Imagine you’re a hiring manager and put up an ad for a role. After a lengthy process, you hire someone you think is a great fit.
Except, reality sets in a few weeks later when you realize they were a bad hire and you have the start all over again. A robust vetting process would help you avoid this costly mistake.
However, it’s not enough to come up with a process, you have to make sure it’s inclusive, fair, and efficient. Let’s show you how.
What is a vetting process?
Companies use a vetting process to evaluate a candidate’s background and qualifications, and eliminate unqualified candidates from the pool of applicants. It can include conducting background checks, phone screens, and technical assessments.
Hiring the wrong employee can cost companies hundreds of thousands of dollars. Back in 2016, The U.S. Department of Labor estimated this cost was close to 30% of the former employee’s first-year earnings.
Today, that figure could be even higher.
Undoubtedly, recruiting and hiring candidates is an expensive and time-consuming process. This is on top of figuring out which candidates are most qualified to succeed at your company for the long haul.
A vetting process should include a few critical elements. Let’s cover how to run an effective vetting process that’s efficient and free of bias as possible.
How long does the vetting process take?
The vetting process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks depending on what your process looks like, the seniority level for the role, and the industry.
For instance, a role at the Federal Bureau of Investigation likely has a much longer vetting process than one at a SaaS company. The FBI likely conducts in-depth background checks beyond a candidate’s criminal background whereas a SaaS company may focus the bulk of its vetting process on technical proficiency.
Over time, your company will start compiling data on how long the process takes based on the factors mentioned above and build its strategy based on that.
How to Run a Candidate Vetting Process
- Write an accurate job description.
- Leverage software to review candidates’ application materials.
- Use video interviews prior to phone calls.
- Evaluate candidates’ qualifications using additional assessment tools.
- Trust the process.
1. Write an accurate job description.
Your vetting process will be easier start-to-finish if you take the time to write an accurate and compelling job description.
I spoke to Claire McCarthy, team lead in sales recruiting, who told me the job description can help both you and the candidate ensure a mutually beneficial fit from the start.
“We have pretty comprehensive job descriptions and we want candidates to take the time to read them and ensure the role is a good match for their background and skillset, as well as their long-term goals,” she said.
McCarthy adds that it’s valuable to focus on attributes when creating your job description.
“For instance, for a sales role, we might list ‘customer-first mentality’ as a requirement,” she said.
In addition, craft your description to attract a wide pool of diverse applicants, since diverse teams perform better, and come up with more innovative ideas.
This is important because a Hewlett Packard internal report found that women historically won’t apply for a job unless they meet all the qualifications, while most men will apply if they meet only 60% of them.
However, it doesn’t only affect candidates from a gender perspective. Racism, ableism, and ageism can also impact the hiring process – and it all starts with your job description.
To do so, you can rely on tools like Textio, which help you identify and remove implicit and explicit biased language from your job description.
The goal is to use inclusive language that welcomes and attracts a diverse range of talent.
Take a look at the marketing job descriptions you should recruit and hire to have an all-star team.
2. Leverage software to review candidates’ application materials.
A vetting process should allow you to filter out candidates who don’t have the skills necessary to succeed in the role. To do this, start by vetting the applicant’s resume, cover letter, and other application materials they’ve submitted for review.
Additionally, a vetting process can support your diversity and inclusion initiative by ensuring your HR team remains fair and unbiased when evaluating potential candidates.
For instance, you might implement a blind search system in which resumes are scanned by software, such as Greenhouse.
By ensuring your resumes are automatically sorted based on skill, you’re circumventing some of the unintentional biases that might lead your HR employees to make unfair judgments.
3. Use video interviews prior to phone calls.
There are certain questions you can ask to decipher whether or not a candidate has the correct skills for the role.
You don’t want your recruiters spending valuable time on phone calls when you can just as easily collect that information another way.
At HubSpot, our hiring process includes video interviews, in which candidates must answer a series of questions and submit their recorded responses. The caveat here is that they must answer each question within a minute and they won’t know what the questions are ahead of time.
“We do this for high volume roles, and use the video interview as a qualifier for whether or not the candidate moves forward with a phone interview,” said McCarthy.
Consider using video interviews to limit the amount of phone calls your HR team needs to make each day.
4. Evaluate candidates’ qualifications using additional assessment tools.
To evaluate whether your candidate will succeed in the role, consider offering initial assessments.
As a HubSpot writer, I was asked to write a blog post from scratch using one of HubSpot’s prompt topics before being invited for an interview. This makes sense – why waste your time, and your candidate’s time, if they don’t have the skills you’re looking for?
From the candidate’s perspective, it allows them to get a taste of what the role requires and show off why they’re right for it.
You might consider offering role plays for customer-facing positions, case studies for functional roles, or coding assessments for engineering positions.
5. Trust the process.
The point of having a process is to ensure consistency and promote fairness.
