Hiring, Retention and Development: Staffing Your Organization

by Charles Parnell

Hiring-01The discourse in the workplace continues to suggest that the economy is improving. We see evidence of this because of the increase in hiring in all sectors — public, private and healthcare. We know this is a challenging experience. Hiring people is time consuming and expensive. Managers believe that this activity takes them away from their responsibility of getting out production. Even if managers have a human resources department that does much of the work in seeking new employees, managers must be actively involved in the hiring process. They have to be involved in determining the qualifications the new employee must have to succeed in their jobs.

In the attempt to staff the organization, managers make hiring errors that cause them to hire the wrong job candidates. These are costly in terms of time, energy, effort and money — especially in re-training and recruiting costs. Here are some hiring errors that organizations frequently make:

  • Using outdated job descriptions — job descriptions must be current and reflect the critical duties that must be performed for the job occupants to be successful — key accountabilities
  • Establishing unrealistic specifications — establishing job requirements that cannot be met and are not necessary for the successful execution of the job duties.
  • Hiring just to fill a vacancy because of “perceived pressure” — it routinely results in hiring the person who cannot do the job.
  • Hiring a mirror — hiring people who mirror you in behavioral style, education (degree type and school) and experience.
  • Using limited recruiting sources — broaden your recruiting sources to maximize the prospects of getting an increase in the number of quality applicants.
  • Failing to look internally for qualified hires — a promotion is an internal hire. It will demonstrate your principle and commitment to upward mobility.
  • Failing to write “sizzling” ads — candidates of superior talent want to join an organization where they can learn, do and become. Your ads must reflect this.
  • Hiring candidates on their ability to GET THE JOB not DO THE JOB.
  • Overvaluing presentation over performance.
  • Hiring candidates with good interviewing skills — this can result in excluding the best candidates.
  • Failing to validate past performance — the best predictor of future performance is past performance. You must ask questions that determine if they can do the job. Use behavioral and performance-based interviews.
  • Hiring or failing to hire based on stereotypes and/or biases — you could exclude superior applicants.
  • Failing to overlook the intangibles — when making a hiring decision, it’s extremely important to evaluate the intangibles. Too often, the employer limits the selection procedure in determining whether the applicant is technically qualified. Many interviewers overlook such factors as ability to work in a team, communicate ideas, work under pressure, flexibility and countless other factors.

As we move further into this century and beyond, the competition for superior talent will be challenging. We can maximize the process of hiring the right person for the job by avoiding the foregoing activities.

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