Intelligent Hiring: The Assimilation Process

by Ty Bello
Posted On: 1/3/2018

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We all know that hiring quality employees is important. Now more than ever, it is critical to have the right steps in place to identify, qualify, hire and retain quality team members, but in reality, it is always the right time for that.

Regardless if we are in an uptick or downturn economy, we should be looking at interviewing and hiring with a new, exciting and fresh perspective. While unemployment is down we still need to grab onto some new blood for our team.

There are plenty of "A" and "B" candidates out there and we just need to find them. However, that really is not true. We need to do more than just find them, we need to engage them. Finding recruits is easy. Getting them onboard and, better yet, assimilated to our team is a totally different thing. Notice the change in our hiring vocabulary. We used to say "onboarding," but today's recruit wants to not just be hired or onboard they want to take in information, ideas and culture – or  "assimilate."

The ABCs of Assimilation

The greatest obstacles we face in our assimilation process are poor interviewing skills and process, lack of assessment tools and no job description. These are the ABCs of a great assimilation process.

We must move away from "pulse hiring" -- you know, "If they have a pulse hire them."

The first thing we need is to develop an assimilation process using the ABCs above.  The candidates that want to be on your team will be looking for key criteria in the business they commit to. This goes beyond impressing the candidate. It actually is a proven methodology that filters out the bad from the good candidates.

We need to have a strong interviewing process that will promote a strong organizational culture. These first steps of the interviewing process should include the following components, regardless of position for which you're recruiting.

•    Quality adverting, including Web-based
•    Initial interview by phone
•    Two to three face-to-face interview process including scripted questions
•    Assessment tools and job description (To be given and provided respectively after interview #2)

The interviewing process has three very distinct purposes. First, we are seeing if the candidate is qualified, and then if the candidate has the aptitude for the job. Last is whether there a cultural fit. We will cover this deeper in this article.

Where to Begin

A good interview always starts with two factors. A clear understanding of the position that is open and the requirements to fulfill that role and a complete review of the candidates' application and resume. Your role is to have completed all of this prior to the interview. Too often, we escort the candidate into our office and then ask them to give us a moment while we review their application and resume. Wrong.

Starting with a phone interview allows you to hear before you see. This is a perfectly relaxing opportunity for both the interviewer and the candidate. Most phone interviews take place in the evening. You can either schedule the phone interview or cold call the candidate.

Once the candidate has qualified past the phone interview, it is time for the face-to-face interviews. At this point, the candidate has passed through the qualification phase where the resume, references, and phone interview reveal he or she qualifies for the job.

Assessing Aptitude

Now we need to move into the aptitude phase of the interviewing process. Does the candidate possess the ability to do the job based on his or her experience and your job description? To begin this phase, review your notes from that initial call, be on time and greet the candidate with a firm handshake. I know this sounds elementary, but if you want this candidate, then impressions matter.

With this being the first step in the aptitude phase, you do not need to provide the candidate with a tour of the company, but that should be a part of the second face-to-face interview. Also, this interview should be with only you. Other leaders should be included in round two and three of the interviewing process. These leaders should be identified in advance and must receive a briefing on the candidate's qualification and aptitude phase information. These other leaders must also be equipped with the questions they are responsible for asking.

As a trained interviewer, you must be prepared with questions that will lead the candidate into a deeper understanding of the job and their possible role and that will help you make a clear decision regarding the candidate's aptitude.

The interview process should be broken down into three phases;

•    Introduction phase (2-5 minutes)
•    Aptitude phase (35-40 minutes)
•    Position/organization information phase (10-15 minutes)

As you further qualify the candidates to whom you are considering making an offer, you must incorporate assessment tools. These tools will further qualify the candidate's behaviors, tendencies, communication, listening and selling skills as applicable to the job for which they are applying. This is part of the cultural phase that will show if this candidate fits with the culture of your business.

This is probably more than many of you have done in your business before. It is an understatement to say the hiring process of the past just does not work with today's candidates. Change is hard and, yes, this will take you more time, but it will also afford you a strongly vetted candidate. Ultimately this is an investment in the future of your business.