There are few things in business that can make or break a successful hire as much as an effective interview process. The cost of a bad hire cascades through a company much like a virulent virus spreads through it’s host. Starting with the cost of on-boarding, added salary & benefits, then it moves on to a cost in time, time spent on-boarding, integrating into the team and training. Finally, the cost in face/reputation. Introducing the new hire to your internal team and your external clients and/or prospects. When you consider all of these costs, it makes a lot of sense to give some dedicated time and thought to how you are selecting your new employees.

Having spent the past 13 years helping ERP Partners through this process, I recognize a few key parts of the hiring process that really make a difference in landing the right people. Here are those parts:

First, Schedule a phone or video interview to get an initial feel for the candidate as a person and professional, and a general sense for his/her cultural fit to your organization (I strongly suggest a video conference rather than just a phone.)

Second, either a phone/video or in-person interview that includes allowing one or a couple other trusted members of your team to determine their own first impression and assessment of the candidate, separate from you. A second pair of eyes, if you will, can be a powerful way to catch things that you may have missed, or are in your blind spot. (Consider the post-interview feedback of the other team member with a grain of salt. They may also have biases or blind spots that you do not.)

Third, (and this could be during the 2nd interview if you wish), give the candidate a chance to show you what their like in action. Have them demo something for you and your team. It doesn’t have to be your technology, or even any technology! Just getting a sense for how they communicate complex ideas, how they represent themselves in front of a group of people is extremely valuable as you make your decision on if and where they fit into your org.

Last, When you find the person that you feel confident is the right fit, you might find value in doing reference checks, and perhaps criminal and/or financial background checks if that is something that you value.

When you make your offer, make it a competitive one. From my 13+ years helping hirers and candidates come together, I’ve seen over and over the cohesive power of a generous offer and the erosive power of entering this part of the process with a “me-versus-you/negotiation” mindset.