Interviewing recruiters is not easy because few people go to college to become head hunters. You must have an interview process that works for you, or you will end up throwing money at people who have no chance of making it in this business. Below are 5 steps to follow in every hiring process:
- Start with a phone interview - Why do owners and mangers bring prospective hires in to meet them face to face when a recruiter spends the majority of his time on the phone? I believe that a phone interview is the first step. While conducting the interview, I listen for verbiage, questions, and listening skills. The entire time I ask myself if I would return this person’s call and want to speak with this person. If I wouldn't, why would a candidate or an employer return this person’s call?
- Listen to their questions - Are they asking "why" questions or "how" questions? Why questions are out of curiosity and mean the person has an interest in the answer. How questions mean the person relies on others for the answers rather than figuring it out for himself. Do you want an environment where people are willing to take risk or an environment where they are dependent on you for every decision?
- 20 minute timer - In an effort to prevent my personal bias, I have a note on my interview form for when the interview reaches the 20 minute mark or after about 10 questions. If I like the person, I intentionally make the interview more difficult by providing minimal feedback, sitting forward and trying to make the person a little uncomfortable. If I do not like the person, I try to make the interview easier by making the person more comfortable and relaxed by smiling and laughing.
We all have personal biases and prejudices. Admit to them and try to work through them.
- Ask this question, "What has been the greatest adversity in your life and how did you overcome it?" I have had people tell me about friends dying, learning to swim, going to college and going through an ugly divorce, to name a few. The answer doesn’t matter. I want to know how: How did they work through it? Who did they talk to? and How long did it take to get back on their feet? We deal with adversity (turn downs, no shows, counter offers) daily. Does adversity ruin the person’s day, or is he or she able to stay on task?
- 1-on-1 lunches - Every new hire in our office goes out to lunch with each person in the office until he or she has met with everyone in the office. We schedule the lunches for Tuesdays and Thursdays. The new hire receives a note indicating the scheduled lunch the first day he or she arrives. Although it’s expensive, the relationships formed are the foundation to improving the team and the culture of the company. If interaction is not scheduled, people may go weeks without working with the new hires because they are working on completely different recruiting projects.
These are only 5 small steps in our hiring process to ensure we get the person we want. In short, detail your process; believe in your process; and follow your process every time - without exception. The results are better hires who understand the career they are choosing.