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11 Powerful Ways to Improve Your Hiring Process
Hire better candidates, faster, with more buy-in from your colleagues.
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Hiring is complex, and the hiring process can be long and drawn out.
But improving the process is well worth it. When the hiring process is faster and smoother, you often attract more high-quality candidates and hire faster. That's why it's essential to analyze your hiring process from time to time. Use the 11 recommendations below as guideposts along the way to more successful hiring.
1. Involve Colleagues in the Hiring Process
Invite some of your managers and teachers to the interviews. It's beneficial to include colleagues who will work alongside the new hire or who hold the same position you're hiring.
Let them join for at least a portion of the interview to ask questions and assess what they think about the candidates. It's essential to see how the team perceives the personalities who are about to join. Choosing to hire a candidate that their colleagues recommended builds better camaraderie and can improve staff retention.
2. Improve the Job Descriptions
Experienced hiring managers know that posting the best possible job ads is critical, yet they frequently end up with long descriptions with countless details. That's not ideal.
Instead, focus on what your company can do for the candidate. Consider taking time to clearly list pay and benefits, especially any unique or surprisingly generous benefits (like discounted child care!).
Also, spend a few sentences or bullet points explaining a day in the life of the role. This part is an excellent opportunity to involve that other colleague who's currently in the position. Ask them what their day is like and write it down. This addition makes the job ad relatable, and you'll attract more high-quality candidates.
Don't make the description too long. Mention only the most essential qualifications the candidates need, and focus on how your company will meet their needs.
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3. Focus on Your Hiring Goals
When asking questions, hiring managers often ask the wrong questions because they're not laser-focused on the hiring goal: what do you want this person to do for your program?
Envision this candidate in the classroom or admin environment. How would they do? Their skills and competencies matter most.
Permits and certifications also matter, yet the candidate's education and experience are likely secondary in importance.
4. Don't Ask Creative Questions
"If you could be the boss for a day, what would you change?" No serious candidate would be thrilled with being asked this question.
When you're interviewing someone, focus on finding out if they can do the job. Period. Try to learn more about the candidate's character, skills, knowledge, and interests. Ask situational questions about how they'd handle different scenarios. If you're hiring a teacher, primarily focus on how they'll address challenges with children, families, and coworkers. Ask how they'll resolve conflicts with challenging behaviors, staff members when there's a disagreement, and angry parents/caretakers.
5. Define Your Position
You defined the required education, knowledge, skills, and experience in the job description, right? You will benefit from rephrasing these again during the beginning of the interview. Doing so helps you and the candidate understand if there's a fit between role and candidate. Explain what you expect from an employee in that position and ask the candidate if they can meet those requirements.
6. Embrace Social Media
The candidates have requirements, too. They want to work for a digitally-forward organization. If you want the best candidates to apply for your open position, you have to show them you foster a culture that will fit them. If you're not yet active on social media, ask a staff member to take it on part-time- posting photos (with photo releases on file!) of children doing activities, staff activities and outings, and other fun moments around your program. Post the same or embed your social media stream on your website.
7. Test the Best Candidates for 30/60/90 days
An initial test period might be an additional expense in the hiring process since your program will have to pay the candidates for their work. However, that's a productive expense. You get to see how the candidate implements the skills and knowledge they say they have. And you'll get to see how they fit in the program culture, too.
8. Do an Online Background Check
Like most hiring managers, you probably perform a background check on the candidates you consider. However, it's always helpful to check their social media profiles. These platforms, like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok, allow you to find out more about the person, their former roles, and any activity that could be incongruous with working in your program.
9. Ask Why They Left Their Previous Job
Don't be shy with this one. It's always worth asking at the right time.
If you notice they are blaming their past manager or colleagues, explore that with them. Perhaps it was an unhealthy working environment. If, however, you see the candidate has an unhealthy attitude, pass on them.
10. Check Your Process With a Survey
It's constructive to understand how candidates perceive you. We recommend asking the candidates to complete a brief survey for you at the end of their interview. Ask how they felt about the interview, the job ad, and the hiring process as a whole. Ask them what they would change? This feedback will help you improve your hiring process.
11. Encourage Them to Interview You, Too
The best candidates ask good questions but aren't overly questioning. Their questions can help evaluate their attention to detail, interest level in the position, and intuition. By noticing what questions they ask and how they ask them, you'll recognize what is meaningful to them and their interest in the role.