Good Hiring Practice
Secrets to Non-Profit Hiring
Is your nonprofit chronically short-staffed? No time to focus on interviewing? Are major deadlines bearing down? Ironically, this is exactly when staffing demands the most attention. Rushing through the hiring process only sows the seeds for future turnover and time-consuming management problems. To build and retain a strong and committed staff, follow these 10 best practices.
Establish the schedule for the hiring process before doing anything. The organization’s major stakeholders will support an organized process. The best candidates will often wait for a decision as long as they know the hiring schedule. Don’t skip important steps in the hiring process because of external pressure from major funders, the board or anyone else. Desperation is the root of all evil in hiring; avoid it at all costs.
Hire for talent and skill, not personality. When a good person vacates a position, don’t automatically try to hire someone “just like” him/her. Design work teams to have people with diverse and complementary skills and abilities. To avoid hiring based on personality, list the skills and attributes that would make the team stronger. Identify the patterns of behavior that would help someone achieve the critical goals of this position. List what would be innately rewarding about this job, and what kind of person would thrive in it—then look for that person, not necessarily who is best liked in the interviews.
Network. Think creatively about how to reach people and don’t recruit exclusively via ads. Advertising will invariably miss applicants who are not actively looking and instead will tend to attract people who are perpetually looking—the dreaded job jumpers who are hardest to retain. Rather than spending precious time sifting through bad resumes, consider a different approach. Reach out to your Rolodex contacts, use your board of directors, your donors, your members and your professional associations. Write an attractive and clear one-page description of the job, including salary and benefits, and e-mail it to as many people as possible. Post open jobs prominently on the organization’s web site.
Tell it like it is. Market the job accurately and only to a small, targeted audience. It’s fine if 99 percent of job seekers are not interested in the job, because it only takes one to fill it! Employers earn respect from candidates by openly sharing both good and bad information about the job right up front. It is perfectly acceptable to share a job’s salary range with candidates prior to the first interview. Don’t wait until the end of the second interview to share bad news about a low salary, long hours or funding instability. The right candidate will rise to the challenge and candidates with major concerns will drop out before consuming valuable interviewing time.
Hiring is a team sport. Involve the work team and an objective third party (like a board member) in the interview process. Use the hiring process to build consensus on goals and expectations. If the work team helps to select a candidate, they will be more committed to helping that person succeed. Different people observe different things in an interview. The wisest decisions depend on including diverse input. Managers often find that they have a much better ability to evaluate the candidate’s responses when they are not leading the interview.
Listen in the first interview, talk in the second. Too many organizations spend the first interview selling instead of interviewing and then waste more time bringing back the wrong people for a second interview. Have someone phone-screen everyone prior to the first interview to be sure hours, location and salary are acceptable. Have a seasoned interviewer conduct the first interview and explain to the candidates that the first interview is primarily to learn about them, the second is for them to learn about the organization. Avoid giving a tour of the facility to anyone except a finalist. The best way to find time for the finalist is to save time with all other candidates throughout the process.
Focus the interview on the desired attributes and competencies. Don’t be misled by a candidate’s enthusiasm and commitment to the organization. Commitment to the cause is not enough to ensure success. The role must be a good match for the candidate’s attributes and skills. Determine whether the job duties will be innately rewarding or a constant struggle. People are more successful and far easier to manage when their job matches their innate abilities. Never hire an enthusiastic candidate who supports the organization but is not a match for the job—he/she will usually consume inordinate management attention without delivering significant results.
Avoid hiring from a field of one. Be sure to have at least two or three good finalists. When there is only one qualified candidate, the pressure to settle for him/her is almost irresistible—and often a mistake. It is better to start the interview process over than to hire badly.
Review performance expectations. Resist the temptation to put off potentially difficult conversations for “later.” Always put performance expectations in writing and discuss key performance measures in the interview and again when the offer is extended. Review expectations on the first day of work and again at monthly intervals for the first three months.
Follow through—the hiring process is not over until the candidate completes the first few months on the job. Some of the most crucial steps happen after the interview.
Check references very carefully before extending an offer. Have every candidate complete an application form in the first interview, read it carefully before the second interview and personally check at least three references. Don’t delegate this task. Get permission on the application form to contact previous supervisors. Good candidates will have good references. Don’t settle for neutral references, and don’t rely solely on references the candidate gives you.
Be sure to prepare thoroughly for the new employee’s first day. Order his/her business cards in advance. Be sure he/she arrives to a clean desk, a working computer and working phone. Demonstrate that this is a long-term investment for the organization and not just a quick fix. Lavish time on the new employee on his/her first day.
Check in with the new hire regularly and ask the candidate how the job differs from his/her expectations. Often major issues can be dealt with while they are small and this type of feedback improves the interview process for the next candidate.
