The Hiring Process 101: The Legwork of Recruiting 2 of 3

The Legwork of Recruiting: Job Details, Selection Team and Planning

hiringThe Hiring Process 101: The Legwork of Recruiting: Job Details, Selection Team and Planning

PART 2 of a three-part series

Want to find out how and where to begin your hiring and recruitment process to achieve better results?

We’ve summarized some key points on planning here. Watch for additional tactics to come in Part 3.

At Centennial, Inc., we align ourselves with good business partners to round out our expertise. Here, Centennial’s Mike Sipple, Jr. and Jerry Howard have co-authored a three-part series on the ins and outs of hiring, from the planning stage to the start date.

Read Part 1

Read Part 2 Below

Read Part 3


The Legwork of Recruiting: Job Details, Selection Team and Planning

Following the right process is essential to helping you make the best hiring decisions possible.

First comes a little legwork. This crucial planning phase involves preparing the necessary background information pertaining to the job and how it fits into your organization.

At the outset, you will need to:

1. Create a clear and compelling job description.

  • Make the job description attractive and give it some personality — one that aligns with your company’s culture.
  • Define the reporting relationships and the nature of the business, as well as how the job fits into achieving your organization’s mission and vision.
  • Describe the challenges and opportunities of the position — and make sure it meets your business needs (especially if you feel missteps have been made before).
  • Ask yourself “What are the must-haves?” and “What are the nice-to-haves?” for the ideal candidate’s experience and skill sets.
  • Know you’ll need to give and take on the must-haves  due to market conditions. Be prepared and stay realistic. You are seeking real talent with real experiences.
  • Set out to find someone who has most, if not all of the key attributes to be successful. Find a mix of the right skill set, behaviors and abilities. Look for the unique behaviors that can drive the success.
  • Bear in mind that behaviors can be staged to match what the clever recruit thinks you are looking for at that time.
  • Talent, passion and energy should never be underestimated.

Remember, hiring is not always perfect. It’s not an exact science.

2. Assemble an experienced and informed selection team.

We recommend limiting the selection team to as few people as possible to streamline the process. Include only the key decision-makers for the hiring process, and those who will influence the hiring — call it the “true selection team.”

When working with a recruiting firm, make sure they have direct access to the entire selection team including the chief decision-maker. Include them early and often.

Why use a search firm?

A search firm can help the selection team align on goals and establish priorities for candidates and their experience. This is an imperative part of the search process. Experts who specialize in hiring help you determine the right blend of your desired criteria. We are experts at aligning leadership and talent with your current culture or your desired culture.

3. Define and align on clear goals for determining the ideal hire.

The selection team should think through and agree upon ahead of time what is acceptable for the desired skill set and ability areas.

For example, is 7 out of 10, or 8 out of 10 skills enough to hire? In many cases, the answer is “absolutely.” But all too often, these conversations or debates take place late in the game, while the best candidate sits and awaits your feedback.

A candidate’s talent, experience, leadership and culture fit might align so well that you might decide that you can teach the technical. However, for technical, project-specific or industry-specific functional positions, you may also have to identify two or three key focus areas where you have to bring that key person up to speed.

What’s most critical in a candidate is to find a track record of successful behaviors and skills that can accomplish your goals and objectives.

4. Planning and timing

The more upfront planning you can do, the better.

When it comes to identifying people, timing for your business is critical — but know that the timetable for identifying the right person might not align with your business timing. Selecting and hiring the best candidate is not as simple as purchasing a new piece of software or hiring a new service provider, for instance.

Consider hiring a recruitment firm to act as an expert resource and “buffer” to follow up and report back across the team. We understand that everyone is always busy with other priorities, so having an expert on board can bring alignment and keep your process moving.


Key points on timing:

  • Think through when you need the person to start — and always start the process and communications several months before you need the talent on-board.
  • Work with your team to set the timetable and determine availability — because everyone has professional and personal agendas to manage.
  • Give yourself an extra two to four weeks to compensate for the unexpected, if at all possible.
  • Keep in mind that the more adjustments or changes you make along the way, the more time the process could take. However, using the process to help you align and make adjustments is critical to getting the right hire.
  • Try not to get frustrated during the first few weeks of the process. Trust that your clarity and upfront planning will pay off.
  • Make timely decisions so the “A” candidate is still available.

In short, the more clearly defined planning and priorities you establish up front, the more streamlined the process is likely to be. Clarity counts!


You just read Part 2, you might want to read Part 1 and Part 3!




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