Opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of Rolling Stone editors or publishers.
Finding the right talent can be an exhausting process. Writing the job description, finding the best places to post it, screening resumes, conducting multiple rounds of interviews and more can eat up a lot of a company’s resources and potentially waste a lot of time.
In today’s job market, speed is key when it comes to finding top talent, which means streamlining your hiring process is essential. To help, the members of Rolling Stone Culture Council offer their best recommendations for streamlining your hiring process and making it easier on everyone involved.
Show You’re Interested Early On
You’ll get the best out of the candidate by showing your interest early, which in turn reveals how interested they are. So don’t fear the follow-up. Give proper follow-up to interesting candidates. This opens the door for a candidate to engage, which, if they do, tells you that your business or project means something to them. Don’t chase, but offer the pursuit. – Jonathan Martin, FilmQuest
Ask Questions They Don’t Anticipate
It’s important to look beyond the open position to evaluate if the candidate has the potential to move up within the organization. Ask open-ended questions to explore the candidate’s answers. By asking questions outside what’s anticipated, you’ll quickly learn their personality through what seems a casual yet structured interview. – Rick Nechio, Fresh Vine Wine
Give Them a Task to Complete
I give prospective hires a simple task to do (e.g., a time-limited and word-limited writing assignment via Google Forms, where I also include the job specs). If they don’t read or follow the instructions or ask questions, that’s an immediate “fail” for me. I’m able to screen early on for some basic qualities. – Nancy A Shenker, theONswitch
Ask Everyone the Same Screening Questions
Rather than using candidates’ resumes or LinkedIn profiles to decide who moves to the next stage, save yourself time and provide a more equitable hiring experience by giving every candidate the same set of meaningful brand screening questions. Let each candidate’s responses to the questions show off their personality, skill set and organizational fit to streamline your process. – Evan Nison, NisonCo
Standardize the Process
Finding talent can be way less of a headache if you standardize the process. Have a clear plan for how exactly you will be vetting each potential candidate and make sure everyone involved understands the process. Leveling the playing field makes it easy to see which talent stands out. – Christian Anderson (Trust’N), Lost Boy Entertainment LLC
Reversing roles has always worked out well for me when I’m hiring talent. Instead of asking the candidate questions, I would have them ask me questions and pretend they’re hiring me for the same position that I’m considering hiring them for. In doing so, you can quickly eliminate those who are confused and lost and move forward with those who are thought leaders and take charge. Works like a charm every single time. – Jenny Ta, GalaxE by HODL Assets, Inc.
Implement Team Interviewing
Team interviewing cuts down on the time it takes to interview and the feedback loops for the employer and candidate. When multiple people interview, feedback about the candidate is wholesome. We prefer to do two to three rounds of interviews with candidates, with a mixed bag of interviewers — one from HR, one from operations, one from marketing. This also puts candidates at ease since it then becomes a conversation. – Candice Georgiadis, Digital Day
Include an ‘Easter Egg’ in the Job Listing
Have a clear job description with a hidden “Easter egg” if the job requires attention to detail. Within the job listing, include a very specific instruction, such as to write “I’m your next podcasting intern” in the email subject line or to include the name of the applicant’s favorite social justice advocate or movement and why in the cover letter. Skip those candidates who miss this detail. – Jeffrey Zucker, Green Lion Partners
Rely on Referrals
Word-of-mouth can be your most powerful strategy. Relying on referrals, which is one of the oldest forms of spreading information, is a great way to hire talent. It allows you to pull from a trusted source of people who were personally referred and vetted by your valued employees. This helps with retention rates and ensures longevity with the talent that you used time, money and resources to train. – David Castain, David Castain & Associates
Advertise the Salary Range
Always include a salary range; it saves everyone time, and it’s also necessary for optimal candidate attraction. The best candidates are likely selective in which jobs they apply for because it takes a lot of time. If the offer is attractive enough for a job they are interested in, it will give those top candidates a reason to spend some of their time on your application. – Jenna Valleriani, Valleriani Consulting