Every applicant wants to be “the one” who is offered the fabulous job posted on your website.
Some may just show up and hope for the best, but many are investing countless hours and money honing their interview skills to masterfully answer any questions you throw at them. They know the impression they make will impact their future. Since the hiring decision affects your future as well, shouldn’t you invest at least as much to make sure your choice is the right one?
With the push for automation and fast turnaround in a shallow applicant pool, it’s tempting to hire quickly and be prepared to let them go quickly if it doesn’t work out. This approach might make sense if you have a very limited hiring strategy (or lack one entirely).
But the situation changes when you define a hiring strategy with your hiring managers and work to improve their interview skills.
Hiring managers benefit in three key ways when HR leaders provide specific, well-defined, and proven training that gets measurable results.
Benefit 1: Unity of Purpose
In many training sessions, I hear HR leaders and hiring managers express genuine appreciation when they are finally on the same page when describing a top candidate and their common purpose. At first, they openly doubt their peers in other departments are looking for the same types of employees their team needs.
Using a common language to describe excellence and agreeing on a standard of quality helps leaders actually show more respect for each other. They are also less likely to circumvent the hiring process. This sense of shared purpose is a vital part of showing candidates you are at least as prepared as they are—hopefully more!
Interviewing is a natural way to create positive PR for your hiring team and your organization. When you’re clearly unified and on your A game, word spreads among candidates. When you’re not, the mavens of social media can be cruel.
Benefit 2: Leaders Learning to Listen
Quality interview skills training teaches professionals to use their ears and mouth in the proper ratio. When you ask a question, one learns to be quiet and listen… really listen to what the candidate has to say without probing or leading. This is the only way to learn something meaningful from a candidate and separate one candidate from another.
Without a clear understanding to separate candidates, your final hiring decision will be hit and miss. We call that average. When training as an interview team, you also learn to listen to each other and gain new perspectives from peers that causes you to hear candidates more clearly.
The best interview questions also include response criteria. Using specific criteria with questions teaches hiring managers to listen closely for responses that reflect the top talent you seek. Without criteria to guide your listening, you may end up hiring a skilled smooth talker instead of someone with more actual talent but less “woo.”
Benefit 3: Mutual Trust in a Consistent Quality of Hire
For most leaders, even in HR, hiring is only one piece of your performance goals. Of course, the quality of your people is the single most important impact you make as a leader. This is why an investment in interview skills training for hiring managers will demonstrate your wise, strategic stewardship over tight budgets. Leaders who hire with a unified purpose and listen for quality have more time to invest in achieving ambitious goals with their team and spend less time handling turnover.
When your hiring team actually works as a team, trust grows when discussing promotions or transfers among peers. As employees seek to expand their career goals, the consistent quality of people makes it easier to welcome a new face to the team.
The Long-Term Value of Interview Skills Training
In HR, we measure what matters most. Quality interview skills training for managers provides an opportunity to improve hiring decisions with specific ways to measure the results of one candidate to another. This is easily done with a coding system that helps you score how a candidate responds to a question compared to the criteria. Measurement over time helps verify if your hiring decisions are getting the desired results.
Scoring not only helps you make an informed hiring decision, but it can also guide specific areas of performance monitoring on the job. When your data from hiring and job performance measures match, that feedback indicates the interviewers’ skills are effective. If they don’t match, you can take steps to improve an interviewer’s skills or their training.
The best HR leaders and hiring managers I meet moved into leadership because they love to bring out the best in people and help them succeed. Every time they interview a candidate, something inside them secretly hopes this person is “the one.” They want to take off their interviewer hat and put on their developer hat to begin coaching this person right away.
With a unified interview team, these leaders can face hiring with the will not to settle and experience the thrill of quickly recognizing candidates who will become their very best employees.