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: Part 1

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 that research has shown that less than a quarter of hires workout out long-term or end up performing beyond expectations? According to Tony Richards of Clear Vision Development Group, this number doesn’t have to be true for your organization.

He gives eight tips to employ during the screening process for making solid hiring decisions. Here are the first four.

Find Your Team’s Next All-stars

As you’re sifting through your stack of applicants and even before you begin setting up interviews, you should have these four to-dos lined up and ironed out in order to help you better identify your golden candidates.

  1. 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?
  2. 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 help for future performance measurement purposes.
  3. Compose a detailed job description. This might not be the job description you post, which might be a bit more basic, but it should be as detailed as possible. If you spell out what exactly your employees are and are not responsible for, it will be easier to measure their success, and thus easier to incentivize. A good job description will include the desired experience level, skill set, and required levels of education and training. You should always layout what additional training and certifications the candidate should expect to participate in once hired.
  4. Determine performance metrics. This is the goal-setting framework that will be used to determine whether the 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.

In what ways have you addressed these four to-dos in your own organization to avoid bad hiring decisions? The remaining four tips will be shared in Fail-proof Tips to Make Good Hiring Decisions Every Time Part 2.

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

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.

Soft Skills

  • 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
  • Action-oriented
  • Ambitious
  • Responsiveness
  • Ability to connect interpersonally
  • Demonstrably good work ethic
  • Teachability

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!

Poor Punctuality in the Workplace: Is It a Deal Breaker?

As you’re working through the hiring process, at what point do you ask the applicant about their punctuality? Does it even come up? Or is this a question you save for their references during the background check?

Depending on your industry and the position in question, the issue of punctuality may not register high on your list of hiring priorities in comparison to other, industry-specific qualifications. But in general, punctuality and reliability is a boon to employers.

Late Days: Standards and Frequency

Most employers aren’t going to terminate an employee for a single offense, but some might not consider hiring one if their references report a chronic habit for being late to work. But how often is too often? What standard of punctuality do you personally keep?
Interestingly, about 16% of workers admit to being late to work on a weekly basis, according to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder in December of last year. And almost 30% report at least one tardy a month, which is about 5% more than last year.

Reasons for Being Late

The survey included more than 2,600 hiring managers or HR personnel and at least 3,400 workers across a range of industries. In a recent article, the results of this survey were compiled to include a list of the most outrageous reasons workers gave for their tardiness.

Here are a few that made the list:

  • I forgot it wasn’t the weekend.
  • I put petroleum jelly in my eyes.
  • I had to watch a soccer game that was being played in Europe.
  • I thought Flag Day was a legal holiday.
  • My pet turtle needed to visit the exotic animal clinic.
  • The wind blew the deck off my house.
  • I overslept because my kids changed all the clocks in the house.
  • I was cornered by a moose.
  • My mother locked me in the closet.
  • The pizza I ordered was late being delivered, and I had to be home to accept/pay for it.
  • The sunrise was so beautiful I had to stop and take it in.
  • My mother-in-law wouldn’t stop talking.
  • My dad offered to make me a grilled cheese sandwich, and I couldn’t say no.

Do any of these excuses sound familiar to you? Maybe you’ve heard (or made) even more bizarre excuses! Share them in the comments!