What is included in the hiring process?

Your organization is growing and it’s time to recruit new employees. And chances are, you’ve decided to do the hiring yourself. But you’re unsure of how to go about it. Follow these easy steps to help ensure a smooth and successful hiring process.

1. Develop a clear job description.

First, determine what you’re looking for and put it down on paper. This will become your job description. The details should ideally be developed by a department supervisor, but you may also want to ask staff in the department to contribute.

Be sure to include:

  • Job title and reporting structure.
  •  The purpose of the position and its relation to the organization’s structure.
  • Overall responsibilities, decision-making authority, and typical daily activities.
  •  Required skills, knowledge, education and experience.
  • A bit of background about the organization.

2. Advertise the position.

Post on targeted websites, in community newsletters and on your website. Use social media tools such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Ask staff, colleagues and associates for recommendations. Use all avenues to get the word out about your open position.

3. Review the resumes.

Digging through resumes for a qualified applicant can be an arduous task, so here are some tips to help speed the process:

• Before looking at resumes, review your job description and jot down the key skills and experience you need. Then, compare each resume to your list. Look for keywords and phrases that match.
• Pull viable candidates and review experience continuity. Look for gaps in employment history. If a candidate looks worthy, make notes directly on his or her resume for future review before and during an interview.
• If you have too many solid candidates, consider conducting preliminary interviews by phone to narrow down your list.

4. Consider having qualified candidates complete an employment application form.

Once you identify promising candidates, you may want to have each applicant fill out a standard application form. Standardizing applications will enable you to quickly compare candidates, identify weaknesses or gaps in work history, and collect additional information that may not be in a resume. It will also help you tailor interviews for efficiency and avoid interview questions that may be sensitive or illegal.

5. Interview qualified candidates.

In an interview, you’ll want to be sure to ask about relevant skills and experience, nonprofit-specific training, and the candidate’s motivation for seeking employment with your organization. To gauge knowledge about the sector and specific interest in your organization, ask about sector-specific challenges and what the candidate knows about your organization’s history and mission. To make sure the candidate is a fit with your organization’s values, ask what he or she looks for in a position and organizational culture.

It’s important to note that when you hire an employee, you cannot discriminate on the basis of age, race, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and in some cases, veteran status. Therefore, understanding your interviewing responsibilities – what topics are sensitive or off-limits in an interview – is paramount.

6. Conduct reference checks.

As a prospective employer, you want to obtain a reference that clarifies an applicant’s strengths and limitations. So, be sure to ask former employers about the candidate’s job function, attitude and dependability, ability to take responsibility, relationships with co-workers, and advancement potential.

Keep in mind, to protect against lawsuits, employers you contact may limit the scope of their reference to date of employment, job title and compensation level. If you’re not getting enough information from HR or managers, consider asking the applicant to supply other references such as a co-worker or colleague, and don’t be afraid to reach out to your professional networks.

7. Draft a letter offering employment.

Once you’ve chosen a candidate, you’re going to want to write an offer of employment. This is a document that both you and the applicant will sign. The letter should include confirmation of title, compensation, employment status, job classification, description of benefits, first date of employment, orientation period (if any), and supervisor’s name and title. If you’re unsure, refer to a reputable hiring guide for tips and boilerplate language.

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