Interviewing and selection is one of the most critical parts of the life cycle of any business. It determines to a great extent the level of success or failure of each company in that the performance of those we choose to work for us has a direct effect on how well we deliver our products and services. Yet something so critical and so impactful is usually so poorly executed. It’s rushed. It often is about gut feel vs. strategic execution. Sadly it often results in poor choices and frustrating results. It does not have to be this way. Here are some key steps to take that will help improve how your firm assesses and selects your future hires.
It’s important to have a plan. Most companies have prospective hires see anywhere from two people in the firm to perhaps five or more. Instead of having an uncoordinated screening efforts get everyone together who is part of the interviewing process and divide up the roles. Establish who is going to ask what questions, cover what aspects, inform on what levels, and so on. You will collectively cover more ground this way; eliminate wasting time asking the same questions over and over; and then have more information to share and use in your decision.
Just because you have had to participate in an interview, usually as a candidate, does not mean you know how to interview. Too many hiring managers are just clueless when it comes to knowing what to ask, how to ask it and then how to interpret the responses received. Even worse is the hiring manager who thinks the interview is about them, talking on and on about the job and company, assessing the candidate by how many head nods and points of agreement and acceptance have occurred. With this in mind, get your managers some form of training on how to interview and how to properly assess the candidate.
Even with the training and a strategic interview process today’s candidate is better schooled and better prepared to answer the questions often posted in the average assessment process. Unfortunately the answers received may not necessarily be indicative of the candidate’s true feelings, abilities or interests, but instead just a set of responses the candidate thinks we want to hear that will help them get the job. As such the use of pre-hire testing tools has become all the more critical. Using a mix of personality profiling tests, designed to assess organizational fit and personal style, as well as skills testing for things like math, writing, specific software use and even organization, all will help validate your findings from the interview or give you some reason to reconsider your selection.
It’s become cliché for some to say that the most important asset in any business is the people. While it may be cliché it also usually is true. As such we need to invest as much time and effort into selecting those assets as we do in any other part of our operation. Consider then taking a more thoughtful approach to a process that often gets less attention than is truly warranted.
David Lewis is president/CEO of FairfieldCountyJobs.com, the region’s most prolific job board with more than 100,000 visitors a month to view jobs from more than 4,000 area employers. His monthly reports talk to the condition of the job market as measured by data from his sites as well as data from state, federal and industry sources in the public domain. Learn more at FairfieldCountyJobs.com.
It’s become cliché for some to say that the most important asset in any business is the people. While it may be cliché it also usually is true. As such we need to invest as much time and effort into selecting those assets as we do in any other part of our operation.