Hiring Process Checklist Template
This template provides a basic checklist for your hiring process.
Hiring Process Checklist Template
This template provides a basic checklist for your hiring process.
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Why We Have a Hiring Checklist
At our company, we believe in the importance of a documented checklist for our hiring process to ensure consistency, efficiency, and fairness. This checklist serves as a roadmap, guiding us to methodically approach each stage of hiring. It ensures that every candidate experiences a uniform and equitable hiring experience, eliminating any discrepancies or biases that might arise from an ad-hoc approach.
Moreover, it streamlines our hiring activities, making them more efficient and effective, and reduces the likelihood of overlooking crucial steps. By adhering to this checklist, we aim to attract and identify the best talent, while upholding our company's values and commitment to a fair and transparent recruitment process.
Our Hiring Process Checklist
Here’s a general overview of what to do during our hiring process:
- Determine role: Identify the specific needs and requirements for the new position within the company.
- Write the job description: Craft a comprehensive and engaging job description that accurately reflects the role's responsibilities.
- Translate job description into scorecard: Develop a job scorecard that outlines key responsibilities and success metrics for the role.
- Create an interview guide: Assemble a structured guide to ensure that interviews are consistent and focused on relevant criteria.
- Develop an email communication plan: Plan and draft email communications for different stages of the hiring process.
- Post the job listing: Publish the job listing on appropriate platforms to attract candidates.
- Interview with HR: Conduct initial interviews with HR to assess candidates' fit with company culture and role requirements.
- Interview with hiring manager: Have candidates meet with the hiring manager for a more in-depth evaluation.
- Interview with department co-workers: Arrange interviews with potential future colleagues for department-specific insights.
- Assign the demo project: Assign a demonstration project or task to evaluate practical skills and problem-solving abilities.
- Check references: Perform reference checks to validate candidates' backgrounds and experiences.
- Present the offer letter: Draft and extend an offer letter to the selected candidate.
Step 1: Figure out what roles you need to hire.
During this stage of the hiring process, it's crucial to maintain close communication with leadership across the business. Regular meetings, ideally weekly, with team leaders are essential to stay informed about emerging challenges and needs within their teams.
Additionally, monthly meetings with Human Resources and Finance are recommended for a more in-depth analysis of each team's requirements. These discussions should be critical and cross-functional, focusing on identifying and understanding the underlying problems teams are facing.
By recognizing patterns in issues across different departments, you can avoid "snap-hires" and ensure that new roles address the root of the challenges, rather than just their symptoms.
Step 2: Write a specific job description.
When writing a job description, after identifying the specific problem the role is meant to solve, it's essential to collaborate with the hiring manager to create a description that attracts the ideal candidates. Aim for specificity to draw in quality, highly aligned candidates, rather than a large quantity of applicants. Key questions to discuss with the hiring manager include:
- What will the day-to-day responsibilities look like for the new hire?
- What specific problem is this person expected to solve?
- How will success be measured in this role?
- What key performance indicators (KPIs) or metrics will this person significantly impact?
- What processes will they improve?
- What tasks or responsibilities are they taking off your plate?
Using the insights from these discussions, craft a job description that clearly outlines the role, focusing on attracting candidates uniquely suited to address the identified challenges and contribute effectively to the team.
Example Job Description
Here’s an example of how to write a job description for a Sales Specialist role.
You thrive in high-volume sales environments. Partnering with small and medium-sized businesses to create efficiencies in their business is your jam. And, you know how to hit the phones to close business.
What you will own & improve:
- Converting leads in the free trial to paying customers: You will engage with leads during their free trial to help them convert to a paid account! You will achieve this by evangelizing the product through a consultative sales process.
- Closing leads: You understand the value of our products and services. And you know how to position the unique value proposition for organizations.
- Lead & customer experience: You will ensure all assigned leads and customers have an incredible experience with us — regardless of whether they decide to use the product.
What you already know:
- The art of storytelling & closing: You know how to tell a story that weaves buying reasons and objections into the narrative. You are compelling, yet consultative, always keeping the customer’s needs top of mind.
- How to manage a quota: We are a volume-based sales environment with ample opportunities to hit or exceed goals. But this high-volume environment requires an organized, hungry candidate that can manage their own pipeline and meet their goals.
