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How to Hire Employees: Simplify Your Hiring Process in 11 Steps
A bad hiring process can confuse and alienate potential employees, and result in wasted time for your team. In this article, we’ll share 11 steps to simplify your process, giving you the best possible chance of landing top employees.
A strong hiring process can increase your chances of attracting the best candidates and convincing them to work for you.
The hiring process includes many different people, processes and workflows — but simplifying it is the key to landing top talent.
Tools like Personio can help you to streamline your process, giving you back time to focus on people, not processes.
The Importance of the Hiring Process for New Employees
A well-thought-out, engaging and organised hiring process can give you a better chance of landing top talent. In fact, in a 2023 survey, a huge 81% of candidates said a positive experience had influenced their decision to accept a job offer.
Plus, a recent study found that 72% of candidates who had had a bad hiring experience shared this with someone else directly or online. A bad process could be devastating for your employer brand in the long run.
How to Hire Employees: 11 Steps to Simplify Your Hiring Process
Here are 11 simple steps you can take to optimise your hiring process.
1. Allocate Hiring Tasks to the Right People to Maximise Efficiency
The first step to streamlining your hiring process is to list all of the tasks that need to be completed to hire an employee. Then, you can assign each one to the most appropriate person. Some of the tasks to be assigned might include:
Writing and publishing job descriptions
Screening CVs or applications
Conducting phone screening
Scheduling and conducting interviews and assessments
Background and reference checks
Following up and extending offers
2. Ensure Everyone Is Aligned On Your Company’s Needs
Everyone involved in the hiring process needs to understand your company’s needs — or you could end up wasting time. To begin the process, ask yourself what problem you are trying to solve with each role you’re hiring for. Then, work with your team to define the exact roles and responsibilities that the job will entail. This helps make sure everyone is on the same page before the hiring process begins.
3. Conduct Market Research to Ensure Your Offer Is Competitive
Before you can start hiring, you need to understand what the hiring landscape looks like in your industry. A good way to start is by looking through job descriptions for similar roles online. This gives you an idea of the skills and qualifications that other organisations are looking for.
You’ll also need to ensure that the compensation you’re offering is in line with industry standards. As well as job descriptions, which sometimes include pay ranges, you can find salary data on sites like Payscale or Check-a-Salary.
4. Define and Document Your Obligations as an Employer
Employers in the UK have certain responsibilities towards their employees — but new businesses that have only made a few hires on an ad hoc basis might not be aware of them. You can find a full explanation of what you need to do on the HMRC website. We also recommend consulting with an employment lawyer and a tax expert to make sure you’re meeting your obligations.
5. Choose the Right Recruitment Strategy for Your Business
Before your hiring process can begin, you need to determine the method you’ll use to get candidates in the door. Essentially, you have two options: recruitment or talent acquisition.
Recruitment is a short-term, reactive approach, which focuses on fulfilling the immediate needs of the business by finding candidates for open roles. Recruitment techniques include posting online job ads, attending recruitment events, and sourcing candidates through employee referrals.
Talent acquisition, on the other hand, is a more future-focused process which involves building talent pipelines and nurturing potential employees over the long term. This strategy is more often used to hire for senior or specialist roles.
6. Create a Formula for Winning Job Descriptions
One of the most common ways to find candidates is to post a job description on one or more online job boards. However, if you’ve ever spent any time on these websites, you’ll know that many job ads are unclear, confusing and uninspiring.
A good job description should tell potential candidates exactly what you’re looking for in an employee. It should also give them an idea of what it would be like to work for you — and show a little of your brand’s personality too. However, writing job descriptions from scratch every time can take a lot of time and resources. It’s a good idea to develop a formula or template that your hiring managers can use each time they have a new job to promote.
7. Get the Word Out in the Right Places
Once you’ve written your job descriptions, you need to decide where to post them. Some possible options include:
Your website: This is a good option for larger companies that get a lot of website traffic. However, small businesses might not get many applicants this way.
