March 19, 2012

Hire the Best

What are the consequences of a bad hire in your organization? The time wasted in reviewing resumes and interviewing? Training and coaching time needed as you try to get the new employee to perform well? The disappointment by your team that they still do not have someone dependable to help get the work done? Probably all of the above.
It is therefore critical that you focus on hiring the best candidate the first time. Here are a few steps to consider for your hiring process:
  1. Determine Critical Success Factors - Before looking at a resume or application, determine the critical success factors for the job. These factors should be the knowledge and technical skills necessary to perform the job, as well as the communication and interpersonal skills needed. A third factor, your corporate culture is also important.
  2. Review Resumes - Use the resume or application as a check list matching content to your list of critical success factors. Look for “red flags” which might indicate areas of concern such as short job stays at previous employers, large gaps in employment and misspellings. It is important that the candidate complete an employment application even if he/she has a resume because it contains sections that typically do not appear on a resume. It also has a statement candidates will sign verifying that everything on the application is true and accurate.
  3. Prepare Interview Questions - Your interview questions must be discrimination free so keep focused on your critical success factors for the job. I recommend the behavior based interviewing approach where you ask questions based on the situations they have encountered in the past to determine what actions they took and the results they achieved. This approach is much better than closed ended questions that can be answered with a short answer such as yes/no or “what if” questions that uses a candidate’s imagination rather than actual experience.
  4. Interview the Candidates - Use your prepared questions during the interview and keep the 80/20 rule in mind. You should only talk 20% of the time and the candidate 80% so you can determine your candidate’s strengths compared against your critical success factors. Allow the candidate to ask questions on the end of your interview. If the only question your candidate has is how many days off he/she will receive…that would be another “red flag”.
  5. Realistic Job Preview - Build time in your interview schedule for a realistic job preview. Items to consider are a tour of the area where the candidate would be working, observing others working, etc. By providing information about the job and working conditions you are allowing them to “de-select” themselves before you make a job offer which is better than hiring someone only to have them resign shortly after.
  6. Check References - There was a statistic I saw that said 70% of people lie on their resume so it is important to check all references to verify background information.
A manager’s long term success is determined to a large degree by selecting and developing competent employees. Hire the best candidates and your team will be the best.

1 comment:

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