- How to collaborate as a team: Our collaborative, team-based approach is critical to our internal and customer success.
What you will learn:
- How to use our tools: You will get a crash course in Trainual, Hubspot, Aircall, our Admin portal, and Stripe. Plus, you’ll learn to leverage technology for automation and efficiency.
- How to prospect larger accounts: You will be able to grow into a position where you generate and engage with leads of a larger deal size in both an inbound and outbound capacity.
- Everything about our company: You will gain a thorough understanding of the products and services we offer to help our customers!
How success is measured:
This role is simple: Close assigned leads into paying customers. It’s a volume-based game, so more is better.
Step 3: Translate your job description into a scorecard.
The job scorecard is a snapshot of each role. What you expect from the position, key responsibilities, and metrics to measure success included.
Translate the job description into the job scorecard using the job scorecard template.
Be sure to share this with your hiring team and your newly hired employee to set clear accurate expectations!
Step 4: Create an interview guide based on your job description.
After defining the role and crafting a detailed job description, the next crucial step is to create an interview guide. This guide will align the interview process with specific questions tailored to the role's criteria. It ensures that your interview squad evaluates candidates against the right benchmarks, focusing on finding a high-fit individual for the position.
The guide should include:
- Questions directly related to the role's responsibilities.
- Problems the candidate is expected to solve.
- How their success will be measured.
Remember that HR, the hiring manager, and some of the department employees will be conducting separate interviews, and you’ll need to create questions for each. By aligning the interview questions with the job description, you ensure a consistent and focused assessment, crucial for selecting the most suitable candidate.
The hiring manager will prepare a demo project for prospective job candidates that is reflective of the role's actual responsibilities. This project should be challenging yet achievable, providing a realistic sample of the work the candidate would be doing. It's crucial to ensure that the task is clearly defined, with specific objectives and expected outcomes, to enable a fair and effective assessment of the candidate's skills and suitability for the role.
Example Interview Guide
Let’s use the Sales Specialist again as our example:
Interview #1: HR qualifying call (60-min interview)
Sample questions include:
1. Why did you choose our company?
2. Why are you looking for a new role? Why right now? Why this role?
3. How would you describe our product to a potential customer in less than 30 seconds?
4. Have you ever had a quota before? Over the last year, how many months/quarters were you on the plan or exceeded plan?
- Where do you get your leads? How many do you usually get? And what is your current conversion rate?
- Who decided what markets you would own?
5. Tell me your professional story…
6. What are three role-related tasks you are incredible at? (Ask for a specific example for each.)
7. What are three areas in which you need to grow? Or, What are three things/responsibilities you don’t want to do in your next role & why? (Ask for a specific example for each.)
8. What is your superpower?
9. What do you never want to do again?
10. What is your favorite role? What is your least favorite role? And why?
11. Answer questions and pitch the company team, growth path, culture, and more.
12. What are your compensation expectations? Share our comp plan, benefits, culture, and more.
Interview #2: Zoom with their hiring manager (30-min interview)
This interview focuses on qualifying situational sales behaviors and skills. For example, how have they handled pricing objections or a high volume role with massive call lists at other companies?
Sample questions include:
- Each week we have approximately 250 prospects whose trial ends without converting to paid. We have emails for all and phone numbers for most. At a high level, what would your strategy and outreach look like to convert them?
- Call campaigns often result in leaving a lot of voicemails. In your past experience, what voicemail messaging have you found successful in getting prospects to call you back?
- Scenario 1: You connect with a prospect whose trial has ended, and they tell you they didn’t convert because they didn’t really have time to try the software. What is your response?
- Scenario 2: You connect with a prospect whose trial has ended, and they tell you they didn’t convert because the cost was too high. What is your response?
- Scenario 3: You get an inbound lead for a prospect interested in the business (they have not started a trial yet). What would your goals be for this first conversation? What questions would you ask them?
- How would customers measure the success of our company? What are the outcomes they are trying to achieve? How would they measure ROI?
Interview #3: Peer Zoom interview with a representative from Sales & Customer Support (45-min interview)
The intention of this peer interview is twofold. One, sell them on the company. And two, ensure they can do the role by digging into the day in the life of their past experience with behavioral interview questions.
