How to hire the right person – part 1: Set up a structured and inclusive hiring process

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You know the candidate who over-delivers and adds to your culture? The one everyone wants? Like you, businesses are competing for top talent. So, if you’re wondering how to hire the right person that will help take your company to the next level, this is the read for you.

It all comes down to a well-thought-out plan and a structured and inclusive hiring process. And it starts long before you post a role or interview candidates.

During our "How to get the best hire: Recruiting advice from the pros" webinar with BambooHR, we discussed how to find the candidate everyone wants. In the first part of this two-part blog series, we’re sharing how you can plan ahead and banish bias with a structured hiring process.

Do you have a plan?

Imagine going on a cross-country road trip. You've packed, bought snacks and fueled up your car. You may not have every destination planned out. But you have an idea of where you're going and when you'll stop along the route. You've got a plan.

Whether you want to hire the right person next quarter or next year, you, too, need a plan.

Unlike your road trip, your plan should be specific and thorough. Mason Calaiaro, our Leadership Talent Acquisition Manager, follows four steps early that get searches off to a good start. They ensure she finds the best hire for Greenhouse.

1. Start with a kickoff meeting

The first part of your pre-hiring plan is scheduling a meeting with the hiring manager. In the meeting, align on what they're looking for in a candidate and match expectations. Mason suggests asking:

  • What is the business need?
  • What are the key objectives for the role?
  • Who's the ideal profile?
  • What attributes are necessary for success in the role?

Pro tip: Get specific and truly understand what the hiring manager needs. It helps you both find and hire the right person.

2. Write a standout job description

Your job descriptions are marketing material that deserve some thought and care. When candidates look at them, they decide if they're interested in the job and your company. Using gendered language or jargon can be an immediate turnoff for candidates.

Anita Grantham, Head of HR at BambooHR, warns about neglecting your job descriptions. You need to deliver on what you promise, like your company culture and what the role entails. If not, you may hire someone who leaves in 30 days because you sold them something you can't live up to.

3. Create scorecards and interview kits

Reminding us that scorecards and standardized interview kits are the foundation of structured and inclusive hiring, Mason emphasized the need to be consistent and fair... which starts by standardizing questions.

Mason works with the hiring team to map out an ideal candidate's qualifications. She then prepares standard interview questions to evaluate the agreed-upon qualifications.

4. Share the interview kits with the hiring team

After creating interview kits, share them with the hiring team. Send them to everyone interviewing the candidate so they know their role in advance.

Navigating passive candidates

Passive candidates are always employed and in high demand. They're the top talent everyone wants, making them especially hard to hire. You can't use the same approach as with active applicants. You need to court them, says BambooHR’s human resource business partner, Vanessa Brulotte.

When engaging passive talent:

  • Eliminate friction. As soon as you introduce any, they're gone. Mason sends a Calendly link in her outreach emails so they can schedule a call on their time.
  • Make everything transparent and simple. Mason outlines an agenda. It informs them she’ll share information and answer questions—not interview.
  • Personalize communication. Whether on LinkedIn or by email, Anita and Mason are intentional and personal. Anita gets specific about why she wants to meet. She pays attention to what lands well with candidates and what doesn't.

It's about subtle nuances. You might not be interviewing a passive candidate. But you should still have a compelling pitch and showcase your culture.

Following quiet hiring best practices

Need to hire fast for a business-critical role? Have the perfect candidate in mind for an upcoming opening? Quiet hiring might make sense. But quiet hiring isn't without cons, like sacrificing diversity.

If you quiet hire, these inclusive hiring best practices can help you find the right candidate:

  • Be direct and transparent. If the candidate goes through an interview process, make it the same for everyone. It limits favoritism and bias.
  • Set expectations with the candidate that you’ll keep interviews confidential.
  • Weigh the pros and cons. While it can help you hire and onboard faster, it's also an entry point for bias. And you might overlook qualified candidates.

Stay tuned for more great tips in part two of this blog series “How to hire the right person – part 2: Mitigate bias in your interviews.”

Looking for tips how to best source great executive talent and bring them into your hiring process? Read this recent blog, Executive candidate sourcing do's and don'ts.

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Sheena Fronk

Sheena Fronk

is a writing-obsessed entrepreneur who founded her all things writing passion project turned small business, wanderluster co. She works with SaaS and tech companies, transforming jargon into conversations using human-centered copy. When not working, Sheena eats doughnuts, plays with her pup and travels the world.

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