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How to hire the right people


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How to hire the right people

  1. 1. Hiring the Right Person the First Time By Chelse Benham “Recently, I was asked if I was going to fire an employee who made a mistake that cost the company $600,000. No, I replied, I just spent $600,000 training him. Why would I want somebody to hire his experience?” – Thomas J. Watson The Management Research Associates Web site stated that recent research by Sihson & Co., a market analysis research firm, estimated that turnovers cost companies more than $75 billion to replace the 6.5 million employees who leave their workplace environments each year. High attrition within a company can lead to low morale, adding another hidden cost companies face because the low morale typically leads to more turnovers, thus creating a domino effect in the workplace. Ultimately, economic experts say that low morale and high turnover affect the bottom line. They caution that the extent of the damage is not restricted to attrition costs. Companies sometimes lose clients and new business opportunities when people leave. One solution would be to hire the right person the first time to prevent turnover that affects the bottom line. Margaret Murphy, vice president of global communications for the consulting firm Right Management Associates, suggests the key to a successful hire is in the attitude. She says an employer should hire someone who is passionate about what they want to be doing. Murphy advises skills can be acquired on the job, but the right attitude and being passionate are indicative of the person and what they will give to the company. There is a greater return in the form of loyalty, follow- through and ability to fit in from a person with a positive attitude. The employer’s job during an interview is to discern what the candidate is passionate about and whether the person will fit within the new workplace environment. With so much pressure on hiring the right person, how do you conduct an effective interview process? There is no perfect answer, but the interview process can be a tremendous help if used well. There is more to an interview than asking a candidate a question. Long before arriving at the negotiating table, human resource experts say the interviewer should follow some basic steps to improve the selection process to help choose the right candidate. At, the site outlines several steps for interviewing candidates. Below are some key steps to finding the right person to fill a position in your company:
  2. 2. • Determine your need to hire a new employee. Are you properly utilizing the skills and talents of your current employees? Do you know what needs to be done? Can your business support a new employee? 1. Know what you want in a candidate. 2. Prepare a list of standard questions. 3. Prepare a list of prioritized and measurable criteria, either in the form of a worksheet or other method, for analyzing and comparing the candidates. 4. Review a candidate's resume prior to the interview. 5. Set specific appointment times and reasonable time limits. • Conduct a thorough job analysis. What are the job's essential functions and key performance criteria? • Write a job description and job specification for the position based on the job analysis. • Determine the salary for the position, based on internal and external equity. Is the salary comparable and proportional with the salaries and responsibilities of other positions inside your company as well as similar positions out in the marketplace? • Decide where and how to find qualified applicants. What are the recruitment techniques to be used? What is the time frame for conducting your search? Remember, advertising is not the only, or necessarily the best, way to recruit. • Collect and review a fair amount of applications and resumes and then select the most qualified candidates for further consideration. • Interview the most qualified candidates for the position, based on the job's description and specification. • Check references. • Hire the best person for the job. Once you begin an interview, collect pertinent information. Be sure to take informative notes to make the selection process easier. In the article “Ten traits CIOs Look For In Hiring A Manager” by Michael Sisco at Tech, he identifies specific areas to evaluate in a prospective employee. Ask the interviewee questions that reveal something regarding the following areas: 1. A self-starter attitude – Look for employees who take initiative and want to do a good job. Being proactive is an excellent trait as long as it is consistent with the mission of the organization. 2. Adaptability to change – Hire people that are adaptable. They usually tend to achieve more. Managers need employees that can adapt to change and can maintain high levels of productivity even in uncertain times.
  3. 3. 3. Appreciation for good customer service – Gauge whether a prospective employee values customer service. 4. Team players - Managers need staff members who can work well in teams and be reliable. Providing examples of how they have worked successfully with others is a positive indicator of teamwork skills and a tangible asset. 5. Proven commitment – Give scenarios and ask for examples of how the person would demonstrate going the extra mile and do what it takes to get the job done. True performers come through under pressure. 6. A strong desire to achieve – Ask the person about their passions. Why are they applying for the job? It's hard to teach people to want to succeed if they don't already have the desire. 7. Problem-solving skills – Is the person good at solving challenges? Will they ask for help when they need it? Good employees are those who are willing to work hard to find answers and enjoy the challenges that land on their desks. 8. Solid communication skills – Is the person able to articulate well? Does he or she speak effectively with confidence and look you in the eye? Having the ability to communicate effectively with others is no longer just a desirable trait; it is a necessity. Strong verbal and written communication skills can set candidates apart from other interviewees. 9. Low maintenance – Can this person function independently, solve problems, and not create unneeded personnel or workplace issues? No manager wants an employee tapping them on the shoulder all day, double-checking things and seeking assurance. The employee who requires minimal direction and who can deal with issues while validating that the appropriate steps are being taken is a valuable asset to an organization. Since past behavior predicts future behavior, experts say to look for the candidate's behavior patterns as you collect information. Often times, by listening to how the candidate responds to your questions about previous jobs, you will be able to get a very good idea of what their behavior will be like in the future. Moreover, human resource experts suggest that the interviewer not offer too much detailed information so that the candidate can formulate answers demonstrating the person understands something about the company and the nature of the job. Remember, the candidate wants the job and will be looking to say the right things to impress.
  4. 4. Also, it is important to remember that an interview is not an opportunity to delve into someone’s private life. There are very specific areas where asking questions is contrary to federal and state employment laws. Web site provides a list of subjects that is widely regarded as off-limits for discussion in an interview by employment experts. In an interview, or on an employment application, do not ask questions: • Concerning the age of the candidate. Be careful using the words over qualified with older candidates. • About their arrest record (this is different from convictions - in most states, it is permissible to ask if the candidate has ever been convicted of a crime). • About race or ethnicity. • Concerning the candidate's citizenship of the United States prior to hiring (it is permissible to ask "Will you be able to provide proof of eligibility to work in the United States if hired?"). • Concerning the candidate's ancestry, birthplace, or native language (it is permissible to ask about their ability to speak English or a foreign language if required for the job). • About religion or religious customs or holidays. • Concerning the candidate's height and weight if it does not affect their ability to perform the job. • Concerning the names and addresses of relatives (only those relatives employed by the organization are permitted). • About whether or not the candidate owns or rents his/her home and who lives with them (asking for their address for future contact is acceptable). • Concerning the candidate's credit history or financial situation. In some cases, credit history may be considered job-related, but proceed with extreme caution. • Concerning education or training that is not required to perform the job. • Concerning their sex or gender. Avoid any language or behavior that may be found inappropriate by the candidate. It's his/her standard of conduct that must be met. • Concerning pregnancy or medical history. Attendance records at a previous employer may be discussed in most situations as long as you don't refer to illness or disability. • Concerning the candidate's family or marital status or childcare arrangements (it is permissible to ask if the candidate will be able to work the required hours for the job). • Concerning the candidate's membership in a non-professional organization or club that is not related to the job. • Concerning physical or mental disabilities (asking whether the candidate can perform the essential job duties is permitted). The Americans with Disabilities Act allows you to ask the applicant to describe or demonstrate how they would perform an essential
  5. 5. function(s) when certain specific conditions are met. Check the law or consult with an attorney before moving forward. Hiring the right person for a job can be mixed with emotion on both sides of the table. As the interviewer, you must appear calm, collected and professional. It is just as important to leave a good impression with the interviewee to ensure he or she chooses your company when the time comes.