To keep up with the demands of the job market, companies are often pressed to hire employees quickly. While fast growth can be exciting, it also comes with the pressure and risk of expanding your workforce without diluting its talent.
It’s not an easy balancing act, but at the same time it’s critical to make sure you get it right. Bringing in the wrong people could send your soaring company into a tailspin. That’s why it’s important to set realistic timelines and follow a well-designed hiring process to keep you on track. Here are five ways to keep your hiring pipeline moving quickly when you need it most:
- Identify your hiring needs.
- Insist on your organization’s values and culture.
- Prepare interview questions ahead of time.
- Conduct interviews as a group.
- Pay attention to red flags.
1. Identify Your Hiring Needs
You know you need more workers, but simply adding more people to your business won’t get you where you need to go. You’ll need a clear idea of what the new role entails and the necessary competencies if you want to hire employees quickly—and effectively. Along with building out specific job descriptions, make sure you identify some key metrics:
- Define the mission of the role.
- Identify the objectives the role should achieve and clarify these annually and quarterly.
- Determine what core skills are required to make that happen.
In addition, advanced search technology, such as SearchMonster, is built around semantic searches for synonyms of core competencies and objectives, creating richer results than simple Boolean searches for lists of job skills. So, from a sourcing perspective, more clarity will also help generate better information for creating the best job keywords.
2. Insist on Your Organization’s Values and Culture
Hiring a bad fit can be worse than not making a hire at all. The best way to avoid a bad hire is to align the hiring process with your company’s culture. Just because you need to hire employees quickly doesn’t mean abandoning that culture. Hiring people with values that mirror your company’s culture is crucial, says Laura Yip, co-founder and chief people officer at Storm8, a mobile game network based in Redwood Shores, California.
Hiring managers at Storm8 look for candidates who thrive in an entrepreneurial environment. If they require a ton of hand-holding, it probably isn’t a good fit, she explains. Likewise, if your company’s success relies on its company culture, avoid risking it just to fill a position.
3. Prepare Interview Questions Ahead of Time
Before the interview, pre-select questions that will allow you to quickly evaluate whether a candidate has the skills and behaviors you’ve identified as essential for the job.
Having a preplanned structure ensures you’re asking the right questions, says Shelly Goldman of The Goldman Group Advantage, a Reston, Virginia-based executive recruiting firm. Whether she’s recruiting 50 entry-level workers or just one C-level executive, Goldman says it’s important to take the time to lay the foundation before beginning to interview candidates.
You might include some or all of these types of questions:
- Icebreakers to build rapport and put candidates at ease.
- Traditional questions to gather general information about a candidate’s skills and experience.
- Situational questions to understand what a candidate would do in a specific situation relevant to the job at hand.
- Behavioral questions to learn about how a candidate handled a past experience.
- Culture fit questions to gauge whether a candidate would thrive in your workplace environment.
4. Conduct Interviews as a Group
Having several people participate in one interview can save time in your hiring process. It also can provide multiple perspectives to the same answer, according to Scott Wintrip, founder of Wintrip Consulting Group in St. Petersburg, Florida. He explains that there are limits to our perception, so we tend to miss things that aren’t within our field of expertise or are unexpected.
In addition, panel interviews can help avert decisions based on emotion. We may forget to ask some of the questions we had planned on once we become comfortable with a candidate, Wintrip says. Group interviews aren’t a new idea, but if you put four people in a room with the candidate, it can give you differing perspectives that can help you reach a faster, better decision.
5. Pay Attention to Red Flags
Moving fast on new hires may tempt you to cut corners in your interview process. That can mean leaving out important steps, or worse—making you ignore a nagging feeling that something is a little off. When that happens, you’re more likely to make the wrong choice.
This means conducting reference checks and listening closely for concerns and red flags, says Mikaela Kiner, founder and CEO of UniquelyHR, an HR consultancy in Seattle. And in the post-interview debriefing with other team members, spend a little extra time talking about why the person might not be a good hire, Kiner adds. Ask the question: “If this person doesn’t work out, why would that happen?” A few warning signs to look out for might be:
- Showing up late to the interview.
- Dressing inappropriately.
- Talking too much.
- Offering vague or non-responsive answers.
- Coming off as arrogant, combative, or defensive.
Some of these behaviors may be explainable, but your interview team should make sure they are addressed before making a job offer.
Are You Ready to Hire Employees Quickly?
Growth is a great sign for your business, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of quality. This can be a challenge when your hiring need is urgent. That’s where it helps to an expert who knows how to match the right candidates to your job. At Monster, that’s our specialty—and it comes at a great price point. Find out how you can start pulling in candidates to grow your company with a free job posting.