Tips for Emerging Leaders: Interviewing and Hiring

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Successfully leading a team can be one of the most rewarding aspects of a professional’s career. However, addressing a diverse group effectively can be difficult for new leaders. From open communication and recognition to delegation and empowerment to self-awareness and empathy, there are a plethora of leadership arrows professionals must carry in their quivers to be successful. So during this series, we will examine 12 areas of focus and reveal practical tips to help new leaders in some of the most important aspects of leadership. Twelfth up: interviewing and hiring.

Interviewing and Hiring

Whether due to turnover or expansion, one challenge new leaders will face early in their careers is interviewing candidates and hiring employees who fit culturally and who have the skillsets to meet the needs of their companies. According to Glassdoor, corporate job openings receive an average of 250 resumes per post, with only four to six actually interviewing for the position. Narrowing hundreds of applicants down to the right person for the job can be a daunting task, and depending on your industry and company size, you may be engaged in this process semi-regularly. But, regardless of whether you lead a team of two or 200, the aspects of screening, interviewing, and hiring remain the same.

  1. Imagine the Ideal Candidate

Hiring the wrong person for a job not only costs organizations time and money, but it can also hinder productivity and employee morale. That’s why doing the work before hiring will pay dividends in the end. It’s imperative to not only be thorough when screening and interviewing, but it’s also important to know exactly what you want and need in a candidate before you begin your search. While making a job description, create a list of qualities and skills the perfect candidate should have. You wouldn’t start building a house without a blueprint, and the same could be said about hiring an employee. And while it may be unrealistic to hire the perfect candidate during a recruiting crunch, you still can prioritize your needs to find the best available person for the job. When reviewing resumes, distinguish between “must haves,” “nice to haves,” and traits the candidate would have if you had your druthers. Dream big but be realistic.

  1. Master Video Interviews

While some businesses are back to in-person work, the video interview is here to stay. According to a recent study by the Harris Poll on behalf of Express Employment Professionals, 61% of hiring managers say they have conducted remote video interviews. However, this medium doesn’t come without its problems. The study found that more than 2 in 5 hiring decision-makers (43%) say they are tougher with candidates in remote interviews as compared to in-person, including how they judge an interviewee’s appearance or if they have a messy background. Before you begin an interview, create a hierarchy of expectations of what the ideal candidate will be like, how they interact, their skills/experience, and overall professionalism. A simple rule is to make no distinction between in-person or video interviews. Technical issues can also be a problem, so be sure to practice and master the video platform to ensure no lags or potential problems.

  1. Hiring

After screening and interviewing candidates and finding the right one for the job, the next challenge is giving the job offer. While this may seem to be the simplest part of the process, it can also be difficult to land your ideal candidate. Depending on the market, a job candidate may have other offers on the table and could be weighing their options. In the current climate, companies are having a difficult time recruiting workers to fill job orders, so they are experimenting with different incentives to entice a job candidate. According to the Harris study, a quarter of businesses are offering remote work to close hiring gaps they’re seeing in their market. Others are offering flexible work options, highly competitive compensation, benefits, bonuses, etc. to fill the job. In a tight labor market, the candidate has more negotiation power during this stage of the hiring process. Before offering a job, know what incentives your company is and isn’t willing to offer to land a candidate. If the candidate checks everything off the list, it may be worth it to offer more. If not, return to and review other candidates you’ve already interviewed.

What are some important hiring tips you’ve learned during your career? How has a focus on effective interviewing helped you build a successful team? Let us know in the comments section below!

Express Employment International supports the Express Employment Professionals franchise and affiliated brands, including Specialized Recruiting Group and Express Healthcare Staffing. The Express franchise brand is an industry-leading, international staffing company with franchise locations in the U.S., Canada, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. 

To provide accurate and timely employment forecasts for business leaders, Express Employment Professionals commissions an ongoing Job Insights survey to track employment and hiring trends across a wide range of industries. The Job Insights survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Express Employment Professionals between March 23 and April 12, 2021, among 1,009 U.S. hiring decision-makers.  

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