This post was originally published on Great Leadership by Dan, June 4, 2020


Recently, I was working with an executive who shared a job description for a new IT position. He leads a rapidly growing company so there were going to be multiple hires for the same position in a short period of time. As he spoke about the position and the next steps in his hiring process, I became uneasy.


Why was I concerned? Because of the things I didn’t hear him say. As he continued to describe his hiring process, it became clear to me that his process was flawed and without adjustments, he would end up with an individual that would probably depart in less than a year. A very costly mistake, when the salary for position was $120K.


As I questioned him, the first gap I identified in his hiring process was a high opportunity for bias. The interview team was comprised of three “old guard” employees none of whom had been trained in screening and interviewing candidates specifically around bias. We all have unconscious biases, yet many hiring managers don’t understand the risk bias brings when hiring an employee. Using validated hiring assessments, is one technique that can help decrease hiring bias. If you are using an assessment, make sure it is validated for hiring. And if you aren’t using one, find one!


This company had big growth plans and had been quickly hiring to meet their growth needs, yet their process wasn’t consistent. Today with the shortage of talent, a consistent process can provide companies with a more expedited hiring process, a critical component to attracting and hiring top players. In addition to an inconsistent process, none of the managers had been trained on behavioral interviewing techniques.


High growth companies have a unique challenge, and that is identifying new employees who can grow and develop with the company. Too often employers hire for their current needs and don’t evaluate a candidate’s potential. This is especially important for a fast-growing company. Now, measuring potential can be difficult when you don’t have any historical information from a candidate sitting across from you. So, what questions can you ask that would uncover a candidate’s potential? From my experience, high growth companies need people who are competent in embracing change, emotional intelligence and continuous learning.


And finally, have an onboarding process that starts the minute a candidate accepts your offer. Get them engaged with you and your team before their first day. This will decrease the likelihood of them having “buyer’s remorse” and not showing up for their first day of a work, a phenomenon which has been increasing the last few years.


So, if you are a high growth company with multiple job openings, take these steps to speed up the hiring process, increase hiring success and talent retention. When you follow these steps you will decrease the time to hire and retain talent that will grow with your company.


1. Identify a validated hiring assessment and develop job profiles using the assessment. Then measure each candidate against those assessment profiles. Also train your managers on how they can decrease their bias during the hiring process. Both assessments and training will decrease your hiring bias.


2. Train your hiring managers on how to conduct a behavioral interview. This requires understanding the related actions and behaviors that will demonstrate future success. It also increases consistency in the hiring process.


3. Decrease the timeline of the hiring process. Evaluate your current hiring process, is it ready for hyper growth? This Hiring Process Checkup can serve as a start to your evaluation. Panel/team interviews is one method to decrease the time to making a hiring decision.


4. Focus on uncovering a candidate’s potential, not just their skills and experience. Understand the core competencies of the specific position and include these three competencies critical to companies with high growth: emotional intelligence, learning mindset, and embracing change.


5. And finally, review your onboarding process and make sure that it starts BEFORE the employee’s first day. A study from the Aberdeen Group found that 83% of high performing organizations started onboarding employees before the first day. Our Onboarding Plan Questions can help you with your review.