The 7 stages of hiring — and how to nail them every time

Hiring the right employees requires a solid recruitment process — especially during a labor shortage like we’re experiencing today. It’s tempting (and understandable) to want to find team members quickly when you’re short-staffed, but taking the time to complete each stage of the hiring process will help you understand your needs, reduce stress, and find the right fit for your team. 

Stage 1: Planning 

Before you start looking for the best candidates for your open position, understand exactly who you’re looking for. An easy way to organize your thoughts here is to create an ideal candidate profile, considering:

  • Role specifics
  • Culture fit 
  • Job description 

Going through these details for each new hire will make the next step that much easier. 

Stage 2: Job post 

To make your job post stand out among the crowd on hiring sites, it helps to: 

  • Highlight the right perks and job factors 
  • Pick the right job title 
  • Get creative 

Learn more about this step in our article on how to make your job post stand out. And if you want to put a little juice behind your post, Homebase can help. We offer customizable job templates, free online posting, and the option to boost your post.

Homebase hiring also allows you to add pre-screener questions applicants will answer, which will help with the next step. 

Stage 3: Review applicants

Once you start receiving applicants, it’s time to decide who you want to push along through the rest of the hiring process. You’ll review resumes and answers to pre-screener questions around qualifying information. Here are a few pre-screener question examples: 

  • What is your perfect work environment?
  • Why are you looking for a new job? 
  • Why do you want to work for this company? 

Use the resume and answers to get a picture of who the applicant is and what they can bring to the role. Make a decision on who you want to move forward with and who you should exclude from the process. Don’t leave candidates waiting too long without communicating with them. If they aren’t right for the role, send them a polite rejection message. 

Stage 4: Phone screen

Before committing to an in-person interview, conduct a short phone call to get to know the candidate better. These usually last 15-20 minutes and involve asking the candidates about their basic qualifications and learning more about their resume. 

Ask them what their typical day-to-day responsibilities were like at their previous jobs, what they like and don’t like in the workplace, and why they’re looking for new opportunities. You can also ask questions about company culture preferences, what their ideal manager is like, and compensation expectations. 

Be sure to give them time to ask questions during the phone screen as well. 

Stage 5: Interviews

The interview process is your chance to dive deeper into your candidate’s experience, culture fit, and hiring potential. 

Make sure you’re covering all your bases, like: 

  • Background and training
  • Personality
  • Behavior
  • Ability to improvise
  • Thought processes

Also, be sure to know what’s acceptable and unacceptable to ask in an interview. 

Stage 6: Verification

After you’ve narrowed down your list of applicants, check what you’ve learned about each candidate through reference checks, using a “trust, but verify” approach in speaking with their contacts. This is often an overlooked step, but it’s critical to making sure you’re hiring the right employee for your small business. It can also give you insight on how best to manage the candidate if you hire them.  

Stage 7: Job offer

The delivery of your offer should be important. Create a formal offer letter and include a benefits packet they can review. Then, walk through each section and hit points like compensation, benefits, schedule flexibility, and professional development opportunities. 

Your candidate may express hesitation during this stage. Ask what the pros and cons are for them — you can even ask if they’re currently considering other offers. 

Even if they don’t accept the job, you can use their feedback on why they said no to tailor your approach and be more competitive. 

Need more help? Homebase Hiring has your back. We’ll post your job description on the leading sites and help you find the perfect candidate. We’ll even streamline the onboarding process by sending your new hires a digital packet. 

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