5 Ways to Level Up Your Hiring Process

Top-notch interviewers and processes have the best chance of nabbing top-notch talent.

Written by Lauren O’Neill
Published on May. 01, 2024
5 Ways to Level Up Your Hiring Process
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Securing top technology talent is a critical challenge in virtually every industry around the world. The U.S. unemployment rate remains at historical lows and there are more than 9 million job openings nationwide. That works out to approximately 1.4 unfilled positions for every one job seeker.

2 Areas for Interviewer Upskilling

  1. Content familiarity. To be consistent and prevent bias, have your interviewers practice delivering questions. Prepare them for basic followup questions candidates are likely to ask.
  2. Consistency in help. Work with your interviewers to prevent handholding, or providing guidance, to candidates. While handholding can make candidates feel comfortable, it can also result in bias and inconsistency across interviews.

To attract, identify and retain the best candidates, companies must reimagine their hiring processes. Drawing from insights gained through conducting more than 10,000 technical interviews globally, Karat has identified five essential tips for improving your interviewing approach and ensuring the acquisition of top-tier talent.

More Hiring Tips 12 Recruitment Strategies and Examples to Hire Top Talent

Screen for Skills, Not Resumes

Traditional recruitment practices often prioritize resumes, with an intense focus on where candidates have previously worked or studied. This can exclude qualified candidates with unconventional backgrounds. Tapping into that under-represented candidate pool requires a paradigm shift: Screen your candidates for required abilities with skill assessments.  

Recruiters can cast a wider net and tap a more diverse talent pool when they identify key competencies necessary for success in the role, such as problem-solving abilities or technical proficiencies. Implementing skill-based assessments early in the hiring process allows for a more comprehensive evaluation of candidates’ capabilities, regardless of their educational or professional backgrounds.


Look for Non-Traditional Backgrounds

Using a skills-based focus to screen applicants empowers your organization to select candidates who have the critical abilities to successfully do the job. As a bonus, these candidates can also enrich your team with fresh perspectives and innovative thinking. 

While traditional hiring practices may prioritize candidates with linear career trajectories, consider the value that individuals from non-traditional paths can bring. 

To find these candidates, broaden your search criteria. Embrace candidates with unconventional career paths. Whether they’re self-taught programmers, career changers or graduates from non-elite institutions, these candidates often possess unique insights and a hunger for growth that can invigorate your organization. It’s likely that they will also bring valuable skills, approaches and perspectives to your business.


Standardize Hiring Practices

Inconsistencies in evaluating candidates can undermine the fairness and effectiveness of the hiring process. Setting a consistent hiring bar helps ensure that all candidates are evaluated against the same criteria, regardless of who conducts an interview or where a candidate is in your process. 

Set clear benchmarks for success in the role. Provide interviewers with structured evaluation rubrics to guide their evaluation. This kind of consistency promotes fairness, reduces bias and enhances hiring decision reliability. It also minimizes delays, improves efficiency and ensures that you stay ahead of competitors so your organization secures top talent.


Regularly Train and Evaluate Your Interviewers

Make no mistake, interviewing is a skill. It commands ongoing refinement, practice and development. Provide your interviewers with ongoing, comprehensive training to ensure they possess the critical tools and techniques to conduct effective assessments. Offer guidance to evaluate competencies, probe for deeper insights and mitigate bias. Furthermore, set up tools and processes to gather continuous feedback and evaluate interviewer performance so you can identify areas for improvement.

Investments in interviewer training can improve the quality and consistency of candidate evaluations. Interviewers will have the skills and knowledge that not only better prepares your interviewers, but equips them to conduct insightful and unbiased assessments. Essentially, frequent and consistent interviewer training results in improvements in the overall candidate experience and more informed hiring decisions.

related readingAI Can Help With Recruiting. Here’s How.

Use Data to Inform Decisions

Data-driven decision-making optimizes hiring and enhances efficacy. Analyze data to track key metrics, including time-to-hire, candidate conversion rates and interviewer feedback. Look for patterns and trends so you can troubleshoot bottlenecks, find areas for improvement and tap opportunities for increased effectiveness and efficiency. 

Harnessing the power of data ensures that organizations can make evidence-based decisions, iterate on their processes and continuously improve recruitment outcomes. The intended outcome: maintaining a competitive edge in attracting and retaining top talent.

Ultimately, optimizing the interview process is vital in today’s dynamic and competitive hiring market. To secure top talent and drive organizational success, your hiring leaders must screen for skills, search for candidates with unconventional backgrounds, standardize hiring criteria, invest in interviewer training and use data-driven insights. 

These best practices will modernize your recruitment, hiring and retention practices and position your organization to be an employer of choice and help your employees thrive in the 21st-century workforce landscape.

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