Over the years I’ve paid thousands of dollars to coaches and consultants. Each and every one of them has stressed the importance of having systems and processes in place.
I detested that advice.
I had every excuse in the book. I’ve often said you can’t make a flowchart big enough for the “if this”, “then that”, “except for”, and “but when” instances that come up in the third party recruiting process.
But, as I was getting my Private Pilot’s License in 2009 the value and benefit of a checklist hit me. I don’t need to document every possible situation and outcome, I just need to make sure I am consistently doing the things that matter. So, I started simple, the things I must absolutely do for each search to feel like I had given it my best effort.
This simple tool can change your hiring experience.
For most small businesses, they post an ad, do some networking here and there and then wait to see what kind of applicants they get. Then, the majority of them hire from that pool of responses or delay hiring because they didn’t get any applicants who were even close to qualified.
Implementing a Hiring Checklist into your process will help on many levels.
1. It will ensure you or your team are consistently taking the actions that are needed to find the best possible person for your opening.
2. It will give you the confidence that you’ve done your best to find someone. If you are “haunted” by the thoughts of “Is there someone better out there” or “Am I settling?” reviewing your hiring checklist can help you identify if you have turned over every rock or if you could put some more effort into finding someone.
3. It will help you identify those times you need outside help from a Recruiter or Consultant.
Tips for using a Hiring Checklist
- Each opening should have a unique checklist you work off. This will help you track your efforts on different searches. You can either print it off or if you are a digital/paperless kind of person, create a digital version you can edit.
- As you complete items on the checklist, check them off. I often include the date I did the activity to make it easier to understand the timeline when I am reviewing my progress
- At the beginning of your search, you will do the most work on your checklist. Block some time to complete all the “new opening” tasks so you can relax as the resumes come flowing in.
- It is a guide. Similar to a business plan you need to make sure you are recognizing what is working and what isn’t working so you can adapt. Your checklist won’t stay the same year after year and may be very different depending on the type of position you are hiring for. So, be flexible and make it your own.
Not sure about the value of a Checklist? I get that (after all, I was there too once). Check out The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande, if you still aren’t convinced of their value.
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