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PROSERVICE BLOG

Best Practices for Conducting Effective Interviews

by Tyler Tuipulotu | March 6, 2019

Employers in Hawaii are becoming increasingly frustrated with the state’s very low unemployment rate, and as a result, the challenge of finding skilled talent to fill open roles. To compete, employers should look at how they are recruiting and attracting qualified employees.

Specifically, more and more studies have shown that traditional interview techniques are becoming less effective. According to Glassdoor, each corporate job offer attracts 250 resumes. Of those candidates, four to six will get called for an interview, and the one that gets offered the job could choose not to accept it. So how can employers conduct more effective interviews to lead to more job offers being accepted?

Here are seven best practices leveraged by our own HR professionals to hire the best talent.

Create the perfect job description

The job description is often the candidate’s first glimpse into your company’s culture, and if done right, will encourage the right candidate to apply while also minimizing applications from unqualified candidates. To learn how to craft job descriptions that attract the right candidate, check out this blog post.

Advertise the open position

From hiring a recruiter to help promote the position, to using local job boards, or even encouraging team members to post available positions on their personal social networks, getting in front of a wide range of candidates is an important step in finding the perfect fit.

Screen candidates

Don’t waste your time – or the time of potential hires – by not doing your homework. Use work history forms, telephone interviews, and technical screenings when applicable to narrow down who to bring in for an interview. An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can also help by making the recruiting process more efficient through automation, specifically in resume screening. Weeding out the wrong type of candidate will give you a better idea of exactly what you are looking for in the right one.

Use Topgrading interview techniques

Topgrading is a comprehensive interview technique that gives a holistic view of a candidate’s professional background and personality. Candidates are classified as “A, B, or C Players”, and the goal of using this process is to create a high-quality workforce with top-performing “A-player” employees. By asking chronological questions about past events, challenges, successes, and what has led to their current experience, skills, and knowledge, you can better understand the candidate’s motivations and values. Example questions include, “Give an example of a problem you faced and how you solved it,” or “Describe a typical day at your previous job.”

It’s important to ask only job-related questions and ask the same questions to all candidates to remain unbiased. Keep your questions open-ended and ask for specific examples, and use an evaluation form to take good notes and debrief with your colleagues immediately following the interview.

Trust us, it works! We use Topgrading here at ProService, and it’s one of the reasons why we have such a hardworking team dedicated to delivering outstanding customer service.

Evaluate candidates

The best way to retain all the information shared during each interview is to use a standard evaluation form and complete it immediately after the session. Choose 15-20 competencies to compare candidates in areas like technical ability, communication skills, drive/problem solving, teamwork, and interest in company, which will help to evaluate whether the candidate is a right fit for the role and for your company culture. Score each candidate based on how their answers match up to the criteria, while also including any additional comments on what made the candidate stand out. At this stage, it’s important to ask, “Do we have enough information to make a good decision?” and “Do we want this person to work for us?”

If you can’t answer yes to both questions, keep looking for the right candidate!

Make the offer

Congratulations, you’ve found the right hire for the role! Make the job offer verbally with a window to accept or decline, and follow-up in writing when accepted. Key items to include in an offer letter package are: a welcome note, contingencies, salary, effective date, benefits, any special agreements (unpaid time off in the first year, etc.), the job description, and whether there will be an introductory period. And make sure to think about which items are negotiable in case the candidate makes a counteroffer.

Onboard new hires

The hiring process doesn’t end at the offer letter. It’s important to train and encourage new hires to succeed. By making your onboarding program and processes engaging, new hires feel welcomed and empowered with knowledge about your business. Use managers who know and love the business to welcome new staff and involve senior leaders to show top-down involvement.

With more and more companies in Hawaii competing in the same talent pool, it’s crucial for business owners to make the interview process effective. Learn more about these best practices and the five core elements of a comprehensive total rewards program to help you find and hire the right talent in our upcoming webinar, “Win Talent With a Total Rewards Strategy.” Learn more here!

Tyler Tuipulotu

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tyler Tuipulotu serves as ProService Hawaii's Talent Acquisition Consultant, where he is responsible for driving all recruitment and talent acquisition activities. Tyler has been with ProService since November 2014 and has held roles as a customer service associate and recruiting coordinator prior to becoming a talent acquisition specialist. He recently received the SHRM Talent Acquisition Specialty certification, the first and only professional in Hawaii to do so. Tyler regularly volunteers with various student organizations at the Shidler College of Business.