You’ve narrowed down potential employees from a number of qualified applicants. Next, you want to make sure you make the right choice when it’s time for the final selection for a vacant position. There are a number of different personality and skill-set tests available to help employers with the evaluation process to ensure that a candidate is a good fit for your environment.
“Building a stronger work force starts with the hiring process,” says Tarelton Cherry, workforce services manager at Tampa Bay WorkForce Alliance. “Perfecting your hiring process ensures that your company finds the best suitable candidate for the job.”
Smart Business spoke with Cherry about how comprehensive interviewing and selection techniques can lead to putting the right people in the right positions.
Why do many companies seem to have an ineffective hiring process?
The primary focus is often on past experiences and talent, not so much on whether the person is the right fit for the organization. Too often, the hiring process ends at the interview with the wrong candidate being hired for the position. A resume and interview alone cannot accurately predict success on the job. The candidate may have impressive experience but could come from a company with a completely different corporate culture or conflicting leadership style. The candidate could have trouble adjusting, which would create a lower level of performance than expected.
Why is it essential to use multiple screening methods?
According to Background Information Services, it costs an employer $15,000 when it hires the wrong person for a low-level position, including training fees, recruiting costs, and money spent replacing a dismissed worker and training the replacement. The cost is even higher for an executive.
What are some important aspects of the hiring process?
The hiring process should evaluate both job skills and personality. Skills-based or job-knowledge tests have consistently been proven to predict success on the job. Just as important as the job skills of a candidate is the ability for that person to synthesize with the culture of the company. Employing a personality test during the application process will give you a comprehensive look at the psyche of the candidates. Do they thrive in a high pressure environment? Do they prefer independent work or group environments? Are they accustomed to a greater workload or less? Understanding a candidate’s personality is a good testing measure for adaptability and productivity within an organization. If your office requires independent workers, then someone who especially thrives in a team environment may not be the best fit. No matter what, do not underestimate the importance of a good job fit.
Conduct a careful background check to not only protect your company but also for experience verification. There is a fairly high percentage rate of false information presented in resumes and job applications. According to a study conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, a majority of applicants stretch the truth on resumes. More than half, 55 percent, lied about the length of past employment. While it takes extra effort, thoroughly verifying critical information almost always results in avoiding problems on the job. Digging deeply into a candidate’s work history also gives you more details as to his or her passion. Inquire about situations where the candidate excelled in the past, which job or jobs gave him or her a chance to shine and what special achievements received recognition. This should help you assess whether the candidate’s passions match the position you are trying to fill and whether he or she has a high probability of success with your company.
What is especially crucial to remember during the final stages of the interview process?
While in the final stages of the interview process, remember that courtship is still a vital professional courtesy. The last thing you want is to expend valuable time and resources on a candidate to have him or her withdraw because the person perceived he or she was not properly courted in the process. Demonstrate the value the candidate would bring if selected.
What resources are available to help employers discover key information about potential hires?
Apart from the aforementioned skill-set testing, personality tests and background checks, remember the power of the Internet. New media provide a wealth of information on candidates. There are myriad social networking sites that can provide extra background on the personality and passion of the candidate. MySpace, Facebook and Friendster are excellent sources to discover the candidate’s personality. Professional social networking sites like LinkedIn, Plaxo and Ryze can offer in-depth background on a candidate’s passion.
TARELTON CHERRY is workforce services manager at Tampa Bay WorkForce Alliance. Reach him at (813) 930-7862 or CherryT@workforcetampa.com.