Back to School With the ABCs of Hiring

Whether you work in education or not, it's hard to miss the excitement of the back-to-school season. Sales and school supplies are all around us, and as kids prepare for new classes and schedules, you're probably experiencing a renewed sense of purpose about your end-of-year goals.

Colleagues are returning from those late summer vacations, and you're feeling the buzz of having everyone back in the office. It's time to get plugged in and reconnect with your business. For HR, that business is hiring.

As we all embrace the back-to-school spirit, we'd like to offer you the "ABCs of Hiring":

H Is for 'High-Volume Hiring'

Hiring for high-volume roles comes with a special set of challenges. On the upside, you have a larger candidate pipeline, giving you a better chance of finding the right fit. On the downside, you have to sort and filter all that candidate data. Resumes, assessments, interviews, references – it can easily get out of control.

That's why automation is so important. You need a system that not only collects predictive data, but also quantifies candidate success.

I Is for 'Impact of Hire'

Depending on the size of your company, you might hire hundreds or thousands of new employees every year, and each one has the potential to positively or negatively impact your business. But how do you know where your best placements are, and how do you know where to improve?

If you don't already measure the impact of hire, make it your new No. 1 metric. Start by gathering data on new hire engagement, manager satisfaction, and turnover, then look for trends over time.

R Is for 'Recruitment Brand'

Are you as focused on attracting applicants as you are on attracting customers? Your consumer brand and your recruitment brand are closely tied – improve one, and you'll likely improve the other. But how do you show potential employees what it would be like to work at your company?

To start, walk through your company's application process. You might offer great products and services, but you'll lose credibility if the candidate experience is difficult or outdated.

I Is for 'Impression Management'

On paper or in person, you're seeing the most polished version of a candidate – the self they want you to see. As an employee, they'll likely settle into a more relaxed, but not shockingly different version of themselves.

Then again, it's also possible you'll have a Jekyll-and-Hyde situation on your hands. Beware of the charismatic candidate. People like this are natural self-promoters. Just because someone is a good interviewee, that doesn't mean they're a good fit for the job.

N Is for 'New Hire Engagement'

Employee engagement doesn't have to be something you hope for or something you achieve by accident. Start by getting a pulse on new hires. If engagement is low, then you're probably not matching the right people with the right roles.

Fortunately, that's something you can fix. Adjust your hiring process, and you'll likely see a ripple effect of improved productivity across your organization.

G Is for 'Generational Gaps'

You've heard the stereotypes: Baby boomers are out of touch; millennials are entitled and apathetic. You might be wondering how to reconcile these differences to build more cohesive, higher-performing teams. But as it turns out, poor performance has nothing to do with age.

It's not about hiring from the right age group (because there is no such thing). It's about hiring the skills and personalities that fit the team and lead to success.

And there you have it: the ABCs of Hiring. Hopefully, they'll help you reframe your focus around talent strategy and success.

And, if you like HR-related acronyms, you might also enjoy the "ABCs of Job Fit."

Greg Moran is the president and CEO of OutMatch.