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Reduce risk in your hiring process by reimagining it

Overcome the limitations of interviews and strengthen your support of new hires.

Tired of generic advice on hiring? At this stage of your career, you likely already know interviewing best practices. So how can you further improve upon your candidate review process?

Consider this: maybe the standard approach of a conversational interview is part of the problem. After all, you wouldn’t choose a long-term romantic partner based on a mere conversation, no matter how clever your scenario-based questions.

So, what’s the alternative? Below we suggest how you might reimagine hiring to better assess and support top talent.

Tailor your approach to the role

What skills are needed in the role you’re hiring for? Mostly technical skills? Or interpersonal aplomb? Maybe both?

Whatever the case may be, craft your candidate review approach to test for those skills. Don’t merely ask about those skills or even pose scenario-based questions. These indirect assessment methods aren’t likely to give you or the candidate a clear sense of whether they’re right for your needs.

Instead of interviewing candidates, audition them. If the role is predominantly technical in nature, craft a technical task for candidates that emulates the actual challenges they’ll face in the role. If the position instead demands social finesse, conduct a role play exercise in which you see how well the person thinks on their feet.

Of course, let the candidate know beforehand about your non-traditional review process.

Elicit authenticity and build rapport

You can still have a conversational interview with the candidate. But instead of the normal stiff proceedings, in which both sides are trying to adhere to a playbook (serious questions on one side and carefully rehearsed answers on the other), instead have an actual, authentic conversation.

You can get candidates to let down their guard by letting down your own. Talk about mistakes you’ve made or challenges you’ve struggled with. Ask them how they might help you with these issues.

Tell them what you value in an employee and what your expectations are. Ask them what they’re looking for in an organization. The more genuine you are with a candidate, the more likely they are to drop any inauthentic behavior or answers.

Support the employee’s competence and growth

What happens if you hire a seemingly great candidate, and they underperform or struggle to integrate with your culture? The rapport you built during the interview will help you talk to them and find out what’s wrong. Maybe they’re overwhelmed. Or bored. Or unsure of cultural norms.

Often when a new hire struggles, the problem isn’t the worker; it’s instead ineffective onboarding or support.

Building social activities into your company’s work calendar and assigning a mentor to new employees are just two ways you can effectively support new hires. It’s also a good idea to communicate your company’s larger purpose and help new employees see their work as meaningful.

Next steps

Connect with your hiring team to develop a new standard operating procedure for evaluating candidates, emphasizing testing candidates on role-related tasks.

Talk to your onboarding team and human resources professionals about developing an expanded approach to supporting new hires.

Sources: talmundo.com; shrm.org; recruitee.com; grapefrute.com

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