Lately, I’ve been working with people who say they’ve looked for months to try to find just the right person. I believe them. When I ask where they spend their time, they inevitably say that they spend way too long interviewing people who aren’t quite right. And, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Here’s how I spend time. First the preparation time, maybe a couple of hours
- Define the hiring strategy
- Analyze the job
- Write the job description
- Write the job ad; send it off to get it posted on the company’s site
- Let my personal network know
Now, the sourcing time, which varies depending on my activities:
- Explain to HR what I’m looking for. Since I’ve done a job analysis already, I can explain it clearly, and not spend too much time with HR.
- Job fairs, other sourcing activities
- Filter resumes, timeboxed to an hour each day. (For those of you claim you don’t have an hour, rethink what you are doing. Hiring is the most important role you have, aside from managing the project portfolio.)
- Develop the phone screen questions
Interviewing: up to 3 hours per candidate
- Phone screen each candidate who makes it to the “yes” pile. Am I happy with my results? If so, continue. If not, rethink my job analysis.
- Organize the interview matrix and interview the candidate
- Conduct follow-up meeting to evaluate the candidate
Assuming I want to go forward with an offer, spend about 2 hours, one on checking references and one on extending an offer.
If you start with interviewing, you haven’t spent enough preparing yourself or your team. Your hiring cost will be sky-high and you won’t get the people you really want. Spend a little time on a job analysis, and the rest of your work will fall into place.
When there are tons of candidates, your prep work is even more important. Spend a little time at the beginning and you’ll find you won’t waste much time.