By John Featherstone
Hiring the right person the first time can save you tens of thousands of dollars in time and resources. People are a company’s most valuable asset, so the company will only be as successful as the quality of the people it hires, trains and leads.
Identifying what you need for the most success in a position, and then knowing how to find it in a candidate, are critical.
The following steps can significantly improving your hiring process:
Clearly identify the "musts" needed for a position, and then weight each criterion. These are things that candidates must have in order to be called for a phone interview. Beyond basic skills, managers need to give serious thought to special skills the employee will need to solve current problems and achieve performance improvements.
Look for and rate those "musts" during the initial resume review and all interviews (phone and in-person). Ignore your "gut feeling" — whether positive or negative — until all candidates are interviewed and evaluated against the same criteria.
People succeed from their strengths, so keep your focus there during the interview. Just be sure there are no weaknesses that would almost surely lead to failure on the job.
The in-depth interview is a fact-gathering session that allows you to make a good hiring decision. Spend your time gathering facts directly related to job performance. Don’t do all the talking! Candidates should be able to share tangible results that are directly relatable to the position for which they are applying.
Commit to taking time for a successful recruiting project. Take no shortcuts. Doing the job properly the first time will save you time, money, energy, frustration (yours and the employee’s co-workers), and the need to do this all over again too soon. HBM
John Featherstone, author of "Start Hiring Winners," is a consultant to small businesses and a former five-year volunteer with SCORE, mentoring and training small-business owners and employees. His business consultations include an eight-year project with a distillery in El Salvador. As a division vice president/general manager for a privately held confectionery company, Featherstone managed a spectacular annual growth rate of 50 percent for seven consecutive years. Featherstone also has owned, operated and sold three small businesses. Over 25 years, he has field-tested and perfected his "Start Hiring Winners" system. Featherstone lives in San Pedro, Calif., near Los Angeles. The book "Start Hiring Winners" is available online through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
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