Sure, your hiring practices have all the bases covered from a legal standpoint. But do they do everything possible to bring in the best talent? Chances are, you’ve got a few gaps to fill.
To help plug those holes, Suzanne Lucas, long-time HR vet and author of EvilHRLady.org and Dominick J. Bratti, employment law attorney for the firm Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, both offered up some outside-the-box advice for employers recently on how to bring top talent on board.
Latest best practices
Here are some of their best hiring secrets:
- Interview the exiting employee about their job (from Lucas, writing at CBS MoneyWatch). This shouldn’t be a standard exit interview. You want to find out what it is the person does. You may be surprised at how much the person does that you don’t know about. This info will help you write a better job description and find the most suitable candidate.
- Cut the fluff in job descriptions (from Lucas). In other words, forget all the stuff about wanting “a highly motivated individual,” and get straight to what the job entails. Also, try to include the negative stuff, like when the job is most demanding or stressful — i.e., retail shops will be busiest around the holidays.
- Get specific about past experience (from Lucas). Don’t just have a candidates recite what’s already on their resumes. Try to get more in-depth info about specific parts of their resume. Try to find out exactly what they did in their past jobs to see how closely it mirrors the demands of your open position.
- Stay away from non-job-related topics (from Bratti, writing at his firm’s website). Keep discussions on the topics of qualifications and experience. If the conversation starts to stray to religion, politics, or family and personal health issues, get back to discussing the job. You don’t want to stray into any unlawful territories.
- Discuss the biggest challenge (from Lucas). To find out what candidates really have to offer, reveal to them the biggest challenge the job has to offer, and then ask how they’d handle it. You could even present them with this question prior to the interview process and have them bring their ideas in when you meet face to face.
- Check references (from Bratti). A lot of employers still aren’t checking references, but it’s a bad idea. Although past employers may be reluctant to give you a lot of specifics, some info should be easy to get — like dates of employment.
- Don’t go in alone (from Lucas). Have someone else interview the candidate with you — either in a group setting or in a separate one-on-one interview. A candidate who rubs you the wrong way may still appeal to those whom he or she will have to work with. This will help ensure your biases don’t prevent you from making a good hire.
- Perform a drug test (from Bratti). Choosing not to perform drug tests will attract candidates who do drugs. But, for legal reasons, you don’t want to conduct a drug test until after the person has received a conditional offer of employment.