Recruiting and Hiring Top-Quality Employees

photo of employee team taking selfie

The final blog in my series summarizes the past blogs I have written which all had the common purpose – recruiting and hiring top-quality employees.

In my previous posts, I’ve discussed how any company, whether big or small, must always take the necessary steps to try and ensure that they are hiring the best employee for the position needed. There are numerous ways to go about this process, but I will recap on the crucial tasks that should be completed in the hiring stages for an employee in this post.

  • Develop accurate job descriptions. In order for a job description to be effective, it should reflect careful thought as to the roles the individual will fill, the skill sets they’ll need, the personality attributes that are important to completing the tasks, and any relevant experience that would differentiate one applicant from another.
  • Compile a “success profile.” For key positions that are critical to your business, it is important to develop a profile of the ideal employee. Identifying skills and attributes that a candidate needs to succeed in that position will help match candidates against a specific profile. For more, refer to my previous post, Developing Accurate Job Descriptions and Success Profiles.
  • Draft the ad, describing the position and the key qualified required. Including the key qualifications required will help limit the number of unqualified applicants you receive.
  • Review the resumes you receive and identify your best candidates. When receiving resumes it is important that you know what you are looking for in terms of experience, education and skills to help weed through the resumes quickly and identify potential candidates. For more, refer to my previous post, Reviewing Resumes and Identifying the Best Candidates.
  • Outline a solid selection process or guide that you’ll follow. For more, refer to my previous post, Selection Process Guidelines for a Job Candidate.
  • Select the candidate and run a background check on the individual. After matching the best applicant to the profiled job description it is time to make your selection. At this time it is also encouraged that a background check is done to uncover any potential problems not revealed by previous testing and interviews.
  • Make your offer to the candidate. Gathering information about the individual during the interview will provide an idea as to what starting compensation should be offered and the proper training this individual will need.

After reviewing these suggestions, I hope you are better prepared to recruit and hire the top-quality employees you need to successfully run and operate your business. Finding the right employees can be a challenge, but doing so will undoubtedly benefit the company in the long run. I would like to thank the Kansas Small Business Development Center and the Management Development Center at Fort Hays State University for the opportunity to guest blog about HR related topics that will further my knowledge on the subject as I prepare to graduate and begin my career.

From the Kansas SBDC

Saul, we’d like to thank you as well. We appreciate your contribution and know that this insightful series you authored and published on our website will help many small businesses in Kansas and beyond. We look forward to watching you develop in your HR career and hope to work with you again in the near future.

About our Author

Saul Sanchez is a Human Resources undergraduate student studying at Fort Hays State University. He blends his classroom education with real world learning working with FHSU’s Management Development Center (MDC) as a student intern. He takes his learning one step further by guest blogging about small business HR issues via a co-operative learning opportunity developed between the FHSU MDC and the Kansas SBDC.

Selection Process Guidelines for a Job Candidate

photo of job candidate selection process

After conducting effective job candidate interviews, it’s time to select the candidates you believe will provide the best possible match for the job duties and culture of your small business.

And, as we both know, this is no easy task. And it can be very expensive.

Did you know that a study by the Society for Human Resource Management estimated that it can cost a company $3,500 to replace an employee that is only paid $8 an hour? When a business makes a bad hire, this can cost the company not only thousands of dollars in wages, time spent training, etc., but can introduce a candidate that may negatively affect the workplace through lost production, performance, and more.

So, how do we lay the groundwork for a good selection process that increases the likelihood of a good hire and reduces the chance for a bad hire?

Here are a few guidelines that can serve as a basis to ensure you hire the right person from the beginning and utilize a fair selection process.

  • Anchor yourself to the hiring criteria. In the selection process, it’s important that the hiring criteria you first established serves as a strict guide throughout the evaluation process. It’s acceptable to change the criteria, but the changes made shouldn’t be done to better accommodate one of the candidates in particular.
  • Avoid “top of mind” syndrome. Stay alert to any unnecessary factors that can cause distortion may help you avoid selecting some candidates over others for the wrong reasons. An example of “top of mind” syndrome might be selecting a candidate that was interviewed later in the hiring process because he is fresher in the minds of the interviewer and not because he was more qualified than another.
  • Make checking references a priority. Inform the candidate that you’ll be checking references. This could help ensure that the answers the candidate provides during the interview are truthful. Also, checking references yourself is a great way to gain insight from a former supervisor on how to best manage the individual should they become your employee.
  • Administer pre-employment tests. These tests can help determine if an applicant meets the minimum qualifications for the position and can be a good prediction for how the applicant will perform and behave in the workplace.
  • Run a background check on the potential candidate. This is done to uncover any potential problems not revealed by previous testing and interviews. There are many different pre-employment background checks that can be done, however, a word of caution, it’s important to know the laws governing these background checks to avoid any legal issues.

