By now, you’ve probably seen the statistics on how much a bad hire can cost. But you’re also likely familiar with how much it costs to find the good ones, too: selection systems are more robust than ever before, and the best ones don’t come cheap. Ideally, you would be able to invest in a top set of selection and assessment tools for every round of your hiring process. But we understand that all organizations want to hire quality employees, not just the ones with the biggest budgets. With that in mind, here are some cost-effective ways that you can increase the utility of your selection system without breaking the bank.
Early On: Bulk up your job description.
You’d be surprised at how many organizations have all the bells and whistles set up for their selection system, but haven’t updated their job descriptions within the past decade. You might think that a comprehensive assessment package will account for this oversight, but you can save a lot of headaches by screening out poor fits at the earliest stage possible. The more comprehensive your description is, the easier it will be for candidates to decide whether or not the job will be a good fit for them. If you’re not sure where to start, try working through the “KSAOs”— knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics that are necessary for success on the job. Be sure to include any pertinent company information as well: for example, does your organization have a nicotine-free policy? Or require weekend shifts? What perks do you offer that set you apart? Include this kind of information so applicants can self-select out before you spend any human resources on them.
Read more: 5 Reasons to Update Your Job Descriptions
In the Middle: Rethink your interview questions.
Nearly all organizations include at least some form of interview during the hiring process. But do you know who structured your interview process or why it asks certain questions? Like job descriptions, interview questions need periodic updates to ensure that they are job relevant and within legal bounds. And if you haven’t invested in pre-employment testing, then the interview stage will be crucial for collecting data on how well this applicant fits with the job. Focus on key areas related to the job and ask questions that allow for a detailed response from the candidate. Train all your interviewers to take notes and make decisions on objective data, rather than gut feelings or overall impressions. (Of course, if your budget allows, a screening assessment before the interview stage will significantly reduce the number of interviews that you need to conduct.)
At Each Stage : Communicate.
Communication is the most valuable free tool you can use throughout the entire selection process. Hiring is a stressful time for everyone involved, and being clear about expectations, next steps, and feedback can help reduce the uncertainty. By being honest about the good and bad parts of the position, your job description will help attract better-fitting applicants. Additionally, asking interview questions that are straightforward and behaviorally-based will allow your team to gather useful data on the candidate’s job fit. You should also allow plenty of time for the applicant to ask any questions they may have, whether it be about the position or the company in general. These types of communicative interviews will increase buy-in from the applicant because they’ll perceive the process as fair and reasonable.
No matter what kind of budget you’re working with, you should understand that hiring good people will pay for itself in the long run. But as long as you’re willing to invest your time and energy, the basics of good hiring are within everyone’s reach.