Work environments have changed dramatically in the last 10 years – and this year as we experience the pandemic, we’ve seen the greatest change! Formerly, companies had almost total control over the people who worked there. Employees sometimes “clocked-in” or “clocked-out” at specific times. Even if a time clock wasn’t used, the expectations were set – and routinely followed. It’s also true that in the past, employees were often hired for a specific knowledge or specific skill.
Now, neither of these scenarios are likely. No matter what industry you’re in, work now demands flexibility. We also look for employees with an adaptive nature and a broad knowledge of business in general. The right candidate for an open position must be eager, flexible and a quick learner. Finding the right person enhances your work culture. In fact, when you find the right employee, your business is more likely to accomplish goals and move forward more effectively.
So how does a company make the right hiring decision? Here are few tips to consider.
First, define the job. It sounds crazy, but companies often look for candidates without thoroughly examining the duties of the potential employee. Don’t just pull out an old job description. Instead, analyze the job thoroughly. What are the duties and responsibilities of the position? How has it changed in recent history? What is the work environment of the potential position? And how will this new employee interact within the various departments of the company? A good job analysis will reveal the need to expand or adjust the skill levels of candidates. Ask any staff company what information leads to the best hires and they’ll tell you, it’s the job description.
Use a checklist. It pays to list the qualities and skills you would like to see in the person you hope to hire. A checklist helps you and your team look realistically at viable candidates and closely track interviews. A checklist helps you determine who you should call back for a second interview. A word of caution. Sometimes the best candidate stands out because of his/her personality. When that’s the case, the check list will at least confirm the need for training to attain certain skills.
Review credentials and applications carefully. All too often, companies simply scan the application in hopes that something stands out to them. If you don’t have time, hire a consultant to screen the applications for you. It’s important to determine how each applicant stands up against the checklist you’ve created. When you do interview candidates, you want to spend your time on the most qualified ones!
Prescreen your candidates. In person interviews should be saved for the best candidates. A lot of information can be obtained in a telephone conversation. And certainly now, with Zoom, we can observe more while conducting the conversation. You can assess how comfortable the candidate is when talking to an outsider. And you can determine whether or not the candidate is focused on answering your questions. Is the candidate able to listen, synthesize the information and ask pertinent questions? A prescreening interview will tell you if the prospective employee can fit within the company’s culture.
Ask the right questions. Depending on the position that is open, your questions should consider the ability of the candidate to thrive. Is he or she a team player? Can this person work with others and help build a creative environment? How do they feel about learning new skills? The right questions can help you separate desirable candidates from average candidates.
Develop a Talent Pool. Companies with aggressive strategies need a pool of prospective employees that they can reach out to when they need extra help. Long before you have a position open, keep in contact with impressive people – people you may have interviewed for another position or people you’ve met at industry functions. Develop relationships with these candidates by taking them to lunch, or by having a conversation with them on the phone. Talk with them long before you need them. By staying in touch, you may be developing a pool of candidates that you can call on later.
Finally, the human resources department of a company can, and should, become adept at LinkedIn, Indeed, and other systems to find and nurture prospective talent.
Bahar Consulting can also work with you to identify effective talent. We help companies pinpoint areas of expertise. We can be your third-party verification when considering candidates. We collaborate with you to fill key positions.