Background image


01 Foundations

Before you ever read a resume or interview a candidate, implementing these foundational practices to save yourself time and money.

Be clear in quantifying what you want

Being clear in quantifying what you want in a candidate helps to establish a clear understanding of the skills, qualities, and experiences required for the role. This can improve the efficiency and accuracy of the hiring process and ensure that the best-fit candidates are identified and hired.

Structure your intake

Having a structured intake process helps to ensure that all applicants receive consistent information and instructions. This can improve the efficiency and fairness of the hiring process.

Generate interviews and rubrics

Building a canonical set of interview questions, with rubrics, ahead of time allows for objective and consistent evaluation of candidates based on pre-determined criteria. This helps to eliminate bias and ensure that everyone is evaluated on the same standards.

Offer a clear and competitive compensation package

Offer a clear and competitive compensation package that includes base salary, benefits, and any other perks that are relevant to the role and the industry. This helps attract top talent and reduce the risk of losing candidates to competitors.

Encourage employee referrals

Encourage employees to refer talented individuals for open roles. Employee referrals are often a highly effective way to find high-quality candidates and reduce the time and cost associated with the hiring process. #network

Diversify your hiring process

Consider using a variety of hiring methods, such as behavioral interviews, work samples, and assessments, to get a well-rounded view of a candidate's skills and abilities.

02 Running the System

Key “day-to-day” practices that cover everything from screening, assessing, and interviewing talent to making sure that you are creating a great employer brand through a positive candidate experience.

Use a holistic system to assess talent

A common mistake is over-fitting hiring decisions on a limited set of criteria. For example, focusing primarily on the programming and algorithmic skills of a software engineer and not paying enough attention to their communication and collaboration skills.
A holistic system balances criterion across person-job fit (PJ) and person-organization fit (PO).

Utilize pre-employment assessments

Consider using pre-employment assessments to gather additional data on candidates and determine if they have the required skills and abilities for the role. This can include cognitive ability tests, situational judgment tests, and work simulations.

Conduct thorough reference checks

Conduct thorough reference checks with the candidate's previous employers and colleagues to gain additional insights into their work experience and skills. This can help confirm your assessment of the candidate and reduce the risk of hiring the wrong person.

Consider diverse backgrounds

Make an effort to create a diverse hiring process and consider candidates from different backgrounds and experiences. This can lead to a more diverse and inclusive workplace and bring new perspectives and ideas to the company.

“Screen In” not “Screen Out”

Focus on identifying the best-fit candidates rather than eliminating the less-fit candidates. The goal is to proactively seek out and evaluate the strengths, skills, and qualities of potential hires rather than to simply identify their shortcomings and eliminate them from consideration. This approach helps to ensure that the hiring process is fair, inclusive, and results in a better-rounded pool of candidates.

Avoid cog-based thinking

Talent proxies are signals that we think stand for positive indicators of talent but in reality aren’t useful in determining fit. They are often prestige-based and trade on the association of the individual with an organization. For example, if the talent attended a prestigious university or worked at a prestigious company. The mistake in thinking is to use these proxies as short-cuts in hiring - clearly if they were talented enough to get into MIT or work at Google, they must be talented enough to work here.  

Examples of poor talent proxies:

1. Years of experience (in career, or with particular skills) 
2. Where they went to school 
3. What companies they worked at previously

Avoid magical questions

The “what’s your favorite interview question’ brand of business journalism continues to stoke the flame of belief that there exist magical questions that have the ability to predict real hiring outcomes. In truth, there are no silver bullets. There are only three classes of questions that have been shown to have predictive validity in interviews:  

•  Questions about past behavior  
•  Questions specifically about the work (work sample)  
•  Hypothetical work-specific scenarios that require a choice.

Use structured interviews

Conducting interviews in a structured way - giving the same interview to every candidate as well as scoring every candidate on a pre-determined rubric - is one of the most data and evidence-backed activities in all of hiring.

Avoid personality tests

Measuring someone’s personality during the hiring process is a fraught proposition - there currently do not exist any personality tests that show real predictability for pre-employment assessment.

Avoid “one shot” disqualifiers

This is when you disqualify candidates based on a single signal - “oh, they worked in banking and the pace of work there is too slow for them to be successful in my startup”.

Focus on potential and cultural fit

Instead of just looking at a candidate's current skillset, also focus on their potential for growth and their fit with the company culture. This can lead to a more successful long-term hire.

Make the candidate experience positive

The candidate experience is important and can impact the company's reputation and future hiring efforts. Make sure to provide clear communication, a respectful and professional interview process, and timely follow-up.

03 Learning and Improving

Hiring isn’t a fixed, closed process. These practices help you extend your hiring process beyond offer acceptance as well as improve and refine your practice as you grow.

Implement an onboarding program

Implement an effective onboarding program to help new hires acclimate to the organization, understand their role and responsibilities, and meet their coworkers. This helps new hires feel supported and sets the foundation for a successful and long-term relationship with the organization.

Embrace continuous learning and development

View hiring as a continuous process and invest in the development and growth of your employees. Offer training and learning opportunities to help them expand their skills and advance in their careers.

Regularly evaluate and improve the hiring process

Regularly evaluate the success of your hiring process and make changes as necessary. Consider conducting surveys of new hires, tracking metrics such as time-to-hire and offer acceptance rate, and seeking feedback from managers and recruiters.

Be realistic about what you can get

Often the talent available to you does not completely match your ideal of what you want. Traditional advice teaches you to “never compromise” on talent. This is a mistake because it doesn’t capture the risk and cost of delay. You’re hiring to get things done - what happens if those things don’t get done? You shouldn’t use this as an excuse to hire people who are not good fits, but you should use the information you are getting from the market about the talent that’s available to adjust your expectations for hiring.

Develop and measure key metrics to track progress

Measuring key metrics during the hiring process helps to track progress, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions. Examples of key metrics to measure include time-to-hire, offer acceptance rate, and candidate satisfaction.

Footer background

Find the right talent
with Tenarch

At Tenarch, we're all about high-leverage hiring. Our goal is to save you time and get you excited to talk to candidates again.