As employers in the tech field, you know that there’s no high-level employer without high-level employees. You need skilled, reliable, conscientious team members in order to deliver any sort of valuable service or tool to your customers and clients. The trick is finding that talent and integrating them into your team. This means hiring, and that means interviews.
In this article we’ll discuss a few easy tips for improving your interview process. Improvement is measured by the quality of hires and their loyalty to your company. You’ll want to hire for the long run–it only makes sense, as the average turnover cost per employee in the tech industry is about $144,000.
And what does the interview process entail? The process is not just the step that may easily come to mind–sitting across a desk from each other and asking and answering questions.
The interview process includes everything from writing the job description to posting the job to scheduling interviews to conducting several levels of interviews to following up with the candidates and finally, making the hire.
Tip #1: Write an Attractive Job Posting
It’s simple: no one wants to apply to a job that seems unclear, boring, or unfairly compensated. In fact, over half of job seekers agree that the quality of the job description greatly affects their decision to apply.
Write an interesting, clear job description that includes the position’s core responsibilities, its day-to-day activities, a list of qualifications, a salary range, and a list of perks and benefits.
Keep the list of qualifications concise. You don’t want to overwhelm potential hires, but you do want to make sure the right people are applying.
Not all job postings include a salary range, but this very fact means that making yours known will set your company apart. Job seekers can compare the responsibilities/qualifications with the compensation and decide whether this job is what they’re looking for. Listing the salary range also gives a positive impression of transparency.
Tip #2: Screen Resumes for Red Flags
It’s not uncommon to receive a somewhat overwhelming slew of applications for a single position. Or, even if an individual job posting doesn’t receive a large amount of response, you may be trying to fill several positions quickly. This means you’ll be looking for quick ways to screen resumes.
What you as the employer are looking for (or not looking for) will vary person-to-person but establishing your red flags and green lights ahead of time will help you through the sorting process.
For example, the position you are looking to fill may require a high level of proficiency with Python. Instead of reading through all the coding languages that each candidate knows, look just for the key word: Python. This way you won’t be distracted by albeit talented candidates, but who are not what you need right now.
Tip #3: Conduct Phone Screenings
In-person interviews are time-consuming and sometimes even draining. Save those for candidates who have already passed some preliminary screenings. One effective way to quickly screen candidates is through the phone interview.
Once you’ve weeded through the resumes, compile a list of candidates who could potentially fit the open position. Reach out to them and schedule times for a quick phone interview. Give them an expectation of the tone and duration of the interview.
You can use this opportunity to clarify items on resumes and ask for more information on points of interest. Ask high-level questions to determine whether or not each candidate is truly qualified for the job.
Tip #4: Conduct a Skill Test
Saying you can write quality code quickly and actually doing it are two very different things. As the employer, don’t be afraid to conduct a short skill test to determine whether someone can perform to the level they say they can.
And tests don’t have to be all about skills. Feel free to determine your own objectives. This could be personality, how the candidate would fit in the company culture, the candidate’s values, or of course their skills in several technical areas.
Tip #5: Make the Interviews Consistent
You’ve reviewed the resumes, conducted phone interviews and skill tests, and now the time has come to conduct the in-person interviews.
The key to a successful round of interviews is consistency. You need to ask the candidates the same questions and treat them equally, even if (and especially if) you have more than one person conducting interviews for a position. Some interviewers may want to throw in their own questions, but the inclusion of these “rogue” interview questions can decrease objectivity and lower the quality of your results. These questions should either purposefully be left out or included by every interviewer in every interview.
Another tip is to acknowledge nonverbal cues and give them a certain weight in the overall interview. Something like appearance or body language may give the interviewer a certain impression, but it’s important to categorize that impression separately from what the candidate is actually saying. If the appearance and body language is “acceptable,” leave it at that and focus on the interview questions for the remainder of your assessment.
Tip #6: Put the Candidate at Ease
Applying for any job is generally stressful for the candidate in question. The candidate will be on their best behavior to try and make a good impression and land a new position. The thing is just that, though: the candidate is on their best behavior, as in this is not their regular, day-to-day functioning. This can manifest in several ways. They may be acting extra respectfully, they may be using more professional language, or they may be scared out of their mind and functioning at a lower capacity.
Throughout the interview, act professionally but with humanity, putting the interviewee at ease. Take time to introduce yourself and to learn a little about the candidate. Be patient. Be courteous. Do your best to help the interviewee feel at ease and act as naturally as they would at a job of 10 years.
These tips will help you improve your interview process as you screen employees on several levels and get to know them, their skills, and their mindsets. A good interview process will help to lead to greater employee satisfaction and retention, ultimately helping your company’s bottom line as well as its culture.
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