Your organization’s success hinges on its ability to hire the right people in the right roles. As you know, this is can be far easier said than done. You need a hiring process that is sound all the way through, from the initial job description to the final hire. Here, we offer 4 key success factors.
Communicating clearly and effectively with applicants sounds obvious, but if you look at it from the perspective of the applicant it may not be as easy as it seems. Making sure your hiring process is transparent to the applicant is a crucial step because it sets the tone for equally transparent responses from the applicant and begins the journey to attracting a good hire.
You work hard to make your job descriptions accurate and understandable, describing criteria such as actual duties performed, desired experience, and required skillset. This helps to set proper expectations and ensures that only (or at least mostly) qualified people will apply.
The hiring process itself needs to be clear. If you have a timeline in mind; the applicant should know it. If you are going to perform background checks, the applicant must consent to them. At each point in the timeline, give the applicant a summary of the process. If at any point you choose to disqualify a candidate on the basis of something you learned in a background check, give them a chance to explain or correct what you found. Communication is a two-way street, and it’s a good habit to form for employer and employee.
Your hiring process should be designed from the point of view of role-related requirements, and then applied equally to every applicant. The requirements should be the same, the application steps should be the same and the background checks should research the same role-related criteria. Consistency is an important factor in showing that your hiring policy is not discriminatory, although it is not sufficient in itself to be in full compliance with applicable laws.
Employment status is one of the most important characteristics an adult American can have. We value work, and people who work. Partly because of this, a thicket of laws has grown up around employment intended to ensure fair access to jobs for everyone who wants one without discrimination against anyone for being a member of a protected class.
These laws change over time, and new laws are sometimes enacted. In recent years, many states and local governments have adopted “Ban the Box” laws that limit or proscribe the use of blanket criteria of criminal background for rejecting an applicant. Employers need to know if they are in one of these jurisdictions, and make sure the hiring process complies.
Federal laws evolve as well. Both equal employment opportunity guidelines (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforcement guidelines) and the laws that govern the use of background screening in the hiring process (Fair Credit Reporting Act) have changed in response to court cases that help to define how the laws apply. In these cases, litigants are sharpening the criteria for determining if a hiring process is discriminatory or not.
Your final job offer should be contingent on the satisfactory results of an employment background check. Hiring managers may be impatient at this point since so much time and resources have been expended getting this far with a candidate, but it is not wise to forego the formal background check. There have been famously bad hires made because the hiring decision was made on instinct, or the affirmations of a good old boy network. Bad hires are very costly, and it is well worth it to go through this final verification step.
There are many ways to describe the hiring process. The 4 Cs is one that captures the most important factors in hiring in broad strokes.