Climate Hiring Playbook!

Climate change is one of the defining issues of our time, and as a climate company, your hiring decisions can make a huge impact. That's why we're excited to launch our new Climate Hiring Playbook! It's packed with everything you need to know about finding, attracting, and hiring top climate talent.

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Optimize Your Interview Process for Success

Follow these three steps to ensure you have a consistent, efficient, and fair interview process that gets the right person in the door!

Optimize Your Interview Process for Success

You've perfected your hiring trajectory, outlined your recruitment goals, crafted a job post, and narrowed your applicant pool to a few stellar candidates. It's now time to interview!

You may think the most challenging part is over, but this is truly just the beginning. To get the perfect candidate, you must have a structured interview process that properly weeds people out without scaring away potential hires.

Follow these three steps to ensure you have a consistent, efficient, and fair process that gets the right person in the door:

1. Structure, structure, structure

It's critical to have a detailed process outlined before you interview your first candidate. I recommend pinpointing the gaps in your organization and using the interview to address them. Ensure you have a firm grasp on what you're optimizing for and focus your interview efforts on that.

Are you looking for a specific set of hard skills? If so, how can you pinpoint them through your questions? You'd likely focus on their experience with similar projects and tools.

Or are you looking for aptitude and for someone to be able to grow into a role? If so, you should focus on assessing their desire to learn through your questions.

Most importantly, a structured interview process ensures all candidates are evaluated using the same criteria and questions. This helps to eliminate bias and ensure that all candidates are evaluated fairly.

2. Two-way street

The candidate is interviewing you just as much as you are interviewing them. It's up to you to ensure each candidate leaves the interview feeling excited about the role! The number one thing you need to consider is the candidate's experience. When mapping out the process, ask yourself, "Is this something I want to go through?"

Another critical element of candidate experience is timeliness. Your top candidates are likely in the final interview stages elsewhere, so you must act fast and respect their time. It's all too common to lose candidates because the process dragged on too long, and they pulled out for other opportunities.

You should provide feedback to the candidate within 24-48 hours of the interview and keep the entire process under two weeks. Be respectful of their time by scheduling interviews promptly and avoiding unnecessary delays. Be punctual, and if there are any changes to the schedule, communicate them as soon as possible.

Communicate clearly with candidates about the timeline, expectations, and next steps. Provide feedback after each stage of the interview process to help candidates understand where they stand and how they can improve. It's far better to over-communicate than to leave them in the dark, even if they are a 'no.' But, again, put yourself in their shoes and treat them how you'd expect to be treated.

3. No unicorns here

Given the current financial landscape, many companies have been keeping their roles posted and interviewing but holding off on hiring unless they meet a "unicorn" candidate. Unfortunately, this strategy will only hurt you.

This tactic will create an unrealistic expectation for the role, leading to difficulties in retaining the 'unicorn' candidate and creating a high turnover rate. Instead, it's essential to prioritize the most critical skills and qualifications for the position and be open to candidates who may have some attributes but demonstrate potential and a willingness to learn and grow.

Along this same vein of thought, strictly hiring candidates with climate experience will limit your talent pool and will likely prevent you from finding your dream candidate. Instead, you should focus on their transferable skills and draw parallels between their previous work and your building.

Yin Lu from MCJ Collective adds to this in an interview with Enduring Planet, saying, "Don't filter out talented, passionate, and mission-aligned people because you are rainbow-gazing for unicorns."

The interview process involves being intentional, engaging candidates, selling your company, and over-communicating timelines. While it may seem tedious, being tactful, professional, communicative, and respectful will lead to better outcomes and exceptional hires. How you conduct interviews says a lot about your company, make sure you're savoring those precious first impressions.

Need help? The Climate People team has hired over 75+ candidates across 31 companies. We'd love to help you optimize your interview process and get a stellar candidate in your door.

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