When the calendar flips to 2019, company managers typically return from their holiday break and are available to participate in hiring decisions.

It can be helpful to remind yourself of best practices as hiring processes start firing up after the holidays. In particular, it’s important to make sure your interview process is finely tuned. One or two small errors there can set a process back significantly, or increase the odds of a bad hire.

Even if you are out of practice, it doesn’t hurt to brush up on hiring and interview tips. Consider the following reminders as your company starts off its hiring in 2019.

Identify the ideal candidate

The most efficient process can get long and drawn out if the objective hasn’t been identified. For the hiring process, that means establishing what your ideal candidate looks like.

Start by talking to people who work the same job. Ask them what technical skills are essential, what experience is valuable and what personality traits are helpful. Be sure to determine both desired technical skills and qualities for cultural fit.

Write a targeted job description

Writing a good job description can go a long way to making your hiring process as efficient as possible. For instance, if you write a job description that sets a high bar for candidates, you’re likely to get a small pool of very qualified applicants, but might lose out on people who feel intimated. Conversely, if your job description sets a low bar, your quality of application will go down and your volume will go up, but you increase the odds of finding a diamond in the rough.

Determine the right interview format

It’s important to figure out what situation would be ideal for getting the best answers from your applicants. Would holding it in a conference room allow for much-needed focus? Or would it be better to see them in public at a busy cafe?

Some companies bring applicants into the office or worksite to see how they interact with would-be co-workers, employees and supervisors. This approach also allows applicants to get a sense of how your business functions.

The length of the interviews should around 30 minutes, for non-manager jobs and up to 90 minutes for managerial positions.

Identify the right interviewers

It’s standard practice to include the potential supervisor and an HR manager. For in-depth positions, including a potential co-worker and/or subordinate can be useful. Using three interviewers is common, and the number of interviewers could go up to around five for executive and other top positions.

Be open and transparent with candidates

After screening resumes, make it a priority to provide the remaining candidates with the information they need to perform well. For the interview, that means telling candidates the names of interviewers, how long the interview will last and a phone number to call for questions.

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At ZDA, we assist our clients with their talent acquisition processes, so they can put more time and energy into other core business activities. Please contact our supply chain recruiting experts today to find out how we can help your company.