconscious bias — you might subconsciously prefer to hire someone who is similar to you, or a candidate who fits some stereotype of an ideal employee that doesn’t necessarily correspond with the facts. These can be a skills test, a cognitive or personality assessment, or a sample task.

4. Establish a process

Once you have your criteria ready, it’s time to incorporate it into a defined step-by-step process. This can look like:

  • Initial screening using CVs
  • A quick 10-minute call to present the process and understand more about the candidate
  • Psychometric assessment
  • Structured interview
  • Offer

Each stage should have its own checklist recording the criteria for evaluating the applicant and you should keep notes to give your decision more backing. We also recommend considering how to incorporate technological tools, such as an Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), to support your efforts.

5. Develop a tailored structured interview

One of the parts businesses often struggle with is the interview stage. When you talk to an individual, it’s easy to forget the purpose of the chat and focus more on enjoying the conversation. While, of course, we’re not against you enjoying the interview stage, in order to standardise your process the interview should follow a consistent structure and measure results on a unified scale.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to follow everything to the letter. You can add questions if the applicant said something you’d want to delve deeper into (or remove them, if you feel the candidate has answered them already). We also recommend adding a section to the interview that would be personalised based on their assessment results — that way you can really get all the information you need. But overall, you should follow a similar format, questions, and evaluation criteria. If you’re struggling, here’s a guide to interviewing salespeople that could help you get started.

Want to learn more about how Thrive can help you standardise your recruitment process, inject science into your it, and hire the best candidates while mitigating bias? Book a demo with us today.

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