One of the biggest hurdles of implementing a new hiring process is preparing leaders and hiring managers for the changes ahead. Most people don’t like change, especially when they feel that the current process is working just fine. If they don’t see a reason for change, then they will be likely to resist the new process. If there is resistance, no tool, no matter how great it is, will work optimally. Consistency is critical for your hiring process. The more resistance, the more likely the system will be underutilized or utilized differently across individuals. As such, you need to make sure that everyone is accepting and trusting of the process so there is consistency and the tools are used in an optimal manner. Change management isn’t easy, but there are some steps that you can take to increase the acceptance of the change.
The first thing you need to do is create awareness and understanding. Tell leaders and hiring managers about the process ahead. What changes will be made? What’s the reason behind the change? Who will be impacted by these changes? How will this benefit the company and the employees? The goal of this process is to eliminate confusion and reduce any negative perceptions of the changes.
For example, if you are interested in implementing an online assessment into your current hiring process, provide ample time to communicate this to leaders and managers. Provide them some background on the situation by explaining what you are hoping to improve by using this tool. Are there performance or turnover issues that you’re trying to address? This selection tool may be one avenue in which you are trying to combat these issues. Tell leaders and hiring managers about the tool and show them positive outcomes that other similar companies have seen when utilizing this tool. Show them evidence supporting the use of the tools. Finally, allow them a forum so they can ask any questions about the assessment and how it will be utilized.
The next step you need to do is to engage leaders and hiring managers in the process. Allow them a voice in the process and take their advice. When conducting a job analysis, one step that we often take is to hold a visioning meeting. During this meeting, we talk to key stakeholders about the target position. They are able to share their thoughts on the position as well as how they expect the role to change in the upcoming years. They are also able to share their thoughts on how the current process could be improved and what outcomes they would like to see with an updated hiring process. Similarly, engaging hiring managers in the process is important. Holding focus groups with managers can provide more insights into what is important for success in the target position. All of this communication and involvement upfront provides time for them to be receptive to the changes.
By creating awareness and engaging leaders, you are likely to gain commitment. Achieving this sponsorship from the top has a huge impact. This positive attitude towards the change has a trickle-down effect on the company. When individuals know that leaders are supportive and committed to the change, they are much more likely to embrace it. While change management can be daunting, taking these few steps can ensure that the tools are embraced and being utilized in the best way possible.