Sales-focused questions include:
- Tell me about a time you missed quota and adjusted your strategy in the next quarter.
- Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a rude customer.
- Tell me about a time you had to deal with a complex sales deal and had to strategize a way to make something work through creative problem-solving.
- Do you have experience in creating custom sales slash pitch decks? If so, what type of programs did you use for this?
- Do you still have relationships with your past clients? Tell me about one of your favorite clients that you’ve worked with
- Tell me about one time how you handled letting a prospect know that your solution is not the best fit to solve their immediate problems.
- Are you familiar with a CRM system? Tell me about how you manage your time between prospect conversations, follow-up examples, and how many times you touch them throughout the sales process.
- If you had a choice to be the most intelligent business professional or to be kind and curious, which would you choose and why?
- When you feel overwhelmed, how do you re-shift and focus your mind?
- Tell me about one of your favorite leadership or sales books slash movies that made a big impact on your professional development.
Customer Support-focused questions include:
- Tell me about ways that you have expressed empathy to sales prospects.
- Based on your experience with our type of customer, what are some daily challenges that you believe business owners and managers face?
- Tell me about a time when a sales prospect gave you a bogus excuse or clearly fictional information. How did you handle the follow-up?
- What sources of information have you used in the past to research a sales prospect? And what their needs might be?
- Tell me about a time when you and one of your teammates disagreed about how to handle a sales prospect or deal? How did you resolve it? What would you do differently next time?
Step 5: Develop email communication for easy pipeline management.
Establishing a clear and thoughtful email communication plan is crucial in securing the best candidates. It begins the moment a candidate submits their application. An automated response should be sent immediately to acknowledge receipt of their application, initiating the conversation and setting a tone of responsiveness and professionalism.
Continual communication is key throughout the interview process. Regular updates and information on next steps keep candidates engaged and informed, demonstrating respect for their time and interest. This approach not only enhances the candidate's experience but also reflects positively on your organization, potentially increasing the likelihood of attracting and retaining top talent.
Example Email Communication
Email 1: Auto response to all applicants
Subject: Thank you for applying to our company!
Thank you for your interest in our company! We appreciate the time you took to apply for [job posting title]. And we are delighted that you would consider joining our team.
We know applying for a job can be exciting and, at times, nerve-racking. Particularly when you find your dream job, click apply, and wait, and wait some more. We’ve been there too, so we want to give you some insight into what happens after you click that “submit” button.
Each application is read by our Head of HR and the hiring manager (both fantastic human beings). If your skills and experience are aligned with the role, we will reach out to schedule an introductory call. We're fortunate enough to have a lot of interest in joining the team at our company, which means a competitive candidate interviewing and hiring process. HR will be in touch regardless of whether we choose to move forward with your application.
We believe candidates should know what to expect and be fully prepared throughout their interview process. Check out what our recruiting experience looks like:
- If selected for an introductory call with HR, be prepared to tell your story and why you want to work with us.
- Each role has a unique hiring process with anywhere from 2 to 5 additional interview steps (phone, video, and a department-specific presentation).
- HR will walk you through the entire process on your first call and provide more details before each interview step, don’t worry!
Interview best practices
- Please do not call our office for updates. We are working hard to provide an excellent candidate experience for everyone, and we will reply as soon as possible!
- Lean on HR as your point of contact throughout the process.
- We're committed to hiring the best talent for each role. So, our hiring timeline can vary from weeks to months. But we remain communicative throughout the process.
- Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.
We are rapidly growing our team and will have plenty of opportunities to get involved in the coming months. Stay connected with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram pages. We update it frequently with events, industry-related news, and other great content. Plus, check out our Glassdoor page to learn more about our employee experience and culture.
Thanks again for considering our company!
Head of HR
Email 2: Schedule sales specialist interview with HR
Subject: Hey [Applicant] - Let’s talk!
Thank you so much for your interest in working at Trainual. My name is [Name], and I'm the Head of HR at [Company]. I've taken a look at your resume and LinkedIn. And on paper, it looks like it could be a fit. I'd love to set up a 60-minute call with you to further discuss the role, your background, and dive into what it's like to work here!
