Thursday, October 3, 2013

Applican't's Past Behavior - Better Than a Crystal Ball

When hiring employees there is no crystal ball to confirm whether you have hired the best candidate.  There is a process you can use that will increase your odds of doing so the next time you hire an employee.
I’m frequently asked “What are the best questions to ask during an interview to ensure I get the best candidate for the job?”
My answer is simple:  Behavioral based questions aimed at the main competencies of the job.  I know that sounds like a bunch of HR techno babble.  Behavioral based interview questions are questions that ask the candidate to relate a previous work related behavior from their past experience.  Scientists agree with HR professionals in that past performance is the best indicator of future performance.  Hypothetical questions only get you the answer the applicant thinks you want to hear, whether it’s true or not. Behavioral based questions get to the heart of tasks, duties and activities the candidate has actually performed in the past and when structured correctly can even divulge a level of quantity and/or quality of their performance.  If followed with more probing questions behavioral based questions can reveal much about the candidate’s work experiences, skills and motivations.  Using behavioral based interview questions relating to the competencies of the job really is the best predictor of an applicant’s qualifications.
Three common job competencies are customer focus, dependability and initiative.  Using the behavior based interview process here are some generic questions with follow up probing questions for the three competencies.
Customer Focus:
Explain a time when you were not able to respond to a customer as quickly as promised.  How did you handle the situation?  What if anything would you do differently?
Tell me about a time when you received feedback either positive or negative from a customer. Why does this example stick out in your mind?  What did you do with that feedback?
We all have to work very hard at times.  Tell me about a time you started early or stayed late to accommodate your employer?  What specifically did you do?
On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 high, how dependable are you?  Why do you say that?  Give me an example that illustrates your dependability.
Tell me about a time when none of your supervisors were available to guide or direct you on a particular project or problem.  How did you approach the situation so that you could complete your work?
Describe a situation when you identified a problem and took action to correct it rather than wait for someone else to do so.  How did it turn out?  What did you learn from it?
Besides using behavioral based questions, the other key to making the best hiring decision is accurately assessing the answers applicants supply.  Stay tuned for a future post when I share some thoughts on that part of the hiring process.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

It Has Been A Long Hot Summer For Employees - Part 2

It has been a long hot summer for employees and employers alike.  Everyone is looking for some "coolness" this fall.  

One "cool" thing coming soon to Oceans of Opportunities is an Employer's App for smart phones.  Wouldn't it be great to have your company's employee handbook, new hire forms, orientation video and a management toolkit for your managers and supervisors all on your PHONE?

You have got to LOVE technology.  Stay tuned for future updates and the official roll out of this exciting new way to manage your human resources and stay compliant with federal and state employment laws.