- 10 Reasons to Hire Vets
- Hire Older Workers
- Improving Candidate Quality
- Sourcing 101
- Sourcing Candidates Well
- Tips for Building Employment-Related Websites
- U.S. Employ of People with Disabilities: Free Workshops
- Virtual College Recruiting
- 10 Commandments of Recruiting
- 5 Keys to Successful Hiring
- 7 Tips for Successful Phone Interviews
- Behavioral Interviewing Basics
- Contrary Evidence Questions
- Interview Questions: Do's and Don'ts
- Interviewing Opening and Closing Remarks
- Interviews: Common Weaknesses
- Mistakes Amateur Interviewers Make
- Phone Screen Interview Mistakes
- Probing Techniques Explained
- Screening Interviewing: Top 10 Red Flags
- Strengthen the Validity of Your Interviews
- Telephone Interviews: Basics
- Ten Bad Listening Habits of Interviewers
- Types of Interviews
- Typical Probes and Follow up Questions
- What Do Interviewers Need to Know to be Effective?
Interviewing Best Practices
- 7 Keys to Effective Selection Interviews
- A Closer Look at Behavior-Based Interviewing
- Advantages / Disadvantages of Interviewing
- Applying Core Competencies to Selection Interviews
- Are You Really a Behavior-Based Interviewer?
- Assessing Speaking and Listening Skills
- Best Practices in Interviewing Candidates
- Deadly Interview Mistakes
- Death by Interview
- Ensure Hiring Success in Every Situation
- Executive Assessment Should Be Mandatory
- Generational Interviewing
- Hiring Interview + Strategic Applicant Management
- Hold Evening and Off-Time Interviews
- How to Interview a Top Performer
- Improve your Interviewing Techniques
- Interview Questions to Assess Soft Skills
- Interviewing for Ethics
- Interviewing Millennials
- Interviewing: Business or Psychology
- Metrics Interview
- Peeling Back the Onion
- The Positives of Panel Interviews
- Time for Candidate Advocacy?
- Tips for Conducting Successful Interviews
- Two Critical Interviewing Questions
Laws & Documentation
- Applicant Reference Release
- At Will Employment Release
- Avoid Negligent Hiring Mistakes
- Employee Referral Program Metrics
- Fair Labor Standards Act Information
- Four Interview Questions Never to Ask
- Giving Employee References
- Hiring Compliance Guidelines
- Hiring for Small Business
- Interviewing People with Disabilities
- Job Denial Letter
- Legal Issues in Interviewing
- Minimize Employment Risks: Document
- SAMPLE Employment Policy
- SAMPLE Letter: Educational Records Check
- SAMPLE Letter: Reference Check
- Ten Safe Hiring Tools
- What is Negligent Hiring
Line Manager / Recruiting Partnership
- Defending Candidates to Hiring Managers
- Interlocking Core Competency Interviews
- Internal Application Process
- Making Internships Work for You
- Making the Case for Behavioral Interviewing
- Non-Traditional Merit Pay Alternatives
- OFCCP Definition of an Internet Applicant
- Why Managers Shouldn't Do Most Hiring
- Workforce Planning: Strategic Staffing Strategy
Pre-Planning & Retention
- Bonus or Incentive?
- Brand-Building on a Budget
- Build a First-Rate Hiring Process
- Closing the Deal
- Compensation Plans: An Overview
- Conducting an Exit Interview
- Good Hiring Starts with a Good Job Profile
- Improve the Quality of the Employment Function
- Interview Process Problems
- Interview the Job Before the Candidates
- Job Description Template-Link Pay to Performance
- Linking Pay to Company Performance
- Selecting and Using Salary Surveys
- Succession Planning
- Succession Planning: Identifying Top Performers
- Using a Pre-Interviewing Questionnaire
- Winning the War for Talent
- Worker Shortage by 2010: Preparation
Reading the Candidate
- Beware of Those Who Boast
- Blind Man's Bluff
- Decision, Decisions: Choosing the Better Applicant
- Detecting Deceit in Interviews
- Little White Lies on Resumes
- Suspend Judgment Until the Interview is Over
- College Recruiting Basics
- College Recruiting Essentials
- Cut Down on Interview No Shows
- Discouraging Low Quality Applicants
- Don't Hold Too Many Interviews
- Job Descriptions: Why are they Important?
- New Strategies for Screening Job Candidates
- Preventing Resume Overload with Questionnaires
- Resume Review Basics
- Test Validation Explained
- The Value of Person-Organization Fit
- Three Companies Cut Turnover with Tests
Recruiting Best Practices
- 25 Telltale Signs of the Wrong Candidate
- 5 Overlooked Ways to Hire Winners
- Asking the Right Recruitment Questions
- Attracting Your Competitor's Employees
- BPR.......for Recruiters!
- Candidate Engagement
- Cloud Recruiting
- Evaluate Your Capture Strategy
- Hiring Best Practices
- How Do You Attract and Retain the Best People?
- How to Attract Applicants to Undesirable Jobs
- How to Attract, Develop and Retain Best People
- How to Find and Keep Valued Employees
- Ignorance and the Human Condition
- Onboarding Success Secrets
- Secrets to Non-Profit Hiring
- Selecting Top Management Talent
- Semi-Active Candidates are Best Bets
- Six Core Selling Principles
- Skills Based Recruiting: When, not How
- Smart Choices: How to Hire the Best
- Strategy for Hiring the Best This Year
- The Uses and Misuses of Personality Tests
- Top 10 Employee Selection Mistakes & Solutions
- Treat Candidates with the Carbon Rule