Hiring is a difficult task. Trying to get an accurate picture of someone through a piece of paper and discrete amount of time is challenging. As you evaluate potential employees, it’s also important to evaluate your hiring practices. Far too many companies slip into methods that are inefficient or even unethical!
1. Be aware of applicant pool. Did you post the job for external applicants? While recommendations from existing staff are valuable information that should be considered, be careful that you don’t default to nepotism out of laziness.
2. Be aware of time demands. Rushing through an interview process is unwise, but drawing one on too long can be unfair. Having an applicant interview several times with different parties is standard, particularly for higher level positions, but the time and travel involved should not be burdensome.
3. Be aware of questions. Discriminating against an applicant on the grounds of age, ability, race, gender, or religion is illegal. It takes care to keep your questions within the bounds of what is allowed. A simple question like, “Do you plan to have children?” can be considered strategically motivated. Even if you are innocuously trying to get to know a candidate, avoid these types of questions.
4. Be aware of your promises. It can be tempting to woo a candidate with glowing depictions, but you are not doing yourself or the applicant any favors by misrepresenting. Be sure your job description, timeline, and compensation packages are accurately described. Where you lack information (a budget for a salary still being approved for example) be straightforward rather than hint in a way you think might sway an applicant.
5. Be aware of your responses. The simple numbers dictate that not all applicants will get job offers. It is in your best interest to give individuals a positive perception of your company–even when delivering disappointing news. While the individual will not be working with you presently, they may in the future and will likely relate their experience–good or bad–to those around them in the meantime. Giving an applicant a curt rejection–or, worse, silence does not reflect well on your company and practices. Be courteous. If they ask and time allows, give some indication of the reason an offer was not extended.