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When it comes to the hiring process, consistency is key. If you’re a regular reader of our blog articles, you’re probably thinking you’ve heard that phrase before, and you’re right. Consistency is key not only for hiring, but also for all aspects of human resources.

We talk with a lot of small business owners who are unsure about their hiring process. They might be wondering if the hiring process is attracting the right candidates or if they should use a personality assessment of some kind to inform hiring decisions. Or perhaps they’re worried about the legalities of the hiring process and want to make sure they’re doing things correctly.

Depending on the organization and the specific position you’re hiring, the process may look dramatically different from another company’s process. But within your own company and especially within the process for a specific position, it’s important to be consistent from one candidate to the next.

What does that mean? It means designing each step of your process before you ever post the job. What qualifies someone for a phone interview or an in-person interview? Will you use assessments or personality testing in the hiring process? If so, at what point in the process? What happens after an offer is made?

By clearly defining each phase of the hiring process, you accomplish two important things. First, you set clear expectations of the process for everyone involved. Everyone in your company knows the steps, and you can easily share those steps with each candidate. Second, you protect your company. If a specific candidate doesn’t make it past phase two and files a discrimination complaint, you have clear documentation of the requirements for each phase and can show that each candidate was treated the same.

Some organizations use assessments or personality tests of some kind during the hiring process. Such tools can be especially useful for evaluating behavior characteristics for sales or similar positions. They’re an optional piece in any hiring process, but as with anything else, consistency is key.

There should be a defined point in the hiring process were assessments come into play, and every candidate should be assessed in the same way. It’s important for the organization to fully understand the tool they’re using and what they expect to gain from it, plus there’s a cost factor to consider with such tools. If you screen every candidate at the beginning of the process, you’ll pay more in assessment fees than if you use it later in the process.

Another piece of the hiring process that can create risk for a company is the background check and drug screening. Not all companies use these tools, but when they do, they should always come after an offer has been extended. Why? Because the paperwork for a background check and drug screening requires disclosing the candidates date of birth, which opens the company up to an age discrimination complaint if that candidate isn’t hired.

Want to be sure your hiring process is consistent and non-discriminatory? Contact Why HR today to discuss how we can help.

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