Hire the Best

March 20, 2003


By Bob Losyk

As we advance into the this century, there are less people entering the workforce and it will become increasingly difficult to find good employees. Competition will increase for the best workers. Preventing costly turnover will become one of your highest priorities. Consequently, you will have to get better interviewing and hiring employees.

Here are some tips to help you make better hiring decisions:

Applications give us information we need to know. Check the application for lack of information, inconsistencies, or phony companies.

Personnel or human resource departments often do not give you any useful information on a former worker because they try to avoid lawsuits. Ask your candidate for the name of the managers or owners they worked for directly. Get written authorization from the applicant to call that person. Have the candidate call the references and ask them to talk with you.

Talk with employees who will be answering the phone or greeting walk-in candidates about how you want inquiries to be handled in case a supervisor is not available. You don't want to lose a candidate due to lack of knowledge or rudeness.

Use the phone as a method to pre-screen, and eliminate unqualified people. Delegate this responsibility to one of your staff. You want to spend your valuable time interviewing only the best candidates. Be sure to have them ask certain "knockout questions" early on that may automatically eliminate applicants.

Create a warm, favorable interview climate. The room should be comfortable, quiet, and free from interruptions. Have your telephone calls held until you are finished. This plays an important role in the success of the interview.

Give the candidate an explanation of the entire interview process. Tell them that you are going to ask the questions for the majority of the interview. Explain to them that they will have an opportunity to ask questions at the end.

Create a written list of good questions. The candidate must be very clear about what you want to know. The questions should be easy for the candidate to answer, and questions should progress in a logical order. Concentrate on the areas of education, past job experiences, past on-the-job skills and behaviors.

By having candidates discuss past situations and behaviors on previous jobs, you can better predict what their behaviors will be on the new job. The answers that candidates give you about what they have done before are a good indicator of what they will do in that situation again.

When finished questioning the candidate, discuss all the aspects of the job that are necessary. Create a clear picture of what the job is like. Answer all their questions and be friendly to the end. Explain the next step in the process. If they are definitely not a candidate, you still want to maintain good will for your company. In all cases, thank them, and walk them out.

Make your decision based on: can they do what you must have them do, will they perform up to the standards you have set, and do they fit into your organization? With proper preparation beforehand, and some analysis afterwards, you will greatly increase your success ratio of hiring the right people.

Bob Losyk, M.Ed., M.B.A., C.S.P., is a certified speaking professional, master trainer, facilitator, author, and president of Innovative Training Solutions, a Ft. Lauderdale, FL consulting firm. For more information on Bob's keynotes, seminars, association board facilitation, panel discussion leadership, and products to help you recruit, hire, and manage your employees, please visit his website at www.boblosyk.com or call 1-800-995-0344.

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