Nine Recruiting and Selection Tips to Ensure Successful Hiring

These nine tips will help you in recruiting and hiring a candidate who will become a successful, contributing superior employee.

Hire for Today’s Need and Tomorrow’s Vision

Remember that you’re hiring for the future. While a new employee has to make economic sense for today’s tasks, the best hires are people who position you to profit as your business moves into the future. New people should provide the skills you need in the future, not just match the job demands you see today. Be clear about your strategic direction for the future, and then hire the talent to help you achieve it.

Understand the Job

Finding the right people to hire is much easier when you first analyze the job you want to fill. Ask yourself what kinds of people do the best in this job? If you’re lucky enough to have a top performer already in the job, learn from them.

Observe their behavior, ask them questions and talk with their peers to get a clear understanding what characteristics make them effective in their job. This kind of job analysis drives your selection standards—do a good job at this first step and the rest of the hiring process will be faster, easier and yield a better match.

Be Legal

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency responsible for enforcing Title VII (Civil Rights Act), Title I, Title V (Americans with Disabilities), Equal Pay Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. If an interviewee feels he has been denied a job because of discrimination, he can file a lawsuit with the EEOC.

If the claimant ultimately wins the lawsuit, remedies may include, among other things, compensatory damages, back wages, reinstatement and possibly punitive damages. Make sure your hiring process is legal. (For more information see the EEOC web site.)

Build a Standardized Hiring Process and Use It

Don’t count on your conversational skills to choose between candidates. At a basic level, your standardized hiring process should include criteria-based screening of an adequate number of candidates, a background check, standardized assessments and structured interviews.

Many assessment and interview tools are available, all of which will provide much more reliable results than the traditional interview. The more important the position, the more rigorous the hiring process should be.

Hiring Top Talent Means More Profit

The right person will make contributions to your company’s productivity and profitability that far exceed salary cost. But the wrong person can cost you plenty.

A Bad Hire Is Worse Than You Think

According to the Harvard Business Review, 80 percent of turnover is caused by bad hiring decisions. These are costly mistakes. The U.S. Department of Labor calculates that it costs one-third of a new hire’s annual salary to replace him. These figures include money spent on recruitment, selection and training plus costs due to decreased productivity as other employees fill in to take up the slack.

But these numbers don’t reflect the intangible damages an exiting employee can have such as lost customers and low employee morale across the rest of the organization. And, turnover costs climb even higher as you move up the organization: mid- and upper–level managers can cost over twice their annual salary to replace.

Interviewing Doesn’t Work

Traditional interviews don’t help you select top talent. In fact, a large study conducted by John and Rhonda Hunter at the University of Michigan on the predictors of job performance found that a typical job interview increased the likelihood of choosing the best candidate by less than 2 percent.

Worse, the traditional job interview is a highly subjective process. Interviewers often have a range of biases that dramatically affect their perceptions of individual job candidates. Despite the best of intentions, interviewers and supervisors have an unconscious tendency to favor people who are similar to themselves.

An interview-only hiring process can create teams that get along reasonably well – but lack the blend of skills needed to excel in business together.

The Galliard Group of Boise, Idaho, works with family-owned and closely held companies to build cost-effective hiring practices. Managing Partner Lisë Stewart points out that there is a real danger in simply collecting resumes and interviewing a few top candidates.  “Desktop publishing and resume writers can make almost anyone look good on paper.”

Stewart continues,  “Do a web search on ‘job interviewing’ and you’ll find thousands of websites full of advice on how to ‘ace’ the interview. We’ve seen well-rehearsed candidates give great interviews. Unfortunately, those great interviews do not predict success in the job; they predict success in doing job interviews.”

The Most Neglected Aspect of Hiring

A job analysis is the most neglected aspect of hiring. Performed correctly, a job analysis provides a list of the personal attributes required to work effectively in the role. This list of attributes is identified first by breaking down a person’s job into logical parts.

Next, each job task is analyzed according to the knowledge, skills, abilities and attitudes required to perform the job correctly. Once a business knows what the position requires, the hiring process is faster and more effective because job candidates are evaluated on a common set of criteria. When you know exactly what talents are required—you know what to look for and what to test for.

“Most Human Resource departments know that a good job analysis is needed to get the best person but it’s surprising how many just aren’t doing it at a basic level,” says Stewart. “Turnover is reduced when the person fits the job. It’s just common sense: people love their jobs when the position matches their personality, attitudes, and skills.” Stewart says that an effective job analysis is critical in achieving this ‘fit.’

Matching People to Jobs

Once a business understands what the job demands, there are several tools that help identify the right people for the job. Candidate screening, personality and skill assessments, performance-based interviews and behavioral based interviews all help identify top candidates.

“No single technique on its own can predict on-the-job performance so companies need to use a blend of tools that reflect their needs.” says Stewart. “The research on hiring is clear on one point: using multiple selection methods gives you the best employees.”

Stewart notes that a multi-faceted approach can both streamline the process and ensure much better, fit—increasing employee retention and productivity. She adds, “Hiring people does not need to cost a lot or take a long time. Once a business has a sensible hiring process in place, finding top talent is much easier.”

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