Hiring is an intensive process.
If you’re like most people in business, hiring is just one of many things you’re responsible for. And hiring by itself has multiple hidden layers of work.
You’ve got to get the word out about it, screen initial applicants, setup and conduct interviews, and then respond to the candidates. All while keeping up with your other job obligations, of course.
So it’s not surprising that things slip through the cracks. Maybe you forget to let the candidates you’ve passed on know their status, or you missed a great candidate who got stuck at some point in the process. At a time when hiring is harder than ever, these mistakes can be costly.
Is there anything you can do to fix this? Yes, there is. There are several web applications that can make your life much easier when it comes to keeping organized so you can make a good impression on top talent.
1. Google Sheets and Forms
Lots of people still use Excel for tracking applicants. Don’t get me wrong, Excel is amazing, and is irreplaceable in many ways. But for keeping organized, Google Sheets is much easier.
It’s a spreadsheet, just like Excel, but simplified and easier to use as a team.
For one, you can create a form to go with a sheet. Just click on Tools and Forms. You’ll be guided through the process of creating a form that you can send to applicants with a link via email or text.
This can be filled out and the answers automatically populate the sheet. It’s a great way to quickly ask a few follow up screening questions after they’ve applied, and keep the responses organized.
Sheets are also easy to collaborate with. Just add the people you want to share them with by clicking Share in the upper right corner, and now your team can all see the sheet.
You can enter all applicants here, and create a column for each stage of the process, so that everyone can see who has applied and where they are. Having it stored as a Google Sheet means it’s accessible on any device anywhere there’s an internet connection.
Did I mention it’s free?
2. Tag your emails
Here’s a simple tip to help you organize all your applicant emails.
When you give out an email address that applicants are going to be corresponding with, add a tag to it. For instance, if your email was email@example.com, you could tag it with firstname.lastname@example.org. So, you just add the + symbol, and then any word.
Ok, but why?
Most email services will let you set up a folder to steer specific emails too. So you can create an “applicant” folder, and set it up so that any email with the +applicant tag automatically goes into that folder.
It’s a simple way to make sure emails from your next great hire don’t get lost in the crowd.
3. Use an ATS
If you haven’t heard of an ATS, or applicant tracking system, it’s software specifically made for helping you keep track of people applying for jobs.
An ATS makes it easy to see who has applied for a job, what stage they’re in, their resume, and usually has a rating and note taking system. They should also help you stay in contact with applicants with or without emails.
High quality ones should have a web app that makes them easy to use wherever you are.
In many ways, an ATS combines several tools for keeping track of applicants into one.
That alone should help you stay organized.
4. Use Trello for Your Hiring Process
Trello is designed for managing projects, and lends itself nicely to organizing your hiring process.
In Trello, you organize with “boards.” On each board you can add a column that represents a stage in the hiring process, and then a card for each applicant. You can move the cards between boards.
So when applicant John Doe has passed your initial screening and is ready for a first interview, you drag his card from the “Screening” column to the “Schedule First Interview” column.
You can set a date and assign tasks for each card, so in this case you could set a deadline for interviewing John, and assign a manager to do it.
You can also attach documents, such as resumes, to the cards along with notes.
For hiring, set up a card for each stage, from “Applied” to “Hired” or “Declined” to easily keep track of where candidates are in your process.
You send an email to an applicant with three times that work for a meeting. They reply that none of those work, but what about this fourth time?
That doesn’t work for you either. You write back with a fifth and sixth time.
You both finally agree to the sixth time. But you call them an hour early, because you forgot that you’re in different timezones.
This is where Calendly comes in.
Basically, it gives you a link you can easily share with an applicant (or anyone else) that lets them see your schedule in their local time zone, schedule meetings with you, and get reminders of when the meeting is.
It’s a simple idea, executed well, that’ll save you some time.
Ok, hope that helps you get your hiring process organized! We’re in a really tight job market now, so every little bit counts. Do you have any tips for better organizing the hiring process? Let us know in comments.
Author: Paul Peters is content marketer and job ad writer with Betterteam. Before Betterteam he spent 6 years building an education startup, where he was involved with many aspects of the business, including hiring. He lives in Whitefish, Montana.