Making Path: Recruiting New Interns
A lot has changed since the first weeks of my internship, as we can all expect from working in a startup that is in its launch phase. In the beginning, I stayed focused on creating digital content and visuals, at the same time that I was responsible for developing product design for our subscription box to be launched in a few weeks. However, as the end of my internship approaches, I took my own advice from previous blog posts to voice my concerns and ambitions and stated that I would be eager to help to find new interns for the Fall, taking some experience in HR and talent recruitment.
So, here I am having my first formal recruitment experience. I actually had some experience in talent management and recruiting new employees before, but these experiences were mostly related to finding potential workers and reaching out to them to sell our company culture. This time, I am involved since phase 0 of how recruiting works and am happy to share the steps that I am taking and plan to take in the next weeks prior to my final day.
There are 5 steps that I have outlined for recruiting new interns: budgeting, timeline, culture, interview, and assessment. This is not a rule, and each company has its own process, but overall it might work with adaptations for many job roles. In my case, I am looking for a sales intern.
Budgeting does not include financials solely, but also allocate human capital into how the process will work. In this phase of planning, I budgeted extra expenditures and opportunity costs for allocating other peers into the selection process, in a way that I can define how many people will be involved and who will be conducting each phase.
It is CRUCIAL to determine how long each step will take, including pre-, during, and post-selection. Pre-selection involves all these five steps outlined with expectations on timely matters; during selection, some parts such as analyzing CVs and allocating time for each interview might take a lot longer than expected, so we need to plan accordingly. Lastly, hiring someone does not mean recruitment is done: we need to know how much time we have to provide for the new member to adapt and be trained.
- CULTURE AND DESCRIPTIONS
This is the longest part, in my opinion. In an interview and job description, we need to make clear who the candidates want to work with, our expectations in terms of schedule, hierarchy, etc. It is not good if the candidate has to dig information or even learn way later on about the company culture, as it can generate shock and lack of further motivation.
It might be good to conduct employee surveys to understand how each one of them feels about the company culture so that the job description and interactions with candidates are as accurate as possible, as well as to understand pain points that need to be solved for the following generations of interns.
Culture also involves what kinds of knowledge, skills, and abilities we expect to interact with our network, that is, the KSAs. I do not want to over-explain this, so I will leave it for my last blog post, but KSAs help us understand our requirements, preferable skills, and expected behavior from our candidates, which will lead us to have more proficient interviews.
After CVs are analyzed and an initial pool of applicants is selected for interviews, it is time to get to know them face to face (or in 2020, screen-to-screen). In the interview, we need to make tests and questions that help us understand who the candidate is in person. Taking the salesperson as an example, we look for someone with composure and adaptability, good communication skills, empathy, and integrity, as well as an ability to make decisions quickly. But most importantly, a salesperson NEEDS to be empathetic and open to all publics, disregarding gender, orientation, race, ethnicity, and religion.
Finally, how do we assess who our best candidate is?
What I do and am doing is creating spreadsheets and taking interview notes on each of the previously stated traits. It is important to make sure requirements are fair and our questions were pretty much the same for every candidate, so it is easier to compare visually in a screen every single requirement from each. Now, we ask ourselves: who is the most prepared? Can we hire someone who did not have initial job experience? Is our salary fair? And who are candidates that can provide us with diverse experiences and increase our company’s adaptability?
These are the overall steps I have followed and am currently following for selecting new interns for my company. We are still undergoing, but as soon as results arise, I will share them alongside KSAs & Diversity in my final blog post in the next week.
Hope all endeavors blossom and that everyone who is reading this piece understands a little bit more of how important it is to develop a strategy for admitting new personnel.