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Six Strategies to Hire Right the First Time

Six Strategies to Hire Right the First Time

Gregg Gregory / Business Leader Magazine (March 2008)

June 14, 2008

While hiring a new team member can be a shot in the dark, it doesn’t have to be. Follow these six simple strategies:

Use an Up-To-Date (and accurate) Job Description

A job description should reflect what the employee is to do on a regular, not daily, basis. It is not how the employee will be evaluated; rather, it should define what his or her duties are.

Define a Minimum Skill Set Requirement

If a candidate has all the skills necessary to do the job, you run the risk of having them burn out more quickly, thus increasing your turnover rate. A good tool to help with this is a skill set test, which will make sure the candidate has the skills necessary. This way when your candidate claims to be proficient in a program, you can measure their skills. Have several current employees take the same test prior to interviews so you have a baseline to measure your candidates against.

Have Members of the Team assist in the Interview

You won’t be the only person working with the new hire, so get a couple of senior team members to conduct a short interview to make sure the new hire will fit. Have everyone involved in the interview process ask one or two of the exact same questions. This shows consistency in the responses and the candidate’s message and shows the candidate’s frustration level. If the prospective employee gets annoyed at the third time the question is asked, you need to ask yourself if you want that person on your team.

Ask Probing Questions

If you have several preset open-ended questions to ask all candidates, you will get a better understanding of each candidate from a comparative point of view. Questions should evoke emotion when possible. This will allow you to see how the candidate reacts in stressful and ethical situations.

Do a Background Check

This includes checking the references and, in many cases, utilizing an outside company to perform the complete background check.

Hire on Attitude

The top reason employees leave an organization is conflict with a team member or supervisor, so attitude is very important. If you say your employees are your most important assets, prove it, and make sure the person you offer the job to has the right attitude.

The bottom line is the skill of a person drives the will of a person. A person who has all of the skills and lacks the will to push and perform at peak levels is just not the right fit. You can always teach new skills, but the will – well, they either have it or they don’t. You make the call.


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