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How to get better at recruiting: best practice tips for getting the person you want

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    What are you good at? Maybe for you, it’s sports or hobby-related – or maybe the first thing that you thought of has to do with your job. Some people even believe they are good at reading people. Whatever came to mind,  it is very unlikely you would say recruiting or interviewing, but that is exactly what most people do when they are trying to recruit and interview for a new position. They just show up and rely on their interviewing skill. What don’t they do? They don’t practice. When you don’t practice, you’re setting yourself up to fail. It’s like showing up on a marathon day having never exercised and expecting to run your best time ever.

    Training helps you avoid this overconfidence bias.

    Recruiting is the name of the game in an employee-friendly job market. How do you set yourself apart from the crowd? How do you cut through all the noise and identify the ideal team player for your organization? And last how do you attract that type of person enough for them to notice you?

    In this blog, we will teach you a three-step process to recruit the type of ideal team player that will make your organization one step better. Recruiting is a long process, and it starts with creating your job ad.

    1st Step: Job Ad

    Your job ad is your external presentation of the core components of your job description, plus a little pizzazz. A job ad is the first impression you will make with potential applicants. A well-formatted and thoughtful job ad will be the first step in preventing the wrong person from applying or making it to the interview stage. The typical job ad is a copy-and-paste version of the job description—this is the wrong approach to use. Whirks recommends using 3 critical job elements in crafting your unique job ad that attracts or hooks the right person.

    #1- The Hook

    The hook is intended to entice the person who fits into your established values, culture, and why. Potential employees must see themselves reflected in the company’s beliefs and values. An overview is your company’s hook and call-to-action. It’s your why. Why did you start the company and where do you hope to be in the future? Remember your overview should be your hook. Ask yourself if this is inspiring or motivating, would you click on this ad to learn more?

    Tips that Whirk!

    1. Grab a statement from each of the four areas: values, Mission, Culture, and Vision
    2. What behaviors/characteristics are successful in the company?

    #2- Winning

    Winning is a list of 3-5 outcomes that define the best use of your time, energy, and talents. Creating a winning statement demands you focus on results rather than tasks. A strong winning statement creates clear expectations, a guiding plan, and a framework for feedback. 

    Winning is another term for performance evaluation. The winning concept is better defined by answering the following statement. “You can count on me to…” A job description will try to answer this by giving tasks or responsibilities but that is not what winning is for that role. 

    Tips that Whirk!

    1. You can count on me to make clients for life
    2. You can count on me to own training and development

    The winning statements are not tasks, but the outcomes associated with getting the critical tasks complete. This winning concept not only improves expectation management from the beginning, but it also creates a solid performance evaluation system.

    #3- Wow

    We get to talk about you! This is your WOW factor, something that gets people pumped, excited, and impressed about choosing your company.

    For example, what does your company do better than your competitors? What does your company do that no one else in your industry is doing? What are the things your employees LOVE about working for you?

    A WOW statement is something that no one else is doing or that everyone is doing — but you do it better.

    Tips that Whirk!

    1. FREE birthday lunches
    2. 35 to 70 earned hours of PTO every 12 months
    3. Holiday pay
    4. Performance bonus
    5. Referral bonus

    Whatever you decide to choose to wow—make sure you ask yourself, would this interest you enough to apply?

    2nd Step: Values/Scorecard

    Once you have a great job ad and hooked candidates are starting to fill your inbox, ensure you have a system in place to get the right people in the door. 

    Values clarify how a company will conduct its activities to achieve the vision; they represent the core principles and behaviors that are important.

    Values exist in every workplace — whether they’re written down or not. Your company’s culture is part of the outward demonstration of the values that currently exist in your workplace. The question you need to ask is whether these existing values are creating the workplace you desire or not.

    A company has functioning values and standards only to the extent that it has an effective management system (and skillful leaders) that will NOT TOLERATE deviations from those values. Intolerance means responding quickly to any and every instance of non-compliance with these set values. This takes a lot of courage and skill.

    It’s worth noting that a weak or non-existent value system requires a lot more management time than an effective one. A value system that is a living part of the culture takes extraordinarily little effort to sustain.

    The values form the foundation of a culture of teamwork, excellence, dignity, and respect, which in turn, contributes to a strong and ready company that can improvise, adapt, and overcome.

    A list of values can easily be copied from another organization or website, but this will never accomplish the goal of identifying your own unique set of values. Defining your core values is a process of discovery, not a wish list of cookie-cutter terms.

