Hire authority Featured

9:39am EDT August 20, 2004
Hiring the right employee can produce many positive effects on your organization. This new employee can increase your company's profits, improve morale companywide or within a certain group or team, advance your position within the organization, boost your compensation or make your job a lot easier.

With the possibility of one or all of these positive effects becoming a reality, it is important to invest time and reflect on your hiring process to ensure that you are giving yourself the best chance to hire the right candidate -- one who will join your team and make a positive contribution.

All hiring authorities want to hire the best possible talent available. But you have to interview them before you can hire them. So how can you guarantee that you are interviewing the best?

One way is to partner with a well-known, established search firm that shares your values and has the capacity to understand your business. Demonstrate to them that you are serious about filling your position and communicate via timely feedback on resumes and interviews, and you'll get their attention and interview the upper echelon of talented and qualified candidates for your requirement.

Take the time to establish a face-to-face meeting with the search firm, preferably at your company, and communicate the importance of the position, as well as the related duties and responsibilities. Allow the search firm to get a feel for your company's culture and structure. The more it learns about what finding the right employee will mean to you, the position and your company, the better it will to be able to service you.

By taking the time and sharing pertinent information with a search firm, you are communicating the investment that you and your organization are making. This helps the search firm allocate the proper amount of resources to conduct an efficient search.

Put yourself in their shoes, particularly a search firm whose business is primarily contingent. Search firms make value-added decisions on where they should utilize their resources. With the present surge in the demand for talented professionals, search firms are being sought after now more than ever. (Sometimes offering up a small retainer of approximately 10 percent of the fee, negotiated so that it will be subtracted from the final invoice, is another way of demonstrating your company's desire to interview the best the employment market has to offer.)

Once you have established a pipeline for talented candidates to be interviewed, it is time to look internally at your processes. Investigate how you are interviewing and make certain you are asking the proper questions based upon the job specifications, the duties and responsibilities.

Establish consensus among the interviewers and confirm with the team that you are not precluding anyone from participating in the interviewing process who could potentially add value. Also, try to take a nonbiased look at your organization and consider how a candidate will interpret you and your organization.

Think back to when you first went through the hiring process and developed your initial perception of the organization. This should include everything from the location of the business to the first person with whom a candidate will come in contact with from your organization. Use your imagination. The more aware you become about the perceptions that candidates will generate, the better prepared you will be to answer their questions and attract them to the organization.

By taking the time to examine your hiring process both internally and externally, you may find ways to improve your hiring, which will undoubtedly lead to improved opportunities for you and your organization. SHAWN FIER is vice president of operations for Systems Research Inc. Reach him at (847) 585-8006 or sfier@systemsresearchinc.com.