How Do Big Companies Manage the Hiring Process?

Big companies often attract the best talent and secure the best hires. How do these large enterprises manage the hiring process to produce such stellar results?

From headhunting and recruiting to interviewing and screening to the final hiring decision, the process of finding and appointing new employees is complex. For small businesses, the challenges of the process usually relate to a lack of knowledge or resources. SMBs—especially startups and new businesses—struggle with hiring because they don’t yet have proven procedures in place to attract and screen new talent.

For larger businesses, the challenges are different. Huge enterprises and big corporations have years of hiring under their belts, so their recruiting processes essentially run like well-oiled machines. The main hurdles for these bigger businesses are matters of productivity and efficiency. How can you consistently find good hires when you must fill dozens or hundreds of positions every year instead of just a small handful? Read on to learn how big companies manage this hurdle, and what you can do to start hiring like a juggernaut.

  • Big companies make sure their jobs are posted everywhere: Hiring is about the law of averages. The more applications you get, the more of them are going to be great. The more great candidates you have, the more luxury you get in choosing someone who is the exact right fit for the position and your company. Having a detailed careers or recruitment page on your website is a good first step, but it’s not enough. You need to be able to get your job postings out to every job board possible. Using tools like ZipRecruiter makes this process a whole lot easier.
  • Big companies use applicant tracking systems: Having a large applicant pool will net you a larger number of qualified candidates, but it will also give you a ton of applications and resumes to sort through. An applicant tracking system (ATS) can be a godsend in this situation. Typically, an ATS can automatically filter resumes and applications based on specific keywords from skills to schools to former employers. An ATS also helps you monitor different applicants, manage resumes and other materials for core prospects, and keep your top candidates in the loop. No wonder so many big brands use ATS software to secure great hires.
  • Big companies do multi-step interview processes: This trend has started to catch on at SMBs after being in the corporate arsenal for years. You can’t get a full sense of what an applicant brings to the table based on a single conversation. As such, a multi-step interview process is a must. Start with 20-minute phone call pre-screenings to determine basic skills, interest level, and cultural fit. From there, plan to have at least two other interview steps. One might be a video-chat interview while the other might be in-person in front of a panel, or they might both be in-person with different hiring managers or team members. This process ensures the interviewee is facing slightly different questions and situations at each meeting, giving you a chance to get to know them better. It also allows more people from your team to participate in the hiring process, which can lead to a broader base of perspectives and more overall objectivity in the final hiring decision.
  • Big companies run background checks: Most big companies have background check policies that have been tried and tested over years of hiring processes. Many of these companies will even post their background check policies on their websites, just to make sure they are public. If you want to hire like a big corporate entity, you need to be willing to do your homework. That means taking your criminal background checks beyond the basic county criminal history search. County criminal checks are a good place to start, but you’ll want to do state searches to widen the lens and perhaps even multi-jurisdictional checks to get a widescreen picture. Address history checks are also a good strategy, as you can use them to order other county criminal checks where your candidates have lived and worked in the past. Your searches should go beyond criminal history, as you need to verify resume information like education, employment, and professional licenses to ensure you are making your hiring decision based on truthful information.
  • Big companies are responsive throughout the hiring process: This point is important, and it’s typically the area in which SMBs are likely to fail. Candidate experience is vital if you want to draw the best applicants and win the best talent. The internet makes it easier than ever for bad news to spread, and if your candidates have a crummy experience interviewing with your company, word is going to get out. Having a good ATS helps, but perhaps the most important thing is being communicative and responsive throughout the hiring process. You don’t need to email every person who applies for the job to tell them you aren’t interested in hiring them. However, by the time you reach the in-person interview stage, you should be keeping everyone in the loop. No one likes to be left in limbo indefinitely, so letting applicants know when they are no longer being considered for a job is a courtesy even though it’s bad news. And once you know who you want to hire, don’t delay: make an offer ASAP. The quicker you make an offer, the less chance you have of losing that candidate to another employer.

Big corporate entities may have bigger names, wider reach, and more resources than your business, but there is no reason that you can’t use the same strategies they do to execute a successful hiring process. You might not draw as many applicants or the same caliber of recruits, but by making the five strategies listed above core parts of your recruitment process, you will be able to make quicker hires with less margin for error.

Michael Klazema has been developing products for pre-employment screening and improving online customer experiences in the background screening industry since 2009. He is the lead author and editor for Backgroundchecks.com. He lives in Dallas, TX with his family and enjoys the rich culinary histories of various old and new world countries.

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