Is There a ‘Best Practice’ for Hiring?

by Paul Devlin


As we know hiring can be a minefield and although there is no set schedule for any interview process, it’s essential to establish a procedure that ensures you bring onboard the best candidates. It’s also good to remember that the candidate is weighing up you and your Company. If they are feeling like you treat them like a number during the interview process, will it get any better when hired? Whether you are a company of 2 or 2,000, here are 6 simple areas you’ll want to cover:


  1. Identify Essential Criteria: The first step is to identify the must-have qualifications and skills for the job. These can include specific degrees, years of experience, technical skills, and soft skills like communication or leadership. For example, if you’re hiring for a Software Engineer, you might require a Computer Science degree, at least three years of experience, proficiency in Java, and excellent problem-solving skills.

  2. Filter Incoming Applications: Once you have your criteria, you can use them to filter incoming applications. With bigger organizations, this process can also automated using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that scan resumes for keywords related to your criteria. Applications that don’t meet the essential criteria are filtered out, allowing you to focus on potential fits.

  3. Review Applications: After filtering, you can review the remaining applications in detail. This includes looking at work history, educational background, and any other relevant information provided by the candidate.

  4. Interview Preparation: Prepare a list of questions that will help you evaluate whether the candidates possess the necessary skills and qualifications. For a Software Engineer, questions might include technical ones about their knowledge of coding languages, as well as behavioral ones to assess their problem-solving abilities and how they handle stress or deadlines.

  5. Timeline: Aim to review applications within one week of receiving them. Candidates who pass the initial review will be invited for an interview. Ideally, the first round of interviews should be scheduled within two weeks from the application deadline.

  6. Interview and Selection Process: Conduct interviews using the prepared questions. After all interviews are completed, evaluate each candidate based on their responses, skills, experience, and cultural fit. The top candidates will then proceed to a second round of interviews or assessments if necessary. The final hiring decision should ideally be made within a month of the application deadline.


This procedure ensures that you efficiently process incoming applications, thoroughly assess potential candidates, and make timely decisions to secure the best talent and fit for your organization. It will also create a good impression of your Company whether that candidate gets the position or not.

This article does not constitute legal advice. For more information please reference related articles in your APlus HR resource center or ask your friendly APlus CSS about our On-demand HR live advice line where, for a small fee, you can be connected to a certified HR advisor. 

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