An Employer Guide for Better Hiring Decisions
by Terry Simanek, SPHR
We’re beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel as far as the economic downturn is concerned. You may be considering doing some hiring in 2012. Here are some easy steps that can help you improve your hiring decisions.
Have at least a basic job description put together before you begin recruiting for the job. Job descriptions help you identify the work that needs to be done and therefore the skill set necessary to do it.
Qualifications for the Position
Determine the skills that your new employee will need to successfully perform the job. There will likely be knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) that the employee will need to have day one on the job and KSAs the employee can learn as they go. There may also be KSAs that would be “nice to have,” but not required.
Utilizing assessment tools can help you determine if applicants have the necessary skills for the position. Knowledge and skill assessments require candidates to demonstrate their level of expertise with required software, data entry, typing, their knowledge level on specific topics, etc. Assessment results can be very useful in helping you determine if your candidate will be able to successfully execute the duties of the open position.
The Interview Questions
Interviews are not the most reliable tools when it comes to predicting success on the job. However, there are things you can do to make the interview a more useful tool in your selection process. Develop a set of core job-related questions that you will ask each of the candidates you are interviewing for the position. Keep your questions focused on the knowledge, skills, and abilities the employee will need to be successful in the job. Asking the same core questions of each of the candidates provides a consistent method of comparing candidates to the qualifications for the job and to one another.
The reference checking process can be valuable if done correctly. Check professional references rather than personal references. Develop a specific set of job-related questions that you will ask of each candidate’s references. Ask for clarification if the reference provides a subjective evaluation of some aspect of the candidate’s performance. For example, the reference may indicate that the candidate is a “very good” sales person. “Very good” has no context. Ask by how much the candidate exceeded his/her sales goal for the year.
Evaluate All the Information Gathered
Evaluate all the information you’ve gathered about each candidate compared to the job description and the identified knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform the job. It’s helpful if you can evaluate all the candidates at the same time after all the interviews have been completed and all the references gathered.
Contact Terry Simanek at email@example.com if you have any questions or comments on this white paper.