When this happens, management is in turmoil and needs the issues addressed immediately.
Human resource folks often react quickly and start implementing job assessment programs that, at best, may not identify the knowledge, skills and abilities needed for the targeted job positions and, at worst, could lead to non-compliance with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission standards.
“The mistake companies often make in this situation is using a canned assessment tool that they find online,” says John Joyce, manager of HR Solutions at Tri-C’s Corporate College. “Usually, it won’t have validity or reliability because they missed a key step in the process: conducting a job analysis.”
A job analysis is important because it identifies the KSAs the knowledge, skills and abilities along with competencies needed for the targeted positions. “If you don’t conduct a job analysis, you might pick an assessment that won’t test the appropriate competencies that are representative of the content of the job,” Joyce says.
The advantage of conducting a job analysis is that it employs a strong statistical base, which leads to reliability and validity of the chosen assessment tool. A job analysis involves convening subject matter experts for each targeted position and asking them to rate and categorize the importance of each task involved for the job.
“It’s only after a company has gone through this step with its own talent we call them subject matter experts that they can properly align the identified job competencies with an appropriate assessment,” Joyce says.
It’s obvious that employing a job analysis is helpful for evaluating new hires and identifying current employees for advancement. It’s also useful for identifying where training needs to be improved.
Another way companies can gain a competitive edge in their hiring practices is by using behavioral interviews. “The technique is quite different than a traditional interview where you ask straight-forward questions and ask candidates to complete open-ended statements like, ‘Tell me about yourself,’ and ‘Give me three words that best describe you,’” Joyce says.
Conversely, a behavioral interview focuses on specific employment situations and how candidates behaved in the past. This questioning process allows employers to analyze behaviors and discover how interviewees usually act in situations related to employment.
Once competent candidates are identified, Joyce says it’s important to provide them with a realistic job preview. “The realistic job preview saves time and money, and gives candidates a clear vision of the duties of the position,” he says.
Often, a realistic job preview involves a video presentation from current employees or simply a packet of written information that describes the position.
Companies that don’t know where to start this process of analyzing, assessing, interviewing and retaining human capital often rely on the expertise of consultants.
Look for a consultant that offers customized solutions to these and many more strategic objectives. Qualified consultants are trained to meet the needs of various industries, with backgrounds in organizational development, human-resource management, training and development, and industrial and organizational psychology. This broad range of expertise allows them to develop a customized solution with thorough, timely turn-around.
Consultants should offer employee selection and development solutions to address issues such as identifying qualified candidates, analyzing skill gaps of current employees, reducing turnover and increasing performance. Typical services include:
- Job analysis to determine the necessary knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies for each target position
- Expert assistance to conduct research and to identify quality assessment tools that help you select qualified employees, or develop your current workforce
- A selection system audit to ensure that your process is consistent, reliable, valid and EEOC compliant
- Behavioral interviews and realistic job previews can be added as part of a comprehensive and customized selection
DENISE READING is president of Corporate College. For further information on Corporate College, visit www.corporatecollege.com or phone (866) 806-2677.