Social platforms: If you have a lot of followers on social media, this can be a great place to post job ads. After all, the people interacting with you there already know and like your brand.
Online job boards: Using job sites like LinkedIn, Indeed and CareerBuilder is the most common way of finding candidates online. As we’ve discussed, putting a bit of effort into your job descriptions can help your ads to stand out.
Need some extra help posting your job ads in the right places? Personio’s Posting Bundles gives you access to more than 500 job portals and lets you post your ad across the most relevant sites in just one click.
8. Find Effective Ways of Reviewing CVs and Applications
If you’re advertising in the right places, you’ll soon be flooded with applications. This gives you the best chance of landing the right person for the role — but it can also be overwhelming. The trick is to find efficient ways of honing down your pile of applicants until you’re left with the only most promising ones.
You’ll do this by comparing each candidate’s qualifications, experience and skills with the job description to see how closely they match. There’s plenty of software available to help you with the initial screening phase, but you should be careful if you decide to use it. You could end up screening out promising candidates just because their application is missing a certain keyword.
9. Be Strategic About Interviews
You should never go into an interview without a solid strategy and a clear idea of what you’re trying to achieve. Broadly, your goal is to elicit as much information as possible about each candidate’s suitability for the role, including their soft skills.
At least in the first instance, we recommend opting for a structured interview. This is a type of interview that involves asking each candidate the same questions, in the same order. This makes them consistent and easy to replicate, and gives each candidate an equal chance of showcasing their skills and experience.
10. Optimise Your Process for Follow-Ups and Offers
So, you’ve narrowed the field down to your best candidate, and you’re ready to offer them a job. Great! Here are some best practices to follow:
Formalise it: Although a job offer doesn’t legally have to be in writing, it’s a good idea to send candidates a formal offer letter (usually sent by email) to ensure everything is clear.
Be positive: It’s also important to show some enthusiasm and let the candidate know that you’re excited to work with them!
Give a deadline: Make sure they respond to your offer in good time, so you don’t miss out on other candidates if they’re not interested.
Be prepared for negotiation: The best candidates know their worth, so don’t be surprised if they try to negotiate on the salary or benefits.
Follow up with unsuccessful candidates too: A candidate who didn’t make the cut this time might be a great fit for another role in the future — so it’s a good idea to leave them with a good impression.
11. Start Building Employee Files to Store Important Records
As soon as your new employee accepts your offer, you should set up a personnel file. This helps you to stay organised and ensures you can always find the information you need about any employee. To begin with, a personnel file should include:
Recruiting documents like CVs or applications
A copy of the job description
Educational transcripts, if provided
Copies of any correspondence
A copy of the offer letter and acceptance letter
In a small company, you might be able to get away with using a physical file for each employee. But this can quickly get out of hand as your organisation grows. Worse, it also leaves you vulnerable to losing information about your employees through things like fire, human error or even theft.
With tools like Personio, you can store all of the documents and information you need about each employee in a secure Digital Personnel File — so you’ll always be able to access these documents when you need them.
Frequently Asked Questions About Hiring Employees
How Do You Hire an Employee?
Hiring an employee typically means creating and publishing a job advertisement, shortlisting candidate profiles and then using interviews, testing and assessments to narrow down the pool until you’re left with the best person for the job.
What Data From Recruited Applicants Should Be Kept on File?
Your employee file should contain any documents from the recruitment process, including the candidate’s CV and application form, the job description and any correspondence. As the employee continues to work for you, you’ll continue adding more documents to their file.
Simplify Your Hiring Process With the Right Tools
Struggling to stay on top of your hiring process? Personio’s applicant tracking system (ATS) lets you keep track of all applications in one place, easily highlight promising candidates and reject those that aren’t a good fit. You and your team will get automated reminders to complete evaluations, and you can even use ready-made templates to quickly create offer documents once you’ve found the right person.
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