19 Nov Improving the Hiring Process
Hiring the right people is always challenging, but knowing how to conduct the proper interviews can make a huge difference in the success or failure of getting the right person. If it’s a top executive position for your company, taking time to fully understand the qualifications of the candidates’ background is critical, but having a method in place to evaluate the candidates’ job qualifications and work experiences increases the chances of hiring the right person.
Our current model is outdated—a job consists of more than a defined set of tasks and activities. Jobs of the future will be broader and more dynamic. As organizations restructure and become more technologically sophisticated, companies are moving into new product and service areas and are, in many instances, hiring people with skills different from those previously required. Competence in critical thinking, leadership, problem solving, teamwork, self-motivation and creativity, along with the ability to rapidly adapt to change, are requirements.
Hiring new employees can be tedious and frustrating for many small business owners who are unskilled in employee selection techniques, which can result in ineffective, costly, and even disastrous, hiring decisions. When a newly hired employee fails to meet the demanding performance expectations of a small business, the owner is faced with firing the non-performer, and starting the selection process all over again from scratch.
Organizational researchers and human resource professionals, as well as legal experts, strongly advocate developing formalized job procedures and training anyone involved in selecting employees to conduct structured, job-related, and legally defensible employment interviews. Developing and conducting structured interviews is important because a structured interview implies that it involves systematic and predetermined rules for observation and evaluation applied in the same way to all applicants for a particular position.
The traditional, unstructured interview process is the most common and least valid method of selecting employees. In spite of its weaknesses, unfortunately most organizations in the United states still use the unstructured interview to make hiring and promotion decisions.
Structured interviews are more valid predictors of job performance than unstructured interviews. Behavioral interviews, for instance, are based on the premise that past behavior is a good predictor of future behavior. Interviewers who are trained to prepare and conduct behaviorally oriented interviews increase the probability of hiring an individual who has successfully performed the behaviors in previous settings that are required in the job for which he or she is applying.
Situational interviews are based on the premise that given a job-related, situational example, the interviewee can describe how he or she would handle a job-related issue if hired. Using a combination of behavioral and situational questions increases not only the validity of the interview, but the probability of hiring the candidate best suited for the position. The traditional, seat-of-the-pants hiring methods frequently used to staff small companies in the twentieth century simply will not be effective in the twenty-first century.
William Dollar is a Senior Contributing Editor for the Wisconsin Technology Network, and has his own consulting company at www.billdollar.com. You can also contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The opinions expressed herein or statements made in the above column are solely those of the author, & do not necessarily reflect the views of the The Wisconsin Technology Network, LLC. (WTN). WTN, LLC accepts no legal liability or responsibility for any claims made or opinions expressed herein.