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8 Steps to Smarter Hiring

Integrity Staffing & Solutions 

So, what do you do to increase the likelihood of making a good hire for your small business?  There are several steps you can consider to increase the chances of making a quality hire:

  • Have a clear understanding of the job to be done and document the duties and responsibilities in a written job description.  The process of writing the job description can help you think through exactly what work you need to have accomplished.
  • Understand the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) a candidate must have to be successful in the job.  Prioritize the required KSAs from most important to least important.  Know whether you are hiring an “expert” for your organization or whether there are other employees with the same expertise.
  • Formulate interview questions that ask the candidate to describe situations in the past when they’ve had to use the required knowledge, skills, and abilities to achieve a goal or objective.  Explore the specific situation the candidate mentions in detail.  Understand the process the candidate went through, the challenges he/she faced, how the challenges were resolved, etc. Here’s an example of such a question:

Tell me about a time in the past when you needed to resolve a problem for a customer.  What was the specific situation?  What challenges did you encounter in resolving the problem?  How did you overcome those challenges?  What was the outcome of the situation?  What, if anything, would you do differently if the situation occurred again?

  • Consider having candidates demonstrate their abilities by performing a small work sample assessment during the interview. For example, an open position requires a candidate to routinely schedule meetings with multiple attendees in Outlook.  Have the candidate demonstrate his/her skill by having him/her set up a meeting for multiple candidates in Outlook.  When using work sample assessments, it is critical that have candidates perform only samples of the actual work they would be expected to perform on the job to avoid legal issues.
  • Check professional references. Formulate questions related to the requirements of the job.  For example, the job requires someone who is comfortable taking the initiative to get work done.  Don’t just ask if the candidate shows initiative, ask the reference to provide you an example of a time when the candidate took the initiative to get work done.
  • Consider using outside assistance in filling your position.  HR consulting companies and staffing agencies can offer you the expertise you need to more quickly fill your open position with a qualified candidate.  The cost is likely worth the value added.
  • Resist the temptation to hire someone who doesn’t quite fit the bill for your open position.  Poor hires have a negative effect on the morale of other employees, can drive away customers and your good employees, and take a lot of your time on training and retraining.  In the long run, it is better to take more time finding the right person for the job the first time.
  • Develop and follow a formal plan to orient and train your new hire, so he/she can get up to speed more quickly and add value to your business sooner.  A formal training plan for the new hire creates a favorable impression of the company in the new hire, assures consistency in customer service, and contributes to establishing a strong organizational culture.

A well planned and executed hiring process can be a difference maker for your business.  Take the time to do it right.


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