Recruitment can be a loose cannon, with different hiring managers, agencies and team members involved. Sometimes your interview and onboarding process can be spot on – resulting in a long-serving and highly performing employee – and other times it can be a disaster, resulting in expensive recruitment costs with no returns. This checklist arms you with everything you need to do to structure your processes and guarantee a seamless interview and successful onboarding process for all hires.
Advantages of a structured hiring process
A structured interview and onboarding process has significant benefits for your company, the hiring manager and, most importantly, your new employee. Why?
- It ensures consistency – meaning that everyone is treated the same;
- It reduced errors – preventing oversights and overcoming forgetfulness;
- It creates a positive experience – making new employees more likely to stay; and
- It’s just easier.
What can take only an hour of your time, actually involves a significant amount of work behind the scenes. A successful interview process should include the following:
Before the interview
Before getting to the interview itself, you need to do some preparation beforehand, including:
- Arranging a date, time and location with the candidate and interview panel;
- Booking a meeting room and refreshments;
- Determining the specific qualities you are looking for – refreshing the job description if appropriate;
- Reviewing the candidate’s CV and application; and
- Preparing the interview technique and questions you are going to ask and a scorecard to record responses.
During the interview
During the interview, it’s important to stick to an interview structure that involves:
- Welcoming the candidate and explaining the interview process;
- Asking questions and giving enough time for the candidate to respond;
- Asking the candidate for their questions;
- Taking notes throughout the whole process; and
- Explaining the next steps.
It’s important to put the candidate at ease and to ensure that the interview stays on track and within time.
After the interview
Following the interview, you should meet with the rest of the panel promptly to discuss the candidate and decide whether they are to be rejected, invited to a second-stage interview, or offered the position. It’s good practice to deliver feedback to all candidates, regardless of their success, quickly.
Once your seamless interview process has identified the ideal candidate, you then need to onboard them. With 90% of employees deciding whether to stay with a company within the first six months, the onboarding process is extremely important, which is why we recommend the following steps:
Before the start date
Before the start date, it’s a good idea to stay in regular contact with your new hire, reducing their nerves and decreasing the amount of paperwork required on the first day. Specifically, you should:
- Send a welcome letter, including the contract and any paperwork that needs to be completed;
- Conduct pre-employment checks, such as references;
- Send the employee their induction plan, along with information on where to go on the first day and who to ask for;
- Arrange for all tools, equipment, logins, and permissions to be ordered and granted; and
- Set up a productive workspace.
The start date
Nerves will be high for everyone on day one, making a structured approach welcome by all. On the first day ensure that:
- Someone is there to greet the employee and show them around the offices, introducing them to everyone;
- A mentor or buddy is assigned to the employee, who the employee can approach with any questions during their first few months and who can take them to lunch on their first day;
- An announcement is sent to all other employees, and any organizational charts are updated; and
- All required health and safety training is completed.
The first few months
The first day doesn’t signal the end of your onboarding process. During the first few months, it’s fundamental to:
- Have a structured induction plan that eases the new employee into their role and responsibilities, introduces them to other departments, includes the necessary training, and gives them an overview of how the whole company works; and
- Schedule regular catch-up sessions to see how they’re getting on and to get feedback on your induction process.
Attending an interview is nerve-wracking and starting a new job is even worse. Make it easier for your new starters, hiring managers and yourself by following these simple but effective checklists.