Ensure Hiring Success Part 1

September 13, 2003

How to Avoid Hiring Fruits, Nuts, and Flakes!

By: Greg Smith

The interview process should determine if there is a match between the individual and the job. Furthermore, a good process allows you to understand the applicant's behavior, values, motivations, and qualifications.

Time and time again we have seen people hired for sales jobs that don't like calling people, customer service people whom can't look into your eyes and say, "Hello." Then there are good employees promoted into management positions lacking the competencies to lead and manage others. Here are several reasons why interviewing techniques fail:

Lack of preparation - The first impression lasts a long time. Prior to the interview make sure you understand the key elements of the job. Develop a simple outline that covers general job duties. Possibly work with the incumbent to get a better idea of what the job is about. Screen the resumes and application to gain information for the interview. Standardize and prepare the questions you will ask each applicant.

Lack of purpose - Not only are you trying to determine the best applicant, but you also have to convince the applicant that this is the best place for them to work. Today's workers have many more choices and job opportunities to choose from.

Lack of clearly defined job competencies - Each job can have anywhere from 6-14 job competencies. Identify the behaviors, knowledge, motivations and qualities incumbents need to have to be successful in the job. If the job requires special education or a license, be sure to include it on your list also. There are several assessments and profiles available to help insure you have a good match between the applicant and the job.

Lack of structure - The best interview follows a structured process. This doesn't mean that the entire process is inflexible without spontaneity. What it means that each applicant is asked the same questions and is scored with a consistent rating process.

A structured approach helps avoid bias and gives all applicants a fair chance. The best ways to accomplish this is by using behavioral based questions and situational questions. Check the next article for some examples of these questions.

More information can be found on our website at

Gregory P. Smith shows businesses how to build productive and profitable work environments that attract, keep, and motivate their workforce. He is the author of the book, Here Today Here Tomorrow: Transforming Your Workforce from High Turnover to High-Retention. He speaks at conferences, conducts management training, and is the President of a management consulting firm called Chart Your Course International located in Conyers, Georgia. Phone him at 770-860-9464. More articles available: http://www.chartcourse.com

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