Hiring & Recruiting: At some point, your organization is going to need more people. How can you best reach out to the nebulous seekers of the “job market”? Better yet, how can you stand out, AND make the best hiring decision? OR maybe you’re one of the seekers, and you want a sneak peek into the casting seat. The resources and strategies in this section will help you do all that and more, from the perspective of hiring managers, casting directors, and applicants.
You’re going to want to present as much accurate information as you can about the position, but without overwhelming the job posting with nitty-gritty things that are better put in a contract. It’s also important to keep in mind that your applicants may be at various stages (pun intended) of their careers, and that some may be better suited to the job than others, but that some may completely surprise you. If you can cast the net widely, you’re more likely to find good fish. Then you can hire that fish.
Think about the backstage action of hiring a new employee. You’ll want to be clear on how they fit into the organizational structure, who they report to, if they have any direct reports, and from there determine the best people you need in the room to make the hiring decision. You also want to brush up on legal requirements and your organization’s mission, vision, and values.
SKIM IT: The Dos and Don’ts of Hiring & Recruiting:
- Do – Post a job description: Give a sense of what the job requires, and include how it fits into your mission. Even if you plan to hire internally, you could be surprised.
- Do – Create a rubric: Develop an objective rating system to use with all applicants.
- Don’t – Withhold compensation information: Potential employees deserve to know, and you’re just wasting everyone’s time by pretending your salary range is from $0 to $1,000,000.
- Don’t – Ask “personal” questions at an interview: Race/religion/sexual orientation are (usually*) not appropriate for discussion, and they could be grounds for discrimination. (*See the legal section for more info)
TOOLS from PAHRTS
For the Employer:
- Hiring Timeline Schedule a template to consider all the steps of the hiring process, useful to customize for each position.
- Legal Hiring & Recruiting by Chris Jozwiak & Cassie Navarro of Baillon Thome Jozwiak & Wanta LLP and Penelope Phillips. A powerpoint presentation created for PAHRTS covering legal issues specific to Minnesota, primarily from employer POV.
- Preparing for and Conducting an Interview: Tips and best practices for the Hiring Committee or Team courtesy of the Guthrie Theatre.
- Job Description Template: Key information you should provide all potential candidates before they apply courtesy of the Guthrie Theatre.
- Invitations and Barriers by Meghan West & Rebecca Ervasti A sample process to creating a brand for recruiting (inviting your applicants) and addressing often unintentional barriers in the hiring process.
- Audition Scenario by Ashley Hanson & Pogi Sumangil: A sample experience of auditioning meant to inspire conversation. An actor auditions for two separate theatres and has two different experiences. Notice what actions each organization could take to create a more positive audition experience for the acting community.
- Hiring Scenario by Ashley Hanson & Pogi Sumangil: A sample experience of job interviewing meant to inspire conversation. An experienced candidate interviews for an administrative position at a local theatre. What does the organization demonstrate to the candidate about their values and culture?
- Assess Your Culture by Andre Coen & Leah Cooper: What are the values of your organization? What is your organization missing? How does it affect you?
- Behavioural Based Interview Questions by Competency: Sample interview questions that get at specific competencies in alphabetical order. What strengths are required for the position? Ask questions that will allow your applicants to show (or not show) their stuff.
- Candidate Rating Chart and First Interview Questions: A chart to be used with top five criteria for candidate interviews with a scale to provide less biased scores, as well as a series of sample first interview questions. Pairs nicely with the Behavioural Based Interview Questions. Help avoid bias by objectively charting the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate. Courtesy of the Guthrie Theatre.
- Bad Hire Calculator: How much does employee turnover actually cost your organization – in dollars? A spreadsheet to calculate the cost of employee turnover including training, replacement, and lost productivity.
- Candidate Benefit Summary An example of how to layout benefits to employees and applicants. Goes great in a handbook and on your hiring page!
- Orientation Suggestions: A brief list of do’s and don’ts to get your orientation oriented.
For the Casting Director:
- Hiring by Casting by Randy Reyes: Notes to consider hiring from the casting perspective from an actor, producer, and director, and Artistic Director of Mu Performing Arts.
For the Individual:
- Negotiation Suggestions: A brief list of considerations for your next negotiation opportunity.
- Our Hiring Practices are Inequitable and Need to Change by Vu Le: A blog post detailing the barriers to immigrants and people of color in standard nonprofit hiring processes.
- When You Don’t Disclose Salary Range, a Unicorn Loses its Wings by Vu Le: A blog post discussing the implications of “DOQ” or “BOE” postings and barriers they pose to applicants.
- HowlRound: You Want a Diverse Theatre? Prove It. by Kareena Ingersoll and Deena Selenow: A blog post on inclusion in casting and hiring processes.
- HowlRound: How (Not) to Write a Casting Breakdown by Lynne Marie Rosenberg: Dos and Don’ts of writing an audition posting.
- The 51% Preparedness Plan for American Theatre by Tim Dang: A sample statement from an LA based theatre (East/West Players) determined to shifting staff demographics to represent their community, including majority people of color, women, and under 35 years old by the year 2042.
- TED Talk: Color Blind or Color Brave – TED Talk by Mellody Hobson: Thoughts on casting practices and their impacts on both the performance and the audience, and what that means for your theatre.
- The Definitive Guide to Recruiting in Good Times & Bad by Boris Groysberg, Nitin Nohria, and Claudio Fernández-Aráoz: Harvard Business Review report on economic impacts of recruiting and a step by step process to find good employees in a shaky economic environment. Features Hiring Top Executives: A chart laying out a step by step process with the basics and best practices.
- Ban the Box Law. MINNESOTA SPECIFIC. This law is designed to protect job candidates with an arrest or criminal record from discrimination when applying for jobs.
- Nonprofit Workplace Trends powerpoint by Lisa Brown Morton: A powerpoint presentation covering best practices and nonprofit trends from the Nonprofit Employment Practices survey.
- TCG Recruitment Solutions: A valuable list of language samples, questions, and resources for ensuring diversity in hiring practices.
- Employee Orientation Guide: by Joan Garry Consulting: A schedule of pre-orientation preparation and a sample day of agenda.
- How to Overcome a Fear of Negotiating and Get a Bigger Paycheck by Jennifer C. Berkshire: Discussion of the impacts of not negotiating as well as simple steps to prepare for your next opportunity to negotiate.
- Don’t Make These 8 Mistakes when Negotiating Salary by Alison Green: The popular author of askamanager.org made a quick list for your reference.