Hiring is a huge time investment for managers. A recent study found that small and medium businesses have to go through 86 candidates before making an offer.
What’s more, over 30% of the people you make an offer to will turn it down, which means a lot of companies have to go back to the drawing board after finding “the one.”
Even if you don’t have a human resources team or a lot of experience with hiring, there are ways to make the process less painful. From books to articles to podcasts, we collected the best resources on hiring for managers to build a strong team faster, in every stage of the hiring pipeline.
Build the Perfect Hiring Process
If you’re a small business owner, odds are you don’t have a huge team of HR experts finding great candidates for you. But that doesn’t mean you can just wing the hiring process. Even small businesses need to have systematic ways to hire. Not sure where to start, or how to build that process from the ground up? Start with these resources:
Whole Whale is a digital marketing agency serving nonprofits. Like a lot of startups, they had to iterate on their hiring process—a lot. This article explains what they learned from changing that hiring process over and over again, until they had something repeatable that actually worked.
2. How to run recruiting like a sprint (article)
Some hiring processes take forever. Looking to shorten yours, but not compromise on results? Check out how Pulkit Agrawal of Chameleon made their hiring process with sprint project management methodology.
While this podcast isn’t in production anymore, hiring site Monster provided a series of must-listen podcasts for anyone involved in management or hiring.
Recommended episode: “Building an Authentic Company.” Gareth Jones, author of Why Should Anyone Work Here, provides insights into how managers can build an amazing company, and why that starts with the hiring process.
4. Moneyball (book and movie)
What does baseball have to do with your business? If you’re recruiting people—a lot. Moneyball is a killer book and Oscar-winning movie that’s entertaining, but also provides real insight into building a winning team on a budget.
5. Applicant hiring tools
From Lever to LinkedIn, there are a ton of tools on the market to help you make the hiring process easier and more systematic. Here’s a list of hiring software programs to get started with.
6. Get Acquainted with Payroll (article)
Payroll is one of the most complicated and time-consuming parts of running a small business. If this is your first hire, make you sure understand all the costs in addition to salary—federal and state payroll taxes, benefits, insurance, and more.
Know What to Look for in On-Site Interviews
After combing through a bunch of resumes, you’re ready to bring a handful of candidates in for an on-site interview. Bringing someone in for an interview is a great way to get a better sense of who they are and what their work product would be like—but only if you’re smart about how you structure the on-site. Here are some resources to help you make the most of this stage.
7. Setting the Table (book)
Calling all Shake Shack lovers! Danny Meyer is not just an impressive restaurateur, but a successful entrepreneur who built an empire based largely off of customer service. In order to do so, he needed to hire well. Meyer’s technique for identifying what to look for in his employees is intended to help any manager figure out the same for their company.
8. Remote: Office Not Required (book)
Basecamp founder Jason Fried’s manifesto on remote work contains a lot of gems about management and building a business. His advice on hiring, in particular, is golden. Building a remote team requires especially strong hiring practices, which means his techniques for interviewing people apply to everyone and have great effects.
9. Legal issues you need to know about (online resource)
Bad hiring practices can land small business owners in hot water. Before you structure your on-site interview, check out the U.S. Small Business Association website to understand what you need to do to prep for hiring a new employee, from small business tax implications to understanding with your state’s hiring practices and complying with employee rights.
10. What not to do in the interview (article)
On a more technical level, your onsite interview needs to avoid a couple things for legal purposes as well. Here’s a great list of 8 interview questions that you might not know are actually illegal to ask.
Evaluate Your Applicants and Choose Wisely
When it comes to evaluating candidates, we get a little stuck. In fact, managers are really bad at it. How do you compare the candidate from this week with lots of experience to the one from two weeks ago who had little experience but showed great aptitude?
The trick is to evaluate with a rubric. By using these resources to evaluate candidates, you can go with more than just your gut.
11. Harvard Business Review, “How to Hire Without Getting Fooled by First Impressions.”
Do you hire based on your instinct? You’re not alone. Hiring by gut instinct leads to churn, which makes your entire hiring process moot. This article from Harvard Business Review helps managers identify whether they’re doing that, and some key ways to stop it.
12. The Nine Box Grid method for evaluating applicants (PDF)
Bersin by Deloitte developed a 4-step hiring process (PDF) for managers to use in their hiring process, that centers around business outcomes. When it comes to evaluating candidates, they suggest using this nine box method, which plots applicant abilities against the qualities you’re looking for.
By customizing this template and building a nine box method that makes sense for you, can evaluate candidates on your own metrics, making it a repeatable process.
13. Sheena Iyengar, The Art of Choosing (Book)
Sheena Iyengar is an academic bent on helping managers make better business decisions. Her book The Art of Choosing has some keen advice on how to choose between two things that seem similar, but may have radically different outcomes.
Don’t have time to read the whole thing? Check out Iyengar’s TED Talk on the same subject.
14. Entelo, “Hiring on all cylinders” (podcast)
Entelo’s hiring platform is a great way to speed up the hiring process. But their ongoing podcast has a lot of advice to supplement the platform. Each week, they interview recruiters and managers from successful companies about specific challenges in the recruiting process.
15. “Our delusions about talent” (podcast)
The Harvard Business Review also puts out a pretty impressive podcast, though only a few episodes are relevant to recruiting. This one about talent provides key insights that managers need to know before making any big hiring decisions—including how they think about a given candidate’s aptitude.