Fail-proof Tips to Make Good Hiring Decisions Every Time Part 2
In a previous post, we discussed four tips to making good hiring decisions, as outlined by Tony Richards of Clear Vision Development Group. In this post, we’ll share the remaining four. By the end, you should have a clear set of to-dos to create a thorough process for finding the best candidates for each of your company’s key positions.
Find Your Team’s Next All-stars
The previous four to-dos should be completed even before you begin setting up your first interviews. In part one, we discussed identifying the position’s stakeholders and key responsibilities, composing a detailed job description, and determining the performance metrics. In the remaining four to-dos, we begin the interview process by step 5.
5. Determine a data benchmark. The position’s stakeholders should help to collect this benchmark data, which will include standards for communication, behavioral characteristics, motivational rewards, personal skills, and intellectual proficiency. Including the stakeholders in this step will ensure a smooth assimilation of the candidate into the team post-hire.
6. Identify your top three. After the first round of interviews, your top three candidates should start to stand out. You should interview your top three at least three times each before making a final decision.
7. Compile benchmark data. Now that you have the benchmark data from the input of your stakeholders, you should assemble the same data on your top three candidates during the assessment phase. Who best aligns with these metrics?
8. Review data and extend offer. With this process you will have qualitative and quantitative data to review, which will help to check or corroborate your gut-instincts and protect you from making a poor decision. You should be able to extend the offer with confidence.
Did you find any of these tips helpful? How do you currently vet your candidates to avoid making bad hiring decisions? Share your methods in the comments.
Fail-proof Tips to Make Good Hiring Decisions Every Time
Bad hiring decisions are costly. Each employee is an investment that begins with the cost of screening, and a good employee gives you ample returns. Would you believe research has shown that less than a quarter of hires work out long-term or perform beyond expectations? According to Tony Richards of Clear Vision Development Group, this number need not be true for your organization.
Below, we outline his eight screening tips for solid hiring decisions. By the end of this article, you should have a clear idea of what to look for in a candidate, the importance of background checks, and a list of things to do that will improve your processes and give you exceptional results when hiring for key positions.
What Hiring Managers Should Look For in Candidates
Finding the right person for the job can be difficult. Screening applicants, contacting candidates, and interviewing each person can quickly eat into the limited amount of hours you have to find the right candidate. Here are a few things to look for to help identify the right person without having to spend as much time in the interviewing process.
- College degrees: Applicants with college degrees usually place ahead of applicants without a degree. A degree indicates that the applicant has the ability to complete goals and has a good work ethic. Hiring managers should scan resumes for college degrees that are applicable to the position they are looking to fill.
- Experience: It’s most often helpful to look for work experience that relates to the position in question. Sometimes, an applicant’s experience is a perfect fit while other times, their experience doesn’t relate precisely to the position. As long as the person has a history of steady employment in various roles and positions, this indicates the applicant is versatile, reliable, and could be trained quickly.
- Social media: Researching an applicant’s social media will give you a little more information to determine if they are a good fit for your position. Social media sites can show whether a candidate exercises good judgment, or displays behavior that could be detrimental to an employer’s reputation. It can also help hiring managers to get to know the applicant’s personality before interviewing them, to check that they’d be a good cultural fit.
- Preparation: When it comes time to interview a candidate, aim to hire those who come prepared to a job interview. Preparation shows they are serious about the job and will probably work hard for you if you decide to make them an offer.
- Second opinions: Inviting other hiring managers to join in on interviews can be extremely helpful; involving additional people will give you insights into candidates and qualifications you may have overlooked.
Tony Richards’s Eight Screening Tips for Consistently Quality Hires
Long before you begin setting up interviews, you should have these to-dos lined up to identify your golden candidates more easily. The first four should be completed even before you begin setting up your first interviews.
- Identify the position’s stakeholders. Who are the individuals within your company who are the most vested in the position in question? Who manages or directly reports to the position? Where does the position fit in the grand scheme of the company’s strategy and trajectory?
- Identify the position’s responsibilities. What key results is the person who fills this position responsible for producing? Identify five or six targeted results. This will be useful for future performance measurement purposes.
- Compose a detailed job description. A good job description will include the desired experience level, skill set, and required levels of education and training. This may not be the job description you post, but it should be as detailed as possible. If you spell out what your employees are and are not responsible for, it will be easier to measure their success and to incentivize. Always lay out what additional training and certifications the candidate will participate in once hired.
- Determine performance metrics. This is the goal-setting framework that will be used to determine whether an individual is meeting the desired parameters of success for this position. It will match up with the position’s key results as outlined in to-do number 2.
- Determine a data benchmark. The position’s stakeholders should help collect this benchmark data, which will include standards for communication, behavioral characteristics, motivational rewards, personal skills, and intellectual proficiency. Including the stakeholders in this step will ensure a smooth assimilation of the candidate into the team post-hire.