Please, drop some time on my calendar here: [link]
Thank you so much for your continued interest in working at Trainual!
Head of HR
Email 3: What to expect before the HR interview
Subject: Preparing for your Interview with [Company]! 😊
I’m so excited about our chat! I know interviewing can be a little nerve-wracking, so here are a few tips to help you:
- Review the job description on our careers page to understand the role and how your unique background and skill set would fit this position.
- Prepare scenarios of professional successes and failures within your relevant professional and personal development experience to use as examples for behavioral interviewing questions.
- Come prepared to tell your professional story.
- Your next career move is equal parts you finding the best role and company that fits you and us finding the right candidate to fill the needs of the business, so come prepared with questions for your interviewing team.
Head of HR
Email 4: Introduction to [Company] for candidates
Subject: Interview next steps: Join us in our Trainual account!
Thank you for spending time interviewing with us! It means so much that you’re interested in joining the [Company] team.
Before we do anything else, it’s time to really introduce you to our company! We want our candidates to have an inside look into what we do so you have all the information at your disposal!
You will be getting an invite to the email we have on file, asking you to join our documentation and employee training account Trainual. Please complete the “Company Introduction for Job Candidates.”
Let me know if you have any trouble logging into our Trainual account or if you have any questions once you’re in the subject!
We love Trainual, and we hope you do too!
Head of HR
Email 5: What to expect before the hiring manager interview
Subject: [Company] interview next steps: Interview with the hiring manager!
Thanks for completing the Trainual subject!
I would love to move you forward to the next stage in our interview process: a quick chat with the hiring manager for this role, [the hiring manager].
A little more about [the hiring manager]: [link to intro video]
Please send over your availability for a 30-minute interview over the next week or two, so we can get something on the calendar!
As always, reach out with any questions!
Head of HR
Email 6: What to expect before the peer interview
Subject: [Company] interview next steps: Interview with the CX Team!
[Our hiring manager] really enjoyed their call with you! We’d love for you to get to know two of our team members a little better in a peer interview.
Please send over your availability for a 45-minute Zoom interview sometime over the next week!
We know talking with multiple people over Zoom can be awkward, so here is a little introduction from [the team members you'll meet]. That way, you can get to know them a bit before jumping on your call!
Get to know [team member]: [link to intro video]
Get to know [team member]: [link to intro video]
We are so excited to have you meet with some of the team and get a feel for our culture!
Head of HR
Email 7: Demo instructions
Subject: [Company] interview final step: Demo for our hiring manager
You’re almost there! The very last interview with our company!
For your final interview with [the hiring manager], you will be doing a demo…
The demo will be a 20-minute overview of the top benefits of our company for a prospective customer, followed by 10 minutes of Q&A. The remaining 30 minutes of the interview will be other questions not necessarily related to the demo. Here are a few additional points to keep in mind as you prepare for the demo portion of the interview:
- The demo audience is a business owner who is the decision-maker.
- You can use whatever tools and format you feel are best to present the software.
- We will not be asking in-depth functional questions in the Q&A. The goal is not to stump you on your product knowledge. Instead, we want to see how you would show the product to an interested prospect and how you handle common questions they may ask.
- Please feel free to ask any clarifying questions you may have about this presentation!
We are excited to see how you present the value of our business!
Head of HR
Email 8: CX team and organization overview
Subject: Get to know the Customer Experience team! 😊
You’re thinking about joining a team you’ve never met... that can be scary. So, we wanted to give you a little more insight into what the CX team does and who you’d be working with every day!
Customer Experience at our company is Sales and Customer Success — it spans the entire customer lifecycle. We start with lead conversions and end with customer renewals slash retention.
If you want to know who is on the CX team, [you can see them all here]!
Head of HR
Step 6: Interview for role, department, and company alignment.
The interview stage of the hiring process, segmented into three distinct sections — HR, hiring manager, and peer interviews — is a crucial phase. After investing time in determining the right role, clearly defining the responsibilities, and designing an appropriate evaluation process, these interviews serve as a comprehensive assessment of each candidate.
- HR Interview: This initial stage focuses on evaluating the candidate's fit with the company culture and values. HR assesses general competencies and motivation, setting the stage for more role-specific discussions.
