Monday, January 17, 2011

Will You Be Hiring in 2011?

With the onset of the new year a lot of "experts" are forecasting that hiring will increase, helping the economy by getting people back to work.  In these first 17 days of the new year, I've talked with several organizations that have already hired or are planning to hire in the near future.  That's good news.  But I go a little crazy when they tell me how they did it or are planning to do it.

Getting referrals from friends and family is by far the easiest and cheapest way to source candidates.  But beware of friends giving glowing references.  Could it be they are just trying to get rid of their own deadwood?  Think about it, passing off poor performers to someone else is easier than firing that employee.  In fact it makes you look like a hero.  But not what I'd recommend.

CraigsList is the second easiest and cheapest way to source candidates.  Where else can you get hundreds of resumes in your inbox for $25 in a matter of hours?  A better alternative than strict referrals.

Whatever your source of candidates its important that you take the time and energy and follow these steps:

1)  Know the job requirements, knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to be successful in the job.  Don't just think about what you as the manager or business owner needs - think about what your customers need in the person that is going to be waiting on them, providing a service and generally interacting with them.  Write down the key job duties, knowledge and skills needed to perform the job.

2)  Put the applicant to the test.  Be sure the applicants have the knowledge and skills they say they do by asking behavioral based questions - questions that draw on their previous performance, not hypothical situations.  Consider using assessments to test their aptitude for customer service, sales, or other job requirements.  Don't forget to check references.

3)  Get a second opinion.  Bring another employee, manager or HR professional into the final decision making process.  A fresh set of eyes brings a new perspective into the process and can help you find any holes in your decision making - before you fall into it and are trapped with an employee who turns out not to be the best fit for your organization.

For a complete Hiring Process Flow Chart, give me a call or drop me an e-mail.

Happy Hiring in 2011!