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Hiring in the New Year: Resolutions for 2015

Every New Year is a time to reflect on the past year, a time to consider how well it went, and what will improve hiring practices for this next year. The first resolution is to write out a change-implementation plan and then stick to it.

Forbes reports that research into human behavior shows that having goals is important and so is writing them down. The study started in 1979. It looked at financial success of Harvard graduates who achieved an MBA degree. Of the graduates, 3% had formal written goals, 13% had unwritten goals, and 84% did not have any goals. Ten years later, the 13% with goals earned twice what those that had no goals earned. The 3% that had written goals earned ten times as much as other graduates.

The importance of having clear written goals is clear, however, what should the goals be? Taylor Cotterel of Deseret News suggests:

  • Hire when others are not hiring – When competition is less active, it means fewer companies go after the same highly qualified candidates. The classic example is when a great candidate wants to transition to a new job and is looking during the month of December at a time when normally most companies’ hiring activities are diminished.
  • Allow plenty of time for the interview process – Normally this is six to eight weeks at a minimum.
  • Time interviews to avoid scheduling conflicts – It makes no sense to get great candidates lined up at a time when a senior manager that must be part of the interview process cannot participate.
  • Check time constraints of job applicants – If a job must be filled be a certain date, an applicant with a time-constraint that prevents taking the job by the deadline is disqualified.

To these good suggestions, add a few more:

  • Hire from within/without simultaneously – Running both of these processes concurrently makes more sense. It is more efficient, fairer, and usually produces better candidates.
  • Use an applicant tracking system – Letting both the interviewers and the applicants understand the complete interview process, the steps needed, and the timing required, moves things along more smoothly.
  • Create new positions for exceptionally qualified candidates – One way is to create a short-term project before they assume the full-time position.
  • Maintain contact with candidates who may fill positions in the future – Once a good candidate is identified, but the hiring did not happen for some reason, they still are good candidates for future openings.
  • Be active in industry and professional associations – Most of the best hires are people who are already working elsewhere. This is one way to find them.
  • Whatever turned out poorly last year, don’t do it the same way again! – Write this goal down for sure and stick it on the wall.

May this year be exceptional with lots of human resource success!

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