Hiring 101 Part 1— 4 Things to Do Before You Start

In this video, Recruiting Daily Advisor Editor Stephen Bruce talks about the 4 things you need to do before you start hiring. After you have completed these steps, you are ready to move ahead in the hiring process. In the next video in our series, we’ll pin down what you are looking for in a candidate.
SB: This is Steve Bruce for the HR Daily Advisor.

This video is the first in our series Hiring 101. It’s about Four Things to Do Before You Start Hiring.

First thing— Learn laws, rules and policies of your organization.

In all of the activities of recruiting, improper actions can sow the seeds for a future lawsuit. SO: Familiarize yourself with your organization’s rules and policies on the following:

  • Job posting and internal search policies
  • Union agreements and rules
  • Application and resumé policies
  • Equal opportunity policy
  • Relocation authorization and policy
  • Recruiting/advertising budget and policy
  • Reference/background checks policy
  • In addition, familiarize yourself with federal and state laws concerning hiring. Be sure that you are ready to:
  • Follow rules for asking legal questions
  • Ensure consistent treatment of all applicants
  • Avoid promises that can’t be kept

Second—Clarify roles.

Each employer has its own way of running the recruiting process. Some are highly centralized, with the HR department doing most of the work. On the other hand, in this era of leaner management, many have decentralized recruiting, putting the burden on the shoulders of the hiring manager. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Who arranges postings and places advertisements?
  • Whose budget pays recruiting costs?
  • Who contacts search and agency personnel?
  • Who does résumé screening, phone screening, testing?
  • Who arranges and conducts interviews?
  • Who performs reference/background checks?
  • Who extends formal offers of employment?

In most organizations, there are certain specialized hiring tasks that normally fall under the HR department. For example, the HR department may ensure that new employees comply with the requirements of immigration laws, or they may ensure that records relating to affirmative action are properly maintained. So, before beginning to recruit, clarify what the HR department will do for you, and what they expect you to do.

Third—Verify the Job opening

Before investing time and money in recruiting, make sure that the job opening is “real.” If your organization has a formal process for approving an opening for hire, make sure that all appropriate forms are signed and authorizations obtained. If your organization is less formal, at least send a confirming note to your boss or the hiring manager, outlining your recruiting plan.

Fourth—Check for controls and constraints

You’ll just waste time if you set off without knowing what constraints there are. For example:

  • Who needs to interview or meet with final candidates?
  • Who needs to approve the final choice?
  • Who sets salary, benefits, perks?
  • Do you have authority to relocate?
  • What is the budget for advertising?
  • What is the budget for search or employment agency fees?

After you have answered these questions, you are ready to move ahead in the hiring process. We’ll talk more about that in the next video in the series, pinning down what you are looking for.

For detailed guidance on hiring and all your HR challenges, we recommend This is Steve Bruce for the HR Daily Advisor.