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Posted 03/17/2014

Perspectives: Fundamentals of Good Hiring

Costs associated with making a bad hire are considerable.  Put the right person in the right place at the right time and your problems melt away.  You can also quickly put your organization on track towards realizing its strategic objectives.  Doing this well, however, requires building a customized plan and then deliberately executing that plan.  Effective hiring should never be left to chance.  Improve results by designing a series of activities and tools that collect and evaluate job-related information from individuals and can be used to extend an offer of employment.  There are several hallmarks of good hiring plans.  Include them in your plan, become skilled in their use and these fundamental practices should help you achieve consistent high-level results in your hiring. Let’s take a look at these fundamentals: Understand the Costs of a Bad Hire.
  • Recruitment & hiring costs
  • Human Resources time
  • Management time
  • Orientation & training
  • Learning curve productivity loss
  • Work group productivity loss
  • Legal expenses
Know your job requirements.  Ensure your selection team is on the same page, in advance of contacting applicants, regarding:
  • Prerequisite knowledge or expertise gained through education or experience
  • Level of proficiency  needed to perform certain tasks or functions
  • The natural aptitude or talent to perform the job (& possibly planned succession opportunities).
  • Other qualities, beyond knowledge-skills-abilities (KSA’s) that are required to perform well in your workplace environment (team skills, cultural fit, etc.)
Employ good selection practices throughout your hiring process to avoid legal pitfalls.
  • Ensure your job description is accurate
  • Identify relevant selection criteria & screen applicants accordingly
  • Develop behaviorally-based interview questions based on those criteria
  • Treat all applicants consistently
  • Document applicant’s responses to interview questions
  • Refrain from making inquiries or otherwise soliciting information about things that aren’t job-related
  • Avoid subjective opinions about applicants
Know what to look for in an application or resume.  Identify:
  • The details pertaining to specific job qualifications
  • Areas that require further explanation in the interview or through other selection methods
  • Unclear, incomplete or contradictory information
  • Gaps in employment
  • Overlapping full-time positions
  • Irregular career path movement
  • Job titles that don’t fit with the duties listed
Plan & conduct your employment interview carefully.
  • Ask about: qualifications (KSA’s), experience, their expectations
  • Tell about: the position, compensation & benefits, the organization
  • Use “behaviorally-based” inquiry techniques to elicit responses from applicants that are based on factual accomplishments (what they DID do in a situation) versus soliciting opinions (what they MIGHT do if they were ever in that situation)
  • Dig for quantitative results that can be verified, whenever possible
  • Listen for the applicant’s use of the word “we” and inquire as to what that individual’s explicit role, responsibility, and achievements were
  • Remember the 80:20 rule (you want the candidate speaking 80% of the time, not vice versa)
  • Use peers in the interview process, whenever possible, in addition to the hiring official
Consider using validated assessment tools, if applicable.
  • They often identify a lack of basic skills and abilities and/or a weak work ethic… attributes that are sometimes difficult to discern using other methods
  • With the increased emphasis on being globally competitive, they provide you with additional confidence that you are hiring a qualified, capable worker… and not just a good interviewer
Do your homework.
  • Check relevant references
  • If employee is regularly driving a company vehicle, check driving record
  • If a felony conviction would disqualify a person for employment, check conviction record