Recruiting Lessons Learned

I recently went through the recruiting process from A to Z and here are some lessons I learned along the way. Disclaimer: I am not a HR professional and I do not hold any certifications in Human Resources.

1. Posting the position 

There are many places to post a job these days and also full service providers that will take care of the hiring process from A to Z. As a small firm I do not currently have the revenue to outsource my HR requirements so over the summer I started the recruiting process myself. The first step was for me to research and decide where I can post my job. I started shaking the family and friends trees by creating a position description and sending out emails to my network. In those emails I requested that my friends and family share my job opening within their own network so I can maximize the ripple effect. The State of Maryland and the State of Virginia both have free job posting websites that employers can utilize, this was  also a great resource. Indeed also allowed me to post the job and communicate with applicants for free. Finally, I signed up for a 7 day trial on and posted the job there. I also posted the job on The Westmoreland Group website, LinkedIN Page, and Instagram. 

2. Communication 

I get over 100 emails per day between The Westmoreland Group, my new client National Science Foundation, personal emails, and my families emails! It was imperative to me during this time that I respond to all applicants for my open position. The initial communication between a prospective employee and a company sets the tone for the relationship. I wanted to be a responsive employer even if I knew the applicant was not a fit for the position. Once the resume’s and cover letters started coming in I knew I would find the right applicant but I had to trust the process. I pre-screened about 100 resumes and finally narrowed the list down to 15 candidates that I wanted to interview. 

3. Interviews

Since I had time constraints I set up 30 minute phone interviews and most actually happened over the weekend because of my schedule. I was grateful that the candidates were flexible enough to have a job interview over the weekend. I printed out all the resumes and prepared questions for each candidate. I went through the standard interview – background on the position, questions about the candidate, questions from the candidate, and finally review salary and security requirements. Going through 5 – 6 interviews back to back makes for a long Saturday. 

4. Job Offer

Once I prioritized the candidates after I completed most of the interviews I decided it was time to make a job offer. My first offer made was accepted! The position I was interviewing for required a security clearance so I actually continued to interview while the application was processing. Once the interim clearance was granted to my top candidate then I concluded my interviews. I contacted every candidate that I interviewed to let them know the results of the hiring process and to ask them to keep in touch for future job opportunities. 

5. Benefits 

Every benefit has a cost and the next step was for me to count the cost of the benefits I planned to provide to my new employee. This required coordination and communication with my trusted partners related to Health Insurance, Retirement Planning, Life Insurance, Health Savings Accounts, Dental Insurance, and Accounting and Payroll. I had to make sure I was compliant with all State and Federal employment laws. New hire paperwork had to be filled out and forwarded to my payroll manager. 

Happy Recruiting,

Sophoria Westmoreland

Image by vishnu vijayan from Pixabay

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