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Jan 3, 2013 by Oz Nazilli in PM Best Practices & News

Guest Post: How to Manage a Large Hiring Project

Hiring just one employee takes a whole lot of company time and resources. Now imagine having to hire five, ten, or even fifty employees for a large scale project. Without having an efficient hiring process in place, your business can end up being completely bankrupted by poor HR initiatives, mis-hires, and turnover.

While some companies may accept that hiring and turnover is a “trial and error” process, we know better. The hiring process can run more smoothly, be more economical, and produce better results than how things may be traditionally done, especially when it comes to hiring large groups of people. How successful you are in the hiring process, however, depends a lot on how it starts.

Select and Train Your Recruitment Team

Before you even send out a job posting or start looking for candidates, you need to have a good recruitment team in place. Who makes up a good recruitment team? Look to individuals such as:

• Hiring managers
• Supervisors
• Experienced employees in the positions you’re hiring for

Once you have a team selected, the team should be provided with a “recruitment toolkit.” This toolkit should have everything that they have to know when it comes to choosing the “best” employee. Some basic kit inclusions are:

• A definition of you company culture and how to tell if an employee may be a good fit.
• The job position and the requirements (skill, knowledge, experience, etc.) that must be met.
• Any licensing or additional certifications that may be required.

Some additional considerations that should be explained in the kit is a thorough study of the current labor market for that job position and the type or number of candidates they can expect to apply, as well as how to measure an applicant’s return on investment.

Managing Workflow

Every person on the team must be allocated a specific job or set of jobs for the hiring process. Each part of the hiring process must also then have agreed-upon or company-determined requirements or standards that must be met before a candidate can be qualified to go through to the next stage of the interview process. For example, if a candidate doesn’t have a certain level of certification that would qualify him or her for the job, they should not then be allowed to pass to the next stage of the hiring process.

Recruiting Candidates

Now that everyone’s on board with how and why candidates are going to be selected and screened, it’s time to now meet you potential future employees. There are a number of different recruiting sources that you may choose to use, such as:

Through Job Postings

Sites like Monster and Craigslist are renowned for drawing in a large quantity of applicants, though they may not always be the best qualified for the job.

Job Fairs

Another way that a lot of businesses recruit both large and small groups of qualified employees is through job fairs. Send out a press release, take out an ad in a newspaper, or advertise the job openings at your next trade show.

Industry-Specific Publications

Advertising in a magazine that is directly related to your industry or niche is a great way to attract some good quality talent.

Inside Referrals

Time and time again, inside referrals have resulted in high quality new hires who tend to stick around for the long haul. Get the word out to friends, family, and current employees about a job opening and you’re sure to get some good, long-standing employees.

Look Yourself

You don’t have to cast you rod out there and wait for the fish to bite; you can actively seek out qualified candidates yourself by using a number of different resources. Some of your best bets are:

• Resume banks
• Career placement offices
• Job boards
• Social media

The main problem with looking yourself is that it can be quite time consuming, so if you’re doing a large mass hire, this won’t likely be the best use of your time.

The Initial Review Process

The first step of the screening process is the initial review. This involves going through all of the resumes that you’ve had land on your desk and determining who moves on, who doesn’t, and who is a “maybe.” Some resumes that you receive will make it glaringly apparent that the particular candidate wouldn’t be a good fit for the company, whereas some may leave you with some additional questions that you will need to follow up on and ask about (i.e. if an applicant has stated “references available upon request”). Make a note on the applicant’s file that you’re waiting for follow-up and keep an eye out for the information you’ve requested.

Coordinating Interviews

For anyone who’s passed the initial review, it’s time for them to brush up on their interviewing skills. The best way to work through hiring a large group of people is to pick up the phone and start calling up the qualified applicants. You want to ask things like:

• What knowledge and skill they’ll be bringing to the job.
• How they enjoyed their past job.
• What motivates them to work.

Pay attention to things such as how well they communicate under duress and try throwing in questions that they may not be expecting in the interview, such as their opinion on a popular television show. This will give you a chance to uncover the “real” person underneath the well-rehearsed interviewee exterior.

Next up: group testing and interviews. Anyone who you feel may be a good fit from the phone interview should be invited to come in and be tested and interviewed in a group setting. Group interviews differ quite a bit in comparison to individual interviews. Besides asking the applicant a series of situational questions, you can choose to give the group a common task that they’d be performing in the job role they’ve applied for, then watch how they work, see how they react, and gauge their engagement with the project and the other applicants.

Anyone who you’ve found fairly suitable for the job should only then be contacted for a one-on-one interview. This is usually the “final round” of applicants that you’ll be taking a good, hard scrutinizing look at before deciding whether or not to offer them the job. You may conduct one or more individual interviews, depending on a number of factors such as how many employees you’re hiring, how much time you have, what the job position is, and so on.

Background Checks

The final piece of the puzzle is conducting a good, thorough background check of each and every candidate that you’re considering hiring. At the initial interview phase, the candidates should have already provided items like their Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, and passports to help you verify their identity, their citizenship, and perform a criminal record check.

From then onward it’s all a matter of offering the best candidates the job and hoping that your search will come to a successful conclusion. What’s important for businesses to remember is that no matter how small or how large of a group of individuals they may be hiring for a project, the focus should always be on having the most qualified candidates working for them who are a suitable fit for their company’s culture above all else.

This post is a guest contribution by ClearFit, the easiest way for small businesses to find employees and hire the best person.

Oz Nazilli