By Ally Kennedy, Founder of AMIGA
The hiring process can feel stressful and overwhelming. Most of us wait until we desperately need someone before we make the decision to take on a new staff member. As a result the hiring process can be rushed making us settle for the wrong candidate or a “good enough” candidate. The following done-for-you hiring process is designed for busy professionals who are trying to find the right person for their offices..
1. Weed Out Candidates in Responses to Job Posting
Attention to detail and the ability to follow basic directions are important for any job yet they are difficult skills to test in an interview. That is why the job posting should do more than merely explain the position and how to apply. Rather, it should list specific actions that you want the applicant to take, some obvious and some less obvious. For example, you can include the instruction, “In the subject line of your application, include Job Number 2416.” Also, instead of just asking for a resume, ask the applicant to include other application materials such as a cover letter and reference list. If you are looking for a bilingual applicant, request for a cover letter to be written in both languages.
This system helps weed out applicants quickly. Any applicant who does not take every step requested is not considered as a potential candidate for the job.
Here is a sample job posting for you to use:
"Law firm is seeking an administrative assistant. The position will be approximately 30-40 hours a week. Bilingual candidates only (Spanish/English).
FLUENCY IN WRITTEN AND SPOKEN SPANISH IS REQUIRED.
- Online research that is presented in formal, organized manner
- Social media management
- Marketing support for new company
- Answer phone calls in English and Spanish
- Prepare letters in English and Spanish
- Prepare immigration forms
- Set up new files and close old files
- Assemble court filings and immigration packets
- Translate official documents, such as birth certificates and marriage certificates
- Request police reports and court documents
- Fluency in Spanish
- Extreme attention to detail
- Excellent organizational skills
- Self starter and independent worker who needs little direction
- Quick learner
- Positive, upbeat attitude
- Associate or Bachelor Degree preferred
- Bilingual cover letter
- List of 3 references who can be contacted immediately
- Salary requirements
Please email application materials. Reference Job KGL1117 in your application."
2. Save Time With an Initial Phone Interview
A phone interview allows for you to get to know an applicant in a short, less formal manner. An in person interview is time consuming and if there are a few potential candidates in consideration, a phone interview will let you wade through the candidates and start narrowing down the applicant pool. Schedule the interview for no more than 15 minutes. In that short interview you will get a feel for the applicant, the way that s/he speaks, answers questions, responds under pressure, and more.
3. Have Applicants Complete an Exercise
If the phone interview goes well, then the next step is to have the candidate(s) complete an exercise for your review. This has several purposes: it will help determine whether someone is a self-starter, can digest and process information, and measure the candidate’s attention to detail.
Please note that you are not seeking perfection here. In fact, it is best not to include all of the information necessary to complete the task and include in the instructions, “What information, if any, do you need to complete the exercise? What questions do you have for me?” A great employee should be able to ask questions where needed.
Here is a sample exercise:
"Please fill out the attached form I-765 for the client based on the information below.. What additional information is needed, if any? What questions do you have about the case?
Jose Luis Martinez Cardoso is from Mexico and is here in the US applying for cancellation of removal. As part of his case, he can apply for a work permit. He has entered the US 3 times: April 1, 1992, October 12, 1998, and March 1, 2002, every time he crossed the desert walking. He entered the US near Tijuana. He has not left the US since 2002 and has 4 US citizen kids. He has been with his wife since May 1, 1990, although they are not legally married. He has never worked legally in the US, but has used a fake social security number with his fake green card so that he could work. His social security number is: 231-99-2530. He and his wife and kids live at: 32143 Wenatchee Ave, Apt D105, Burien, WA 98123"
4. In-Person Interview
By the time that you are ready to interview the candidate in person, you have taken important steps to cut down the applicant pool to the most qualified applicants. The in person interview is the final impression that the candidate makes with you, and some considerations are whether the person arrives on time, is appropriately dressed and groomed for the position, and the connection that you have. If you are hiring a person who will work closely with you, you must determine whether that person is a person that you want to spend 40 hours a week with.
Good luck! What other tools do you use in the hiring process? Leave your comment below!
Want other done-for-you resources? Check out our Amiga Docs HERE.
About your Ally in Life, Business and Law:
Alexandra "Ally" Kennedy is a national award-winning attorney and the founder of AMIGA Lawyers and Alexandra Kennedy Immigration Law.. After becoming a mother, and in a matter of 3 months, Ally transformed her practice from earning in pesos to earning 6-figures and she is passionate about teaching attorneys how they can do the same. Ally empowers lawyers to be the CEOs of their law firms with her weekly blog, webinars, and conferences where she teaches step-by-step how to do the work they love while running a profitable legal business. Ally lives outside of Seattle with her partner and their 5 children.