- Identify your top three. After the first round of interviews, your top-three candidates should start to stand out. You should interview your top three at least three times each before making a final decision.
- Compile benchmark data. Now that you have the benchmark data from the input of your stakeholders, you should assemble the same data on your top-three candidates during the assessment phase. Who best aligns with these metrics?
- Review data and extend an offer. With this process, you will have qualitative and quantitative data to review, which will check or corroborate your gut instincts and protect you from making a poor decision. You should be able to extend the offer with confidence.
While all these areas are important aspects for hiring managers to look through, the most important is a good background check.
Why a Solid Background Check is Important
Performing a thorough background check on a potential employee is the first stop in limiting employee turnover and retaining good workers. Studies show that it costs more than $4,000 to hire a new employee, so be sure to use a good screening service to make this expense worthwhile.
While a background check does take a little time and money, it is essential for the following reasons:
- To verify qualifications: Background checks ensure that all of the qualifications your potential hire presents to you are true. If you don’t verify the education, work history, and identity of your job candidates, you may find yourself looking for their replacement in the near future.
- To eliminate illicit drug users: You need to be sure your new hire does not use illicit drugs. You can’t determine everything about a person in the space of one or two job interviews. With a background check, you can be sure that all of the positive qualities you saw in the interview process will not be marred by unpleasant surprises. A drug screening could save you from a costly mistake for your company.
- To eliminate candidates with violent tendencies: Your new hire should not have violent or confrontational tendencies. It’s important to know your new hire is emotionally stable. Performing a background check will save you the time and money that would result from an incident in the workplace.
In what ways have you implemented these tips within your own organization to avoid bad hiring decisions? Did you find any of these tips helpful? How do you currently vet your candidates to avoid making bad hiring decisions? Share your methods in the comments.
Homeland Security Reports on Lax Employee Screening of Airport Workers
A recently released report (February 6, 2017), issued by the House Homeland Security Committee Majority Staff, has highlighted concerns about the way workers in U.S.-based airports are screened and the consequent risk of insider threat. After examining employee screening practices at the United States’ 450 airports, the conclusion was, essentially, that “much more needs to be done” to improve airport security.
The report, entitled America’s Airports: The Threat from Within, found that of the 900,000 airport workers currently employed in the aviation sector, many are able to forego certain traditional screening requirements meant to protect employer, employee, consumer, and the nation at large.
John Katko (R-NY), Subcommittee Chairman, issued an outline of recommendations designed to “close security vulnerabilities at our nation’s airports” with the collaborative efforts of the TSA and the aviation stakeholder community. Essentially, these recommendation will bolster employee screening practices at secure access points, as opposed to the current method of randomized screening.
Of the nine recommendations included in the report, there are:
- examining the costs and feasibility of expanded employee screening
- education aviation workers on their role in mitigating insider threats
- targeting the use of employee screening to be more strategic
- implementing the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s RapBack Service for all credentialed aviation worker populations
A Real Concern
The concern of insider threat is punctuated by recent events at our nation’s airports that include instances of drug and gun smuggling, an attempt to detonate a bomb at an airport, and employees who were affiliated with terrorist activities overseas, all of which are discussed in the report.
What This Means for You
Though your own organization may not affect the nation’s security as obviously as the aviation sector does, what screening practices have you employed to address your own concerns for insider threat to your company’s safety and interests?
What to Look For in New Employees
As employers and hiring managers, you are the gatekeepers for your company. You understand that bringing one bad egg onto your team can damage your company culture and morale at best, and introduce an insider threat to your company’s security and longevity at worst. For this reason, the need for thorough screening and background checks is paramount. But other than trustworthiness, what other employee character traits should hiring managers be assessing as they narrow down their choices?
According to The Daily Leader, these added traits can be broken down into soft and hard skills. While the hard include the most obvious qualifications for your industry (technical proficiency, length of experience, education, etc.), the soft will include those traits that signal whether or not the candidate will be a good fit for you company culture.
- Enthusiasm and passion
- Being able to work collaboratively as part of a team
- Good written and verbal communication
- Ability to commit long-term to company goals
- Ability to connect interpersonally
- Demonstrably good work ethic
When Do Soft Skills Outweigh the Hard?
It might seem to be a given that hard skills are the most valuable or sought after in a candidate, but a candidate that might have the knowledge without the soft skills might ultimately lose out to lesser qualified applicants. It all depends on the employer and the position, but it’s an important consideration to make when comparing resumes and interviews. Which of all these skills are the most critical for you personally? Would you invest in increasing a teachable employee some necessary technical knowledge simply because they’re passionate about the work, or would you elect to hire someone who can hit the ground running? The catch is that this latter candidate’s drive is noticeably absent.
Have you had to make such decisions in your own hiring experiences? Share them in the comments!