14 Helpful Hints to Streamline Your Hiring Process

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Welcome to Recruiter Q&A, where we pose employment-related questions to the experts and share their answers!

Today’s Question: What technology or personal system do you use to streamline the hiring process? How does it help?

The answers below are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs in the employment market.

john1. Ask for Employee Referrals

Before we put out a public job posting, we first ask our employees for referrals. Asking your employees if they know anyone who would be a good fit can cut the hiring process time in half. Plus, your talented employees are sure to know other quality candidates and can vouch for their work ethic, so you won’t be hiring someone blindly.

John Turner, SeedProd, LLC 

dave2. Have Applicants Submit Information Through Google Forms

There are plenty of great, free tools out there to build your hiring process! For example, Google Forms is an easy (and free) tool I use for job applications. I set up specific fields for candidates to answer for each position. I can view submissions in a spreadsheet where I can filter candidates I’d like to talk with.

Dave Nevogt, Hubstaff 

rachel3. Use Project Management Software to Track Progress

We use a shared Trello board to streamline the hiring process. We have cards with checklists for every document we need to collect from our applicants and every important thing we need to send to new hires to make sure they are onboarded properly.

Rachel Beider, PRESS Modern Massage 

solomon4. Handle Everything Through One Internal Communication Platform

We use Microsoft Teams for internal communication, and this technology also helps us streamline the hiring process. We add the new hire into the system, and they immerse themselves in the business processes, meet the team, and get access to necessary resources. It’s very convenient for us, since we have a diverse international team with many employees working remotely. The app helps everybody to adapt.

Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS 

rana5. Ask Questions That Provide Insight Into How the Candidate Thinks

Most people’s resumes and cover letters look more or less the same. People know how to make themselves look good on paper. What I want to learn is how they think. A personal favorite: “If your car broke down and your phone were dead, what would you do?” There is no right or wrong answer.

Rana Gujral, Behavioral Signals 

matthew6. Have Candidates Schedule Their Own Reference Calls

At the onset of the hiring process, I advise candidates they will be required to schedule phone calls with myself and their prior employers. I find this helpful for two reasons. First, it keeps them honest about their prior work experiences, as they know I will be speaking with their prior employers. Second, it shifts the burden of scheduling the call to the candidate and reduces my workload.

Matthew Podolsky, Florida Law Advisers, PA 

arry7. Track the Process Like a Sales Pipeline

A spreadsheet is usually my go-to in the hiring process. I treat the process like a sales pipeline and only note the candidate’s status (e.g., “pending,” “yes,” “no,” etc.). It’s best to have one master copy of the spreadsheet, and then conduct semi-regular syncs with other recruiters in the company to update the status. In addition, you may want to explore buying software to track the people being interviewed or hired.

Arry Yu, Yellow Umbrella Ventures 

ismael8. Conduct Video Prescreen Interviews

Once you speak to someone face to face, it is surprising how quickly you can tell if they’re the wrong person for the job. By getting candidates to have a quick Skype call you can save yourself and the candidate a lot of time. An informal 10-minute call should proceed any formal interview invitation. I can’t imagine how many working hours I have saved due to the power of video calls.

Ismael Wrixen, FE International 

bryce9. Take Advantage of Job Posting Services

Using a service like Spark Hire or ZipRecruiter can save a great deal of time when looking for new hires. These services, as well as many others like them, take care of the busy work by posting your listings on all the top recruiting sites. These services are all more or less the same, so just pick whichever one interests you. You’ll save a substantial amount of time and effort.

Bryce Welker, Beat The CPA 

brian10. Use Special Instructions to Filter Out Candidates

I always include special instructions in the job posting, like “Name your favorite movie” or “Include ‘865’ in the subject line when applying.” Anyone who doesn’t follow the instructions is eliminated automatically. We may end up getting rid of some qualified candidates, but we’re also getting rid of the ones who don’t have an eye for detail.

Brian David Crane, Caller Smart Inc. 

john11. Review Portfolios on LinkedIn and Freelance Job Sites

I like the tools that LinkedIn and freelance job marketplaces offer for job posts, resume reviews, and initial connections with prospects. It makes it easy for me to scan for the talent I’m looking for and review their portfolios, skills, and comments from others who have worked with them.

John Rampton, Calendar 

blair12. Create a Comprehensive New Employee Handbook

We created an extensive new employee guide that explains our company values, what new hires need to take care of during their first two weeks on the job, and whom they need to contact if they have questions. The goal is to build an all-in-one guide that answers some of the most common questions new hires have when they join.

Blair Williams, MemberPress 

blair13. Conduct Panel Interviews to Save Time

A major time saver in the hiring process is to use panel interviews. It cuts down on people asking the same questions, and it also allows interviewers to get the same firsthand accounts. Having every panel member write a short list of pros and cons after the interview also streamlines the process.

Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker 

syed14. Know Your Red Flags

While not a technology, our personal system helps us interview only the most qualified applications. We use a red flag system to determine if an applicant is going to be a good fit. For instance, one of our indicators that someone isn’t a good fit is talking badly about their past employers in the application/interview. Our red flags help us quickly narrow our list of potential hires.

Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner 

By Recruiter Q&A