Employee Selection Hiring Interview Skills Training Uncategorized

Does your Interview Process need a Facelift?

Time flies! How long as it been since you have tweaked your interview process? You can google the effects of poor hiring and find an overabundance of costly statistics and examples. The bottom line is this – a process that helps us identify the right applicants – and – reduce the chance of litigation is an absolute must-have!

I, possibly like you, am always looking for processes that improve outcomes. From my experience, many companies don’t have an effective hiring process in place for a few reasons.

  • Garbage in, garbage out: Much well-intended information, as well as the guidelines that follow, are outdated or simply ineffective.
  • Lack of a platform or process: The (proper) information mustn’t be just shared, but also understood.
  • The recruiters or hiring managers don’t connect the dots of and see both the actual and potential operational and financial impact of a poor hire.  They rush through the interview to get on to what they believe to be “more important” things.
  • There is so much turnover, or pressure to hire they only care about a warm body.  They will worry about the poor performance later! (OR SO THEY SAY!)

According to Harvard Business School research, reducing the chances of hiring a toxic employee alone, indicates a savings per person of $12,489 just on productivity and the ripple effect on peers. Add potential costs of litigation, regulatory penalties, service and reputation hiccups, and the costs are overreaching.

How many employees have you hired that were toxic, and at what cost? I know I have hired a few myself during my career and can’t even add up all of the adverse effects it had on our company and bottom line!

A toxic employee is only one example of not having an effective hiring process.

Many companies don’t focus on this most critical task. Moreover, medium to large companies with various recruiters or hiring managers across multiple locations has the most significant threat of inconsistent processes and, therefore, risk.

So then, what can we do? How do we know if someone is qualified and has the heartfelt values we need – or are they embellishing their skills and capabilities?

Moreover, how do we get every hiring agent in the company to truly ‘get it’?

One option is to have a standard interviewing process and train managers on how to make better hiring decisions.

It’s more than just telling them what interview questions to ask. And it’s not just about training. It’s about educating and providing a process that helps them understand why it’s important and how it affects their ultimate success.

People either buy-in, or do what they want regardless of the process. Hiring a friend might sound like the best option until they are clear that hiring the right person is beneficial to all – yes, including them!

After a long search, I found an expert to create interview compliance programs for my clients. For those of you who choose to create such a program yourself, she suggests that you consider these key areas:

  1. Create a clear and effective operating procedure that the managers can follow every time they interview.
  2. Educate managers on how to customize interview questions for each job while following the process. (They must understand the why + the how.) And remember, you can’t train someone to care, and you can’t afford employees who don’t. The right questions are essential.
  3. Review both Federal & State Fair Hiring laws to include in the program. (Refresh annually or more often as changes dictate)
  4. Ensure there is a simple and automated method to track how well the hiring managers have done in training before allowing them to start interviewing.  The larger the company, the more important this becomes.
  5. Keep each training session short! Your managers don’t have time to spend hours in training.
  6. Don’t overcomplicate the program. We have seen what appeared to be proper processes that start strong and then fizzle out because the corporate office administering the program becomes overwhelmed.

This entire process may look difficult, and it can be, but I can also share that your team will appreciate the effort, and your company will be much better off!

Following the implementation of these programs, I surveyed the hiring managers. A whooping 96% felt better prepared to conduct interviews. Comments appreciating the new tools they gained for avoiding unlawful practices and gratitude to learn the importance of being unbiased and careful, quite honestly surprised me. Helping them was not just good for intended outcomes; it improved engagement.  Track your progress.  Make sure your hiring managers see the benefits of their efforts.

Don’t just tell your recruiting managers how to hire. They are probably not skilled HR professionals. Train them, develop their skills and techniques, and refresh.

Remember that these applicants are interviewing YOU as well. If you were a secret shopper, would you be proud of the image your company is presenting?  If you were the applicant, how excited would you be to work for the company based on the interview process and experience?

Every employee of your company that these candidates see (or hear) have the ability to make a unique and memorable impact on applicants. How your office looks matters too.  Little things matter, or as I call them – little BIG things!

On a side note, need some ideas on how to find great applicants, onboarding or employee retention?  If you are an employer, during this time of record low unemployment it all matters.  Stay tuned for my future articles.  Coming soon!


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