Mar2007 Avoiding Hiring Mistakes Updated


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  • Good morning/afternoon. I’m Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology. [GIVE A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE COMPANY AND WHAT YOU DO]. As most of you know, hiring mistakes are costly. They can be made in an instant but can require significant money and time to correct. Not to mention, poor employees can harm your group’s reputation and productivity. A new help desk professional who lacks grace under pressure or an ability to explain complex information clearly to end-users, for instance, can quickly generate a host of problems for your team. While not all hiring mistakes can be avoided, many can be prevented with a strategic hiring process. Today, I’m here to share some ideas to help you establish a system that works for you.
  • Mar2007 Avoiding Hiring Mistakes Updated

    1. 1. Katherine Spencer Lee Executive Director Top Hiring Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
    2. 2. Mistake # 1: Filling desks, not needs <ul><li>Analyze what is really needed </li></ul><ul><li>Consider all staffing possibilities for each vacancy </li></ul>
    3. 3. Mistake # 2: Failing to recruit constantly <ul><li>The best employers continually search for top talent </li></ul><ul><li>Keep in touch with candidates, even when you’re not hiring </li></ul><ul><li>Participate in trade associations </li></ul><ul><li>Collect resumes online </li></ul>
    4. 4. Mistake # 3: Creating poor job descriptions <ul><li>The Fantasy Job Ad </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Seeking Level-2 help desk professional with </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>10 years of experience with Cisco, LINUX and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Windows systems. Master’s degree and bilingual </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>skills preferred. Must be willing to work nights and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>weekends. </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Mistake # 3: Creating poor job descriptions <ul><li>The Mystery Job Ad </li></ul>Growing firm seeks a level-2 help desk professional. Must have good technology skills and be willing to work a flexible schedule.
    6. 6. Mistake # 4: Having no system for screening resumes <ul><li>An effective system includes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Benchmarks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Special requirements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Qualifications/attributes critical to success </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Review resumes all at once </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid procrastinating </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t delegate the task </li></ul>
    7. 7. Mistake # 5: Ignoring red flags on resumes <ul><li>Note vague terminology such as: “Participated in,” “familiar with” and “in association” </li></ul><ul><li>Be cautious with functional resumes </li></ul><ul><li>Read resumes beginning at the bottom </li></ul><ul><li>Judge the appearance </li></ul><ul><li>Give the benefit of the doubt </li></ul>
    8. 8. Mistake # 6: Ignoring interviewing techniques <ul><li>Don’t “wing” the interview </li></ul><ul><li>Ask candidates the same number of questions </li></ul><ul><li>Take notes </li></ul>
    9. 9. Mistake # 6: Ignoring interviewing techniques <ul><li>More than two-thirds of executives surveyed said the most productive time for meeting with candidates is between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. </li></ul><ul><li>The first candidate interviewed for a job is somewhat less likely to be hired than other candidates </li></ul><ul><li>Source: Robert Half International </li></ul>
    10. 10. Mistake # 6: Ignoring interviewing techniques <ul><li>Start the conversation with an easy ice-breaker question that illustrates you’ve done your homework. </li></ul><ul><li>Move into challenging questions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How do you define success? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tell me about a time you worked with a difficult end-user. How about a difficult manager? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What kind of work environment do you like least? </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Mistake # 7: Doing more talking than listening <ul><li>Don’t share too much information about your company </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on one question at a time </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid drawing conclusions until the end of the interview </li></ul>
    12. 12. Mistake # 8: Focusing too heavily on hard skills <ul><li>Recent Robert Half Technology CIO Survey </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology executives emphasize business fundamentals. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Question: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When evaluating candidates for IT positions with your firm, has the importance you place on knowledge of business fundamentals, such as accounting, finance and general operations, increased, decreased or stayed the same in the last five years? </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Mistake # 8: Focusing too heavily on hard skills <ul><li>Look for: </li></ul><ul><li>Passion - Does the person care about his/her work? Does it come through in most answers? </li></ul><ul><li>Optimism - Top performers acknowledge difficulties and how they learned from them. </li></ul><ul><li>Work ethic - What has the candidate been doing if unemployed? Top performers use the time wisely. </li></ul><ul><li>Expectations - Candidates should be motivated to learn and advance, but not have unrealistic expectations. </li></ul>
    14. 14. Mistake # 9: Inviting too much input <ul><li>You may select the least objectionable candidate versus the best one </li></ul><ul><li>Participants in the selection process bring different motivations </li></ul>
    15. 15. Mistake # 10: Making rushed decisions <ul><li>Never skip any stages of the hiring process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More likely to make poor matches </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Learn as much as possible about top candidates before making a decision </li></ul>
    16. 16. Mistake # 11: Making slow decisions <ul><li>Keep the process moving </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid losing highly skilled candidates to competitors </li></ul><ul><li>Inform candidates of where you are in the hiring process </li></ul><ul><li>Average time to hire for an IT staff position: 56 days </li></ul>
    17. 17. Mistake #12: Persuading reluctant candidates <ul><li>Be wary of candidates who are hesitant to accept an offer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Even if they decide to join your company, they may not stay long </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t rely entirely on past performance when identifying “superstars” </li></ul>
    18. 18. Mistake # 13: Conducting poor reference checks <ul><li>Never skip this step </li></ul><ul><li>Remind reluctant references of the importance of their feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Take note of the tone of the response </li></ul><ul><li>Let the reference do the talking </li></ul>
    19. 19. Mistake # 13: Conducting poor reference checks <ul><li>Talk to supervisors, colleagues and others in the organization </li></ul><ul><li>Manage the process yourself </li></ul>
    20. 20. Katherine Spencer Lee Executive Director Top Hiring Mistakes and How to Avoid Them