Hiring the Best

The Funnel Approach

In today’s market, finding the right candidate can be overwhelming due to the large number of candidates that a job posting generates.  Therefore, I find it quite useful to include a set of processes that go beyond the basic screening and interview process.  I refer to it as the “funnel approach” and although it takes more time upfront, your success rate will increase significantly in the long run.  You begin with a large number of candidates at the top and as you continue with the selection process, you narrow the application pool to only a few candidates.  In essence you are trying to find not just an applicant to fill a position, but the best match for the position and the company.

Here is what it looks like:

Recruiting Pyramid2


You begin with the job description.  Spend time with your hiring manager before you post the job to identify essential skills and qualifications in addition to the details of the job responsibilities.  Many times positions may change as the company evolves and using an existing job posting may overlook new requirements.

Next develop a screening process which includes a list of essential qualifications that a candidate must have before proceeding to the next level. Conduct a first interview which includes a review of the applicant’s job history and qualifications, a discussion of the job duties and a couple of key behavioral questions that provide a preliminary insight to personality traits.  Next include a first level assessment which includes technical testing such as computer, math, cognitive or industry knowledge skills.  At this point you can eliminate some candidates and prepare for the second round of interviewing.

In the second phone interview, I like to use a behavioral interview which is based on the premise that a person’s past performance on the job is the best predictor of future performance. The interview includes real life examples of how the candidate acted in situations related to the questions, which is unlike a traditional job interview that ask uncomplicated questions related to past experiences.

After the second interview, you should have your final candidates.  At this point, I recommend an in-depth assessment which evaluates mental and emotional intelligence and identifies personality traits that you may have overlooked in the selection process.  Now you are ready to present your final candidates to the hiring manager for review.  This should not be your first time to discuss applicants with the hiring manager.  I always include a check in process at the early stage of this process that includes a discussion of a couple of candidates to ensure I am accurate in my selection criteria.

The final stage of this process is the hiring manager interview.  I typically prepare a packet for the hiring manager that includes the information I have collected as well as discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate. Most hiring managers prefer to conduct the interview as they see fit, however, make sure that you have reviewed legal interviewing techniques to ensure compliance with state and federal laws.

The Funnel Approach goes above and beyond typical recruiting and selection practices for most employers, but I have found that it increases your success rate and justifies the time and expense.  Successful recruiting is more than filling positions with people, it is an art of match-making in the workforce.