There are two key mistakes made in bringing on new employees.
One is hiring the wrong person; the other is not hiring the right person.
In both cases, the quality of the tools and process used are critical.
The ultimate goal of hiring is to find new, talented employees and bring them on board.
To do that successfully, you need to understand what that talent looks like so you can recognize it when you see it.
You also need to have a thorough, well planned process in place to help you measure and compare the qualifications of applicants.
Upfront planning is critical to making good hiring decisions. The first basic step is to consider the role that needs to be filled and ensure there is a formal job description in place.
The job description should clearly outline the major functions and duties of the position as well as the “KSAs” required to perform it well.
KSA’s refer to the Knowledge, Skills and Attributes that a particular position requires and a baseline level of qualification in each area.
The more specific these KSA’s are the easier it will be to compare an applicant’s qualifications to them.
Once you are clear on what kind of talent you’re looking for, you can get a better idea of where to advertise, whether it is a website or a print ad, so that it matches where your audience of job seekers will look for job ads.
Whether you have many or just a few, finding the gems within the applicant pool can be a real challenge.
If your job posting has included pre-screening criteria that reflects the KSA’s, it will be easier.
Once you have narrowed down your list of qualified applicants, you need to dig deeper to learn more about them.
This is where a great interview process can do the work for you.
Designing interview questions that relate back to the KSA’s makes for a more consistent and streamlined process.
Having engaged interviewers who are invested in the outcome will make those questions come alive.
Once candidates are at the interview stage, the process becomes about verifying their qualifications definitely.
Just as important, if not more, it is about determining whether they will personally be a good fit—for the position and for the organization as a whole.
This is often where interviewers talk about red flags, or gut feelings they have about certain candidates. These should not be ignored. However, neither should they replace due diligence in the hiring process.
Due diligence means calling professional references, ordering background checks, conducting job specific testing or skills assessments to determine if the candidate passes all these check points successfully.
Not surprisingly, some of the interviewers’ hunches will likely play out (good or bad) at this stage.
Hiring is an imperfect science. Even the most thorough process does not guarantee a foolproof hire.
However, the more mindful your hiring practice is, the greater your odds of hiring the right person – the one who ends up to be a great employee.