    Tips that Whirk!

    1. Solidify your core values
    2. Define the word by adding value statements
    3. Implement your values into your hiring practices through a scorecard

    Once you have your core values–ensure they address the following: 

    • They fit and help the company thrive 

    • They fall into alignment with culture and mission 

    • They make operational sense

    Example:

    HUMBLE

    The single greatest and most indispensable attribute of being a team player.

    HUNGRY

    People rarely have to be pushed by a leader because they are self-motivated and diligent.

    SMART

    A person’s common sense about people.

    COMPETENT

    Knowing what should happen in a situation

    Scorecard:

    Interview scorecards are important to quantify your gut. While every interview is a little different, it helps to have a go-to list of questions on hand. This can save you time and make your interviews more consistent, reducing the potential for bias in your hiring process.

    Scorecards will help determine if your ideal traits match the candidates’ attributes and/or characteristics. When you are creating your scorecard, follow these simple steps:

    1. Identify and annotate your bias. The first impression section is a simple question: hire or pass?

    2. Create a space for icebreakers. Use the in-person interview as a conversation and use the scripted questions as a place to start breaking the ice. The most important step is the follow-up questions. This is where having a conversation is needed: you are trying your best to get to know the real person and NOT the person wearing the mask. (We all wear one when we meet someone new).

    3. Noteworthy is the key. The scorecard facilitates the process by supplying a place where the interviewer can make notes during the interview about noteworthy items.

    4. Summary/comments. A scorecard has room allocated to ensure the interviewer has ample space to write noteworthy comments. 

    5. Scoring. Finally, this is the scoring or ranking section. The average of the score will coincide with the initial 1-5 scoring scale and if the average is below 3, the candidate is a pass and will end the hiring process. 4 or higher will indicate that the candidate is ideal for the next step of the process.

    3rd Step: Training

    We are not as good as we think we are. We need practice. Ensure your hiring team receives the proper amount of time to get comfortable asking the questions, listening for red flags or noteworthy comments, and completing the scorecard.

    Nobody is a full-time interviewer. Your hiring panel has roles and responsibilities outside of recruiting and interviewing. These second-hat responsibilities are not second nature to anyone. Helping your hiring panel prepare for interviews is crucial for a successful recruitment process. Not only do you need to identify the right candidates, but you also need to provide them with a positive interview process, so they’ll accept your potential offer. Training interviewers to identify and engage top-tier talent will ensure a smoother process for everyone involved.

    Mock Time:

    Mock time refers to a practice session where the interviewer goes through a mock or practice interview session to assess their strengths and weaknesses with the scorecard. 2-3 mock sessions are preferred before a live interview should be scheduled.

    Noteworthy:

    The questions on the scorecard are important to think through and analyze to ensure the character and fit over likeability and gut. While the interviewers are going through the questions, they must be very attuned to answers that are “noteworthy.”

    Noteworthy is defined as an answer to a question that caused the interviewer to want to ask a follow-up question or if it was a bad answer that was flagged. Noteworthy comments are super important to grade the overall interview by how many questions the interviewer has notes on.

    Scorecard:

    Last but not least, is the section to add the scoring or ranking. Do not go through all the trouble and forget to rack and stack the candidates according to your own developed, systemized, and objective process. Train your hiring panel to hold to the standard– no middle ground answers. If the score is 1-5, no 3.2 or 4.1 answers will be allowed. Once you have gone through an interview, your interview panel should complete their scorecard before discussing any items with you or any other member of the panel. 

    Knowing what to ask is important, but how to ask it and what to listen for is what separates good from the average. Use the interview time to cultivate a conversation with your potential candidate. If you are just going through the motions and you treat the interview as a box to check, then you will miss something. But if you treat this interview as a critical part of your job, then you will be set up for success.

    We all are good at something but it’s because we have practiced it a thousand times. The next time you sit down and talk through your recruiting strategy, remember you are not really that good at reading people. Talk through your culture, and what your company values. Then ask questions that will either lead to a yes this person aligns with our culture and values, or they do not. Don’t forget to practice, practice, practice. Recruiting is not an easy technique to master. It involves a series of skills and intuition that if done well can lead to potential candidates who are the right fit, at the right time, for the right role, and when we do that… we all win. Ready to learn how else we can help?

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    AUTHOR

    Greg Henderson

    Greg Henderson

    Greg brings over 20 years of military experience and operational knowledge into working first-hand with his clients as the HRO Manager at Whirks.