Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Unveiling the Standard Hiring Process

Applying for a job may appear to be a straightforward task to job seekers, but the hiring process involves a lot of behind-the-scenes work on the company’s end. Often, an applicant will be halfway through the hiring process after an initial interview, wondering where he or she may stand. An applicant may or may not be notified if they are rejected, adding further to the mystery and the frustration—why couldn’t the company get back quickly with a simple yes or no? Understanding what the hiring process involves gives you a better idea of what to expect when interviewing with a company for the first time, whether it’s for a small business or a large corporation. To help you understand each potential step, here’s a guide to what happens in the hiring process.

When does the hiring process begin?

The hiring process begins before the initial interview, with a company weeding out applicants that may not fit the initial criteria for a new hire. This process of finding the best pool of applicants is often fulfilled by the human resources department or a dedicated team of recruiters. There are different techniques to sorting through potential applicants, ranging from a simple glance at a resume to a more thorough examination of a cover letter. Generally, only applicants that are an obvious miss-match for the position will be taken out, while the others will move along to the next step in the hiring process.

How long does it take for an employer to respond to your resume?

Potential candidates should be prepared to wait from anywhere between a few days to weeks until they hear back from an employer on their resume submission. While most employers do not want cold calls to their office, emails are a great way for an applicant to follow up with a submission—and to check if the right person read the application. The next phase in the hiring procedure involves the human resources or recruitment staff as they narrow down applicants to candidates that meet the hiring criteria. This may involve setting up email correspondence as well as phone calls to learn more about a particular candidate’s skills or qualifications. The end result may lead to a list of no more than 15 or 20 candidates to proceed on to the interview phase.

Phone interviews

Before the face to face interview, phone interviews may be conducted as part of the hiring process to make sure candidates understand the position requirements and salary expectations. These calls may be as short as 15 minutes, but many times they last longer to gain a better understanding of a candidate’s background. In many cases, the recruiting team will reach out a second or even a third time to have the candidate speak with various executives or members of a department to ensure they are the right fit.

Face to face interviews

The last hiring procedure usually involves face to face interviews, in which candidates meet with key personnel of the company and get a chance to ask further questions involving the position. Typically, there are 5 to 7 candidates in any one round of in person interviews, with some companies opting to use multiple rounds before making an offer. After a candidate has been selected, an offer of employment will typically be made to the most qualified candidate within a few days after the final interview round. If the candidate declines the offer of employment, the company may extend an offer to the next best qualified candidate in line.

When unraveled, the interview process can certainly look intimidating! Luckily, there are always resources available to help land your next job. Depending on your location and industry, it may be worth considering an external solution such as a staffing agency to help you through the various stages of the hiring cycle.