Have you been considering hiring some new employees? Has it been awhile since you added staff? If so, then let us offer you a refresher course on how to manage the process. The following guide brings together tools you can use to manage the process including deciding what positions to hire, structuring job interviews, and effectively onboarding new employees.

Tools You Need For Hiring: Job Posting and Pre-Screening

Your time is extremely valuable, so when deciding to hire additional staff you want the process to be as quick, efficient, and effective as possible.  Start by determining what positions you need to fill. The Position Request Form will walk you through the parameters you should take into account when hiring a new employee. Its purpose is to help you define the need for a new employee and what alternatives might exist for your company.  You may not need to make a new hire, for example, but to reorganize responsibilities among your current staff.  This document helps you to avoid wasting time and money on a hire you may not need.

If you have determined that you do need to increase your staff, it's time to write the job description.  You can use this generic Job Description Template that can be customized to your needs or use one of the many job descriptions available on Inc.com.

Once the job has been posted on your website and on job sites like Indeed, LinkedIn, and SimplyHired you will get resumes from interested candidates.  Be sure to immediately sort resumes as you get them in piles that include interested, not interested, and save for future position folders.

One way to save time on your search is to send a Pre-Interview Questionnaire to the candidates whose resumes immediately grab your attention.  Based on a resume and the answers to the questionnaire, you can determine whether an applicant should be contacted for an in-person interview. 

As a courtesy to those that submitted a resume and answered the questionnaire but didn't quite meet your expectations for the position, you can send them a Pre-Interview Rejection Letter.  This might seem like an unnecessary step but it is polite, and has the added benefit of saving you from having to respond to follow-up e-mails and phone calls.

Dig Deeper: How to Write a Job Description

Tools You Need For Hiring: The Interview

Now that you have selected the job candidates you are interested in meeting, it's a good idea to set up the interviews. Most companies handle interviews in a casual way, but some take a more formal approach. If you would like to add structure to your interview process, either because you are hiring so many new employees that it is hard to keep track of them, you should incorporate an Interview Letter for Employment into your process. This form simply should give the details of the interview location and time, who the candidate will be meeting with as well as outlines the job description. It can be paired with an Employment Application and Job Applicant Reference Request. The interview letter  Having the candidates bring a completed employment application and reference request to the interview will save you time on processing. It will also give you some insight into how meticulous a candidate is when it comes to completing a task.

It's now time for the interview and there are questions you should ask and questions you should avoid asking because they put you at risk for violating Equal Employment Opportunity Commission laws.  Be sure to ask questions relevant to the position, and also to look for a good cultural fit.  The person not only has to be able to do the job but they have to work well with others on the staff.  Another way to safeguard against hiring someone who isn't a good fit with the staff is to include several colleagues in the interview process.  Allow a few people that will work with the new hire to interview and complete a Co-Employee Applicant Appraisal Form.  It also let's your employees know that their opinion matters and that each person is a highly valued part of your company.

As a courtesy to the job candidates that came in for an interview, but you know you are not interested in them for the position, send them a Post Interview Rejection Letter.  Like the pre-interview rejection letter, this correspondence politely lets candidates know that although they are no longer being considered for the position, but that you will keep their resume on file for future positions.

Dig Deeper: How to Improve Your Employment Application

Tools You Need For Hiring:  The Job Offer

After you have vetted several job candidates, it's time to decide who your new hire will be.  If you are debating between several candidates this Pre-Employment Checklist may help you to make your final decision.  The first thing you should do is a Pre-Hiring Reference Check. Use this form to make sure you know who you're hiring before you ask them to sign on. 

When the references have checked out, it is time to send the Offer Letter.  Here are several examples of Job Offer Letters that you can customize to your needs.  Be sure to include an Employee Information Sheet, I-9 form, W-4 form, Background Check Authorization, Consent to Physical Exam Form, Reference Release Form, Employee Confidentiality Agreement and other documentation that may be necessary for employment.   You can reference this Personnel File Checklist if you are not sure of what forms you need to keep your employee records straight.

It is highly recommended that you hold off on sending Rejection Letters to the other job finalists until your top choice has accepted the offer.  You also want to make sure that person clears all background checks and testing before letting the other finalists know that they were not selected.

Dig Deeper: How to Improve Your Hiring Practices

Tools You Need For Hiring:  Orientation and Beyond

You have gone through the hiring process and it is the first day for your new employee.  Reference the New Employee Orientation Checklist to make sure your new employee learns everything they need to know about their new job and workplace.

You should make the new employee aware of any company policies such as Compensation, Pension, Vacation, Voice Mail/Email/Internet Policy and any other important policies.  These should also be included in the Employee Handbook.  If all company policies are included in the Employee Handbook then it is in your best interest to have your new employee sign an Employee Handbook Receipt to acknowledge that they received the Employee Handbook and that it is their responsibility to be familiar with all company policies.  If there are any other documents that your new employee needs to complete like an Employment Agreement, Non-Compete Agreement or Information Release Form have them do that during orientation.

To show your new employee that you want them to succeed in the position you can include a tip sheet on How To Be an Excellent Employee in their orientation materials. Setting forth a list of desired behaviors helps you maintain communication and positive relations with your employees.  The first 60 to 90 days for a new hire are extremely important. To track progress during this period, and to gain valuable insight about your company from the new hire, ask them to complete this 60-Day New Employee Survey. This form allows new hires to add immediate value to a company by sharing what remains of their outside perspective. It can also serve as a review of a new hire.

Dig Deeper: How to Build an Onboarding Plan for a New Hire