If you are a company getting ready to hire some new team members, great! But don’t fall into the trap of conducting excessive interviews (you can read more about that issue here) because it can be even more costly than a typical hiring process, and excessive rounds and interviewers provide diminishing returns. In a world where too-lengthy interview circuses have become the norm, a simple, streamlined process can actually make you stand out from your competition. So, how do you make sure you’re conducting interviews in a way that maximizes success but minimizes the number of rounds you need to conduct?
The Rule of Four
A good rule of thumb is one that Google calls the Rule of Four: four interviewers for each candidate, no more. Another study conducted by the UK’s Behavioral Insights Team echoed this idea: at least three reviewers for each candidate means an increased likelihood of making the best hiring decision–94% with three reviewers, 96% with four.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that companies have to jump right in with long-term commitment to a candidate–trial periods are still fine! But the interview process doesn’t need to be a trial in and of itself.
How can companies streamline the hiring process?
First of all, consider hiring an experienced recruiter. People who interview people for a living can cut to the chase and weed out unsuitable candidates more quickly, thus speeding up the process, and it’s frankly a waste of time to have inexperienced interviewers (whether in-house or not) to lead the charge.
It’s always a good idea to check references early on in the process since references can be an extremely helpful vetting tool. A candidate who looks pretty good on paper might excel in this stage, or might be eliminated due to something they didn’t mention or insight from a former employer. This definitely isn’t a step to save for last.
You also need to ensure that you have the right team of interviewers to weigh in. Whoever that person is reporting to directly is a must, and depending on the level of the position for which you are hiring, a meeting with company leadership can be necessary, or a meeting with another member of the team to see if they feel that the candidate would be a good addition.
To streamline the interview process, it’s necessary to dispense with hoops that require candidates to give you free stuff. It’s one thing to expect a candidate interviewing for a top leadership position to put together a short presentation about their vision and goals. It’s another thing entirely to ask for a full-blown marketing campaign or product proposal.
Have a contingency plan for the event that you find multiple well-qualified candidates. How are you going to make a quick and speedy choice between them without adding another round of interviews? What’s the tie-breaker?
Finally, remember that the interview process is a reflection of your company’s culture, so act accordingly. Make sure the people conducting the interviews are empowered to choose the right candidate and have the tools to do so. Whatever you do, do not ghost candidates. Be clear, concise, and communicative throughout the entire process.
Need help streamlining your interview process? ROI’s Four Step Solution is the answer.