The selection process can be long and difficult with loads of responsibility for the recruiter in charge of making the final decision. While we’ve provided a few guidelines that can help ease the selection process, remember there is much more information that can be discussed about this process.

There are many local consulting services that can help a business out with the selection process including the Kansas Small Business Development Center and the Management Development Center. Other general websites including the Society for Human Resource Management, Workforce, and the conversational HR Bartender blog can provide tips and ideas as well.

 

About our Author

Saul Sanchez is a Human Resources undergraduate student studying at Fort Hays State University. He blends his classroom education with real world learning working with FHSU’s Management Development Center (MDC) as a student intern. He takes his learning one step further by guest blogging about small business HR issues via a co-operative learning opportunity developed between the FHSU MDC and the Kansas SBDC.

Conducting Effective Job Candidate Interviews

interview picture

In my previous blog post we spoke briefly about reviewing resumes and identifying the best candidates for your job opening and your small business. In this post we’ll tackle the next step in the process – interviews.

Conducting interviews, or interviewing,  is one of the most important steps in hiring the best new employee you can hire. Knowing how to interview can be challenging for a business of any size. But this is especially important for small businesses. Bad hires can hide in a larger company perhaps not making a significant negative impact overall. In a small business, no one can hide. Every person in a small business can make or break the organization contributing significantly or detracting greatly from the bottom line.

Decisions are costly. Poor hiring procedures can lead to employment disputes and lower retention rates. A small business can invest a substantial amount of money to properly hire and train a new employee. So, making sure that your next new hire is the right one is monumentally important.

You can take a number of different approaches to effectively interview depending on the position you are trying to fill. Here are a few interviewing tactics that every small business should keep in mind.

  • The initial few moments of an interview are crucial. This is where the first impression is made and will help show their confidence and enthusiasm. How does your candidate portray themselves? Is this someone you would want representing your small business?
  • When conducting interviews, it is important to use a consistent set of questions to offer a sound basis for comparing applicants. Do you have them written down for reference? This is key to getting an apples to apples comparison for evaluation. Still have questions about the questions to ask? Download Rhonda Abrams’ 11 Questions to Ask Your Candidates [pdf].
  • Pay attention to the candidate’s nonverbal cues, too. Make sure the candidate seems alert and interested as well as properly dressed. What are they communicating with their body language and tone of voice beyond the words they’re communicating?
  • Rather than concentrating on candidates’ specific experience or knowledge, actually providing short projects or assignments can be critical to assess how a candidate approaches the task. The focus for this approach is to evaluate how the candidate utilizes creative problem-solving skills. This is helpful for any role in an organization that involves decision making, conflict resolution, project management, and teamwork.
  • Another approach that allows you to see how well a candidate can shift mindsets when required involves role-playing. In role-playing, the interviewer asks the candidate to convince them what is better from two options given. After the candidate has had a chance to answer, the interviewer switches that role and makes the candidate convince them on the other option as a better choice.

Some of these tips provided in this post challenge conventional interview methods and can help an interviewer decide if a candidate can adapt to the company culture. The idea is to give you tactics that you can use to get a real feel for how the interview candidate would perform as part of your team.

For more information on conducting effective interviews, Fort Hays State University’s Management Development Center provides extensive HR consulting services that can help with conducting interviews as well as employee development. You can also speak with consultants in the Kansas Small Business Development Center network to help develop a roadmap for developing an effective team for your small business.

 

About our Author

Saul Sanchez is a Human Resources undergraduate student studying at Fort Hays State University. He blends his classroom education with real world learning working with FHSU’s Management Development Center (MDC) as a student intern. He takes his learning one step further by guest blogging about small business HR issues via a co-operative learning opportunity developed between the FHSU MDC and the Kansas SBDC.