- Hiring Manager Interview: Here, the conversation delves deeper into the specifics of the role. The hiring manager assesses the candidate's technical skills, experience, and how their expertise aligns with the job's requirements.
- Peer Interview: Involving team members in the interview process adds another layer of assessment, focusing on the candidate's ability to collaborate and integrate with the team. Peers can provide unique insights into how the candidate might contribute to the team dynamics and work processes.
This structured approach ensures a thorough evaluation, covering all aspects necessary to make an informed hiring decision.
Interviewing for role, department, and company alignment involves a strategic approach to ensure that candidates not only fit the specific job requirements but also align with the broader goals and culture of the department and company.
During the interview, assess how the candidate's skills, experience, and working style align with the role's responsibilities. Explore their understanding and compatibility with the department's objectives and dynamics. Finally, gauge their fit with the company's values and culture. This holistic approach ensures that the candidate is well-suited for the role, can effectively collaborate within the department, and contributes positively to the overall company ethos.
Step 7: Evaluate demo project.
The demo project is a critical component of our hiring process, designed to evaluate a candidate's practical skills and problem-solving abilities in a real-world context.
This project offers candidates a chance to showcase their expertise, creativity, and approach to work-related challenges. By observing how candidates handle specific tasks or scenarios relevant to the job, we gain valuable insights into their capabilities, work style, and how they might tackle actual job responsibilities.
It's an effective tool for assessing not just technical abilities, but also critical thinking, time management, and communication skills. This hands-on approach provides a more comprehensive understanding of a candidate's potential fit within the role and the team.
Step 8: Review candidates.
Reviewing candidates in the hiring process involves a structured approach to ensure fairness and effectiveness. After each interview and the demo project, gather feedback from all interviewers and reviewers. Use a consistent framework or scorecard aligned with the job's requirements and the company's values to evaluate each candidate objectively.
Consider factors like technical skills, problem-solving abilities, cultural fit, and potential for growth. It's important to review candidates comprehensively, considering their overall performance across all stages of the interview process.
This holistic evaluation helps in making an informed decision, ensuring the selected candidate is not only skilled but also aligns well with the team and company culture.
Step 9: Choose the right candidate and check references.
Once you've settled on a candidate, reference checks are a crucial step. Contact each reference provided by the candidate to verify their work history and experiences. Ask specific, structured questions related to the candidate’s performance, work ethic, and behavior in their previous roles.
Focus on gaining insights that align with the key competencies and traits essential for the role in your company. It's important to approach this process objectively, looking for confirmation of the candidate's abilities and fit within your organization. Additionally, be attentive to any red flags or inconsistencies that emerge during these conversations. This careful and thorough approach helps ensure you are making a well-informed hiring decision.
Step 10: Send the offer letter.
Once the reference check is positive and you decide to move forward, it's time to draft and send an offer letter. This letter should clearly outline the key details of the offer, including the job title, salary, start date, and any other pertinent details such as benefits, working hours, and reporting structure.
It's important to convey enthusiasm and a warm welcome to the candidate, highlighting how their skills and experience will be valuable to the team. Ensure the language is clear and professional, and encourage the candidate to reach out with any questions. Timeliness is key, so send the offer promptly after completing reference checks to maintain the candidate's interest and momentum.
Example Offer Letter
We are pleased to offer you the position of Sales Specialist at [Company]! Your experience and skills are an ideal match for our team, and we are excited about the potential you bring to this role.
This offer includes an annual salary of [salary amount], along with comprehensive benefits we discussed. Your anticipated start date will be [start date].
Please review this offer and feel free to contact us with any questions. We hope you will join us in our mission to [briefly mention company goals or values related to the role].
We look forward to the possibility of you joining our team and contributing to our company's success. Please confirm your acceptance of this offer by [date].
Head of HR
Questions? Comments? Concerns?
Our structured and thorough hiring process, from determining the right role to extending the offer letter, ensures that we identify and secure the best talent for our company. Each step is crucial in ensuring we find candidates who not only have the necessary skills and experience but also align with our company culture and values.
For any questions, comments, or concerns regarding this process, please feel free to reach out to the Human Resources department. They are available to provide guidance and support to ensure a smooth and effective hiring experience.