This means across all tools and software you utilize just as much as the steps you follow.
Ultimately, a vetting process is only effective if it’s consistent and replicable.
“A vetting process is about establishing a process at the beginning and sticking to it,” said McCarthy. “Additionally, it’s important to use a vetting process to operationalize how we review candidates and decide which ones are most qualified to move forward to next steps.”
Using these five tactics will mitigate the time and money your HR team spends on recruitment in 2022 while ensuring you hire the best applicants – a win all around.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
The author’s views are entirely his or her own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.
Nike.com uses infinite scrolling to load more products on its category pages. And because of that, Nike risks its loaded content not getting indexed.
For the sake of testing, I entered one of their category pages and scrolled down to choose a product triggered by scrolling. Then, I used the “site:” command to check if the URL is indexed in Google. And as you can see on a screenshot below, this URL is impossible to find on Google:
Of course, Google can still reach your products through sitemaps. However, finding your content in any other way than through links makes it harder for Googlebot to understand your site structure and dependencies between the pages.
To make it even more apparent to you, think about all the products that are visible only when you scroll for them on Nike.com. If there’s no link for bots to follow, they will see only 24 products on a given category page. Of course, for the sake of users, Nike can’t serve all of its products on one viewport. But still, there are better ways of optimizing infinite scrolling to be both comfortable for users and accessible for bots.
Unlike Nike, Douglas.de uses a more SEO-friendly way of serving its content on category pages.
They provide bots with page navigation based on <a href> links to enable crawling and indexing of the next paginated pages. As you can see in the source code below, there’s a link to the second page of pagination included:
Moreover, the paginated navigation may be even more user-friendly than infinite scrolling. The numbered list of category pages may be easier to follow and navigate, especially on large e-commerce websites. Just think how long the viewport would be on Douglas.de if they used infinite scrolling on the page below:
Let’s check if that’s the case here. Again, I used the “site:” command and typed the title of one of Otto.de’s product carousels:
As you can see, Google couldn’t find that product carousel in its index. And the fact that Google can’t see that element means that accessing additional products will be more complex. Also, if you prevent crawlers from reaching your product carousels, you’ll make it more difficult for them to understand the relationship between your pages.
To find out, check what the HTML version of the page looks like for bots by analyzing the cache version.
To check the cache version of Target.com’s page above, I typed “cache:https://www.target.com/p/9-39-…”, which is the URL address of the analyzed page. Also, I took a look at the text-only version of the page.
When scrolling, you’ll see that the links to related products can also be found in its cache. If you see them here, it means bots don’t struggle to find them, either.
However, keep in mind that the links to the exact products you can see in the cache may differ from the ones on the live version of the page. It’s normal for the products in the carousels to rotate, so you don’t need to worry about discrepancies in specific links.
But what exactly does Target.com do differently? They take advantage of dynamic rendering. They serve the initial HTML, and the links to products in the carousels as the static HTML bots can process.
However, you must remember that dynamic rendering adds an extra layer of complexity that may quickly get out of hand with a large website. I recently wrote an article about dynamic rendering that’s a must-read if you are considering this solution.
Also, the fact that crawlers can access the product carousels doesn’t guarantee these products will get indexed. However, it will significantly help them flow through the site structure and understand the dependencies between your pages.
It’s impossible to fully evaluate a website without a proper site crawl. But looking at its robots.txt file can already allow you to identify any critical content that’s blocked.
This disallow directive misuse may result in rendering problems on your entire website.
To check if it applies in this case, I used Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. This tool can help you navigate rendering issues by giving you insight into the rendered source code and the screenshot of a rendered page on mobile.
But let’s find out if those rendering problems affected the website’s indexing. I used the “site:” command to check if the main content (product description) of the analyzed page is indexed on Google. As you can see, no results were found:
The layout is essential for Google to understand the context of your page. If you’d like to know more about this crossroads of web technology and layout, I highly recommend looking into a new field of technical SEO called rendering SEO.
Lidl.de proves that a well-organized robots.txt file can help you control your website’s crawling. The crucial thing is to use the disallow directive consciously.
Having a large e-commerce website, you may easily lose track of all the added directives. Always include as many path fragments of a URL you want to block from crawling as possible. It will help you avoid blocking some crucial pages by mistake.
Will users get obsessed with finding that particular product via Walmart.com? They may, but they can also head to any other store selling this item instead.
To fix this problem, Walmart has two solutions:
Implementing dynamic rendering (prerendering) which is, in most cases, the easiest from an implementation standpoint.
IKEA proves that you can present your main content in a way that is accessible for bots and interactive for users.
When browsing IKEA.com’s product pages, their product descriptions are served behind clickable panels. When you click on them, they dynamically appear on the right-hand side of the viewport.
Take care of your indexing pipeline and check if:
Your content actually gets indexed on Google.
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