Hiring 101: Crafting an Exceptional Hire

By |2019-07-11T16:16:29+00:00July 11th, 2019|Executive, Interviews, Job Search, Leadership|

When was the last time you called your dentist to fix your bathroom pipes? Or maybe you weren’t feeling well – did you call your mechanic? Probably not. In your business, when was the last time you passed the hiring process of a potential candidate to someone with a more open calendar? If the first few questions feel familiar, we invite you to open up the Whitepages. If that last question feels familiar, you aren’t alone. It’s not uncommon for small businesses to have an informal hiring process led by whoever will be closest to the person being hired. It’s also not unusual for those people being delegated not to have an idea on how to hire and run the process.

Everyone has a craft. At Y Scouts, we believe hiring is not only a craft but also one of the most crucial functions of your business operations. We get it – it might not make sense to have a formal HR or People department. It’s natural to involve the leader and valuable team members of the potential hire. However, without having a proper interview process in place and without arming the interviewers with best practices, subsequent issues may arise. These could include a mismanaged candidate experience, overlooked details, and missed opportunities in the interview exploration. Let’s empower whoever you choose to help with this to be more efficient and confident in making sound hiring decisions.

Candidate applies and is phone screened by Person A. Person B calls them back to invite them in to interview with Person B, and Person C. Candidate waits for an extended period of time for interview feedback because Person C thought Person B had talked to them, all while Person B was assuming Person A was handling the process. Candidate calls the business; Person D assures someone will reach out.

No matter who you choose to be a part of the hiring process in your business, it’s important to designate one person to all candidate communication. This sole individual should also be the one to set the proper hiring timeline and communicate next steps to the candidate to ensure timely and consistent engagement throughout the process.

Once the team knows who is doing what, it’s time to focus on drafting an interview guide. Start with a vision of what success looks like in this role. Next develop open-ended and behavioral interview questions designed to pull concrete examples from their career history. These examples should demonstrate their skills, ability to drive results, and how they contribute to overall goals. Sit with your team who will be assisting in the interview portion of the process and collaborate with them to add culture based questions that reflect how their behaviors match up with your company’s values. The quality of these questions will make them feel more empowered and comfortable with making a hiring selection because of the organic, results-based interview dialogue.

Provide the interview guide to all teammates involved in the hiring process. Here are a few questions that work for just about any role:

  • Tell me about a time you got feedback that you disagreed with.
  • Describe an idea you implemented that led to significant, measurable growth or efficiency for your department.
  • Tell me about a time you were faced with an audacious goal, with limited help or resources to accomplish it. What did you do? What was the outcome?
  • Tell me about the last time you took it upon yourself to learn something new for self and personal development.

Designating candidate communication to one individual and building an interview guide serves as a solid foundation to build out the rest of the hiring process. These steps will fast track your team’s understanding of hiring and build confidence that their contribution is leading to the right hire and continued success for the company.


Marlowe Everett

Marlowe is a Search Specialist at Y Scouts. She believes in loving what you do for work and finds a deep sense of purpose helping candidates achieve this and consulting businesses to create this environment for their team.