As a new hire at KPA, and having been on both sides of the interviewing table, I’m familiar with interview styles and how widely varied they can be! As a manager, you want a candidate with the right skills who’s the right “fit” with the team. How do you choose the best candidate? How do you prepare for this new hire? And, what should you do after they arrive?
- Evaluate each candidate objectively. Everyone has personal biases, so hiring is a great exercise in self-reflection and how to remain truly objective when writing job descriptions/ads, engaging in recruiting activities, looking at resumes, and interviewing people.
A recent LinkedIn Talent Solutions report backs up previous research about how gender dynamics factor into employers’ recruiting and hiring practices. Your perceptions about someone’s education, ethnicity, and geography are other considerations to keep in mind.
- Assess a candidate’s soft skills. What really came through during my KPA interviews was how my interviewers weren’t just looking at my resume of past experiences but whether I also had the right kind of attitude and integrity. How do I prioritize multiple urgent tasks? How do I deal with pressure both at work and outside of it?
Another strategy to consider are having your top candidates take a personality test. While some employers eliminate applicants from jobs based on an initial questionnaire, conducting a personality test as part of your interview process may give you more insights. At KPA, we use a personality assessment from OPUS Productivity and rather than feeling like it was an elimination tactic, this assessment felt inviting and helped solidify that I was a good fit. It also gave me perspective about my team’s leadership and personality styles and how we might get along.
- Be transparent. Nothing is worse than getting the runaround. I found the process with KPA to be a positive contrast to some of my past experiences. Everyone was responsive and upfront about important things like salary and the hiring timeline. I knew right away if this was a position that was in my range and my expectations were well-managed. Now as an employee, I’ve found that this trend has continued during my onboarding process and has made for a smooth transition.
- Engage in thoughtful onboarding. The team effort between HR and managers is crucial during a new employee’s first few weeks. As a new employee, I found it incredibly helpful when both HR and my manager set expectations before and after I started the job. At KPA, before my first day, I received a schedule of my initial meetings and tasks. Then, once I started, I received a longer-term training schedule. Combining this schedule with daily meetings, my manager boosted my confidence in the face of a brand-new beginning.
- Build a partnership. Training a new hire is like taking on a second job, but the time investment is worth the extra effort, especially if it results in a committed and engaged employee! Encourage your managers to get to know their employees, their work style, and what motivates them. There’s nothing wrong with a manager asking their employees questions like, are we meeting often enough for you? Are you feeling confident in where to find information to complete your tasks?
When I was a manager, I made an extra effort with brand new and entry-level employees. I spent more time with them and established that my purpose was to be their advocate and to ensure they had positive and educational experiences that would help build their overall career. As a result of my time investment, I was able to improve my team’s retention over previous years.
From both an employer’s and a new employee’s point of view, a hiring and onboarding process that’s a mix of transparency, proactiveness, and best practices sets everyone up for success!