Leaders will readily admit that one of their most difficult decisions concerns hiring the right people.  If you are a leader, you know that sometimes you get it right and sometimes you get it wrong.  It doesn’t have to be that way – following these steps will lead to making great hiring decisions, every time.

We know that with many advisers, our plans succeed.  This holds true when the “many advisers” or interviewers have the same outcome in mind.  Hiring the right people occurs when everyone connected with the hiring decision is aligned with:

•    Why this position must be filled
•    What key tasks or projects will the position deliver
•    What key skills, behaviors or competencies are most important

To make great hiring decisions, follow these steps:

Step 1: Define the job in the clearest terms you can. This may sound overly simple; however, this is where many hiring decisions actually start to fall apart. In addition to listing the key responsibilities, duties and tasks, the definition should include key goals or accomplishments you want the person to complete within the first 6 – 12 months. Have all people involved in the selection decision confirm their understanding of the position definition.

Step 2: Define the experience, skills, and talents you want the person to possess in order to be successful in performing the job. Experience is defined as the set of past jobs where people have learned functional aspects of a job. Functional aspects may include items such as sales, product management, manufacturing or accounting. Define how much experience you must have. Skills are those technical requirements of a position such as specific computer programming, budgeting, verbal communications, etc. Talents are those attributes that set people apart from one another such as a strong enthusiasm for working on new challenges or motivating others to perform to high standards.

Step 3: Define your decision-making process for selecting candidates. Make sure all involved in making the decision agree on the selection criteria. The criteria should relate to the experience, skills and talents you identified in Step 2. Decide on this before you meet the first candidate and commit to hold to these criteria no matter what.  This will enable you to compare candidates to the job requirements rather than comparing candidate to candidate.

Step 4: Conduct assessments in order to verify your conclusions about the top candidates’ qualifications. These include aptitude, style, technical skills, and personality testing that is available for reasonable fees and administered quite efficiently by a few outside assessment firms.

Step 5: Fully understand what your best candidate wants in terms of a complete offer package. Know up front what your company can do in terms of salary, benefits, accommodations, title, vacation, and other elements of a complete offer package. Do whatever you can to put together the best package possible. After all, you have now invested a good amount of time and effort to woo the best candidate and you do not want to lose them based on incomplete information.

Following this process will significantly increase your results in making great hiring decisions – every time.  By the way, we can help you with each of these steps – call or write to us.

What has been your experience in hiring?