Most of the managers I have met do not know how to hire the best of the right candidates - this is very unfortunate since hiring the wrong applicant can be way too expensive.

The fact is: Hiring excellent employees is not difficult - it is difficult if you do not know how.

Here is an outline about an effective, infallible and fail-safe hiring process:

- First: Make sure the position you want to fill is aligned with your strategy.

- Second: Since the market conditions change, the strategy changes accordingly, and so you must make sure your position and its corresponding job description is updated.

- Third: The job description must clearly explain its essential functions - the essential functions are the fundamental tasks that are critical for successful performance on the job.

- Fourth: Once you have the job’s essential functions, make explicit both the corresponding hard skills and the corresponding soft skills. For example: A hard skill is having the ability to make spreadsheets using excel - a soft skill is hunger for learning.

- Fifth: Translate both the hard skills and the soft skills into observable behaviors - these observable behaviors are called Selection Criteria. A Selection Criteria is not a Selection Criteria if it is not an observable behavior; all behaviors are objective, measurable, and observable. For example, if one of your soft skills were hunger for learning, what behaviors would you observe on the job that would tell you an employee has an insatiable hunger for learning? Each one of these behaviors would be your Selection Criteria for this specific soft skill (hunger for learning).

- Sixth: Design the questions you are going to ask the applicants and design your interview using both your Selection Criteria and the main Principle of all Behavioral Interviews that says: “The best way to predict the candidate’s future on the job behavior is knowing his/her past behavior in similar situations.” In other words: In similar circumstances, it is very likely that we will behave in the future as we have behaved in the past. Nobody can predict the future, but this principle has proved extremely useful in finding the best of the right candidates.

- Seventh: Use useful interview questions, such as open-ended questions, connecting questions, closed questions if appropriate, etc. Do not ever use useless questions such as Leading questions (for example: “Surely you worked at such company because it has extremely good reputation, didn’t you?”); or Theoretical questions (for example: “How would you do this?”) Theoretical questions are probably one of the most common mistakes in the interviewing process.

- Eighth: Use an objective evaluation system that integrates your Selection Criteria with an evaluation scale you are familiar with. Also, have a second interviewer to help you keep your feet and your objectivity on the ground. And finally, be aware of your unintentional prejudges and preferences so that they do not interfere and add subjectivity to your selection process.

If you follow this process, it will not be difficult to find excellent employees ever again.

Questions? Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to here from you - just reply to this e-zine and tell me what you would like future e-zines to be about - I'm listening.

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Jose Luis Romero - Publisher
August 3, 2010. Copyright: All rights reserved
Skills2Lead Ezine is published on the first Tuesday of every month

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