shutterstock_272168348Glaze over important phases, and you may pay later.

When a key employee leaves, there can be an enormous, and often immediate, pressure to fill the position quickly.

However, even if hiring someone is important to maintain operations, rushing the process can cause problems; particularly if you eliminate key interview process steps — which can come back to haunt you.

End up with a bad hire — which the International Business Times has estimated can cost up to 150 percent of the person’s first year of compensation — and you could set productivity and profitability back by a significant amount.

By rushing the interview process, you may also accidentally bypass qualified, promising job candidates who aren’t an immediate sell.

If you’re under pressure to hire a new employee, but want to find the best fit, consider the following steps:

Start the interview process earlier. Many organizations use a customary hiring process, starting with recruiters reviewing resumes; followed by phone or in-person interviews and possibly testing to determine if certain candidates are a good fit, according to the Harvard Business Review. However, the publication’s research indicates in some industries, including service and other companies, starting with brief online psychometric tests can help organizations find better hires — one potential reason, as Monster noted, some companies now pre-screen candidates via an online application. When a job candidate initially sends you information, or a request to be contacted, requesting additional skills, personality assessment or other information can help you more effectively pre-screen potential hires.

Consider getting a cover letter. Bypassing resumes and portfolios may help you learn more about candidates, according to the Young Entrepreneur Council, who recently shared the nearly a dozen reasons its members favor cover letters with career-centric media site The Muse. Cover letters, according to various council members, can indicate a job candidate is more serious about the process; give you a glimpse at someone’s writing style and how the person presents himself — and can indicate a sense (or a lack) of creativity.

Ask inventive questions. Candidates often expect the standard interview conversation —  such as “Tell me about yourself,” and “What are your career goals?” (For a longer list, check out The Telegraph’s “10 most frequently asked interview questions.”) Consider working in some of the more unusual questions job candidates reported in a recent survey from career community Glassdoor. The comments included, “If you woke up and had 2,000 unread emails and could only answer 300 of them how would you choose which ones to answer?” and “If you had a machine that produced $100 dollars for life, what would you be willing to pay for it today?” While the answers may not be directly applicable to work the candidate would be doing at your organization, you can get a sense of the person’s problem-solving skills and how quick she is on her feet.

Check references. Although this step is sometimes skipped due to time constraints, don’t bypass it. References can be a beneficial way to find out how past employers viewed the candidate’s skills and workplace attitude. Employers don’t necessarily have to stick to the list job candidates provide. You can also reach out to former employers the candidate didn’t list, according to CIO, to find out if they, too, offer glowing reviews — or other valuable information.

Before you revolutionize your interview process technique, you need to have a source of qualified, experienced potential hires.

If you’re having a hard time even finding job candidates — let alone interviewing them — our recent blog post on creative ways to find new talent may help.