Practicing the art of hiring
It’s time again. Time to hire another employee. This time you are bound and determined to hire the “right” person.
Just about every manager can think of one employee (usually more) that they never should have hired. Many managers just don’t know how to hire, simply because they have never been trained to.
There are many mistakes that can be made in hiring someone. However, you can make smarter decisions and hire the “right” people by following these steps:
n Make job descriptions complete. The position should be well defined. If you are not specific then you really won’t know what you are looking for in an employee. List not only the duties and responsibilities, but also what the employee would be expected to accomplish. For instance, “Will increase accounts receivable collections by 10 percent within six months”. A list of six to eight performance expectations would serve as a good guide in the evaluation of potential employees.
■ Give yourself a wide selection. Don’t just use newspaper ads. Find job candidates from other resources. Current employees are often good resources, as are employment agencies, conventions, seminars, competitors and business colleagues.
■ Interview potential employees thoroughly. Before you can make a good hiring decision, you need to sharpen your interviewing skills. Prepare an interview agenda that follows the interviewee from education to the present. Then use open-ended questions that keep them talking the majority of the time. Make sure you take notes.
■ Match qualifications. Just because a person is outstanding in one area, does not mean they will be outstanding in another. For instance, a salesperson who breaks all the sales records may not be a good sales manager. You will need to look beyond their one area of expertise.
■ Pay attention to your intuition. Everyone has feelings about the people they work with. How you feel about the person you are interviewing can be a helpful indicator in your hiring decision. Hiring isn’t just totally objective. Intuition is more logical than you think. If you get an uneasy feeling, there may be good reasons based on a subconscious fact. Your best action is to follow all the steps in the hiring process. Then if something still bothers you about the person you have selected, don’t hire them. Follow your intuition.
■ Check their references. Often, employers do not check any of the applicant’s references. Furthermore, when they do check them, they usually check only one. The belief is that they won’t find out much anyway. I mean, why would they put anyone on their reference list that would bad-mouth them? However, checking references can help you verify your applicant’s abilities. Try asking your applicant’s reference for the name of one more person who has worked with them. You tend to get genuine feedback from their peers.
If you actively take these steps in interviewing, you will have an advantage in the “art of hiring”. You will be able to find the “right” people for the “right” jobs.