Hiring Mistake #1

A senior HR manager once shared that she spends a lot of time asking the hiring manager what they want in a new employee. If they balk at the amount of time or information she wants from them, she tells them, “If you don’t know what you’re looking for, how will I know it when it walks in the door?”

Companies usually (but not always) have a job description on file for a position. If you have a written job description, at least you’ve spent some time thinking about what you want in your job. If you don’t, you are really flying blind.

Most job descriptions only list skills or functions of the job. Must be able to lift 40 pounds. Able to use Word and Excel. Must have a driver’s license and a H.S. diploma or equivalent. Can read and interpret written information.

Of course you do need to have this – you can’t hire a driver for your company if they don’t have a driver’s license. If there is a manual component of your job (lifting 40 pounds), you need to know that too. (On that subject - I rarely hear hiring managers ask someone to lift 40 pounds in an interview.)

More importantly, you need to explore and know the personality traits of the job. Things like “able to deal with frequent change and delays”, “reacts well under pressure”, “able to make decisions on their own” and “able to work long hours when necessary to reach goals” can be translated into personality traits needed for success in the job. This is where new employees disappoint.

Careful review of the skills the job required, the personality of the job, the fit to the hiring manager’s style and company culture are all key components that help you understand what you are looking for in an employee.

In addition, you need a tool to create a Job Benchmark for each position in your company. One that helps identify the traits and skills that your current successful employees possess ... and your less than successful employees lack.

Bottom Line:

It’s hard to find that “perfect one” without a vision of what you are looking for. Gather information on who has been successful (and unsuccessful) in the position and compare your candidates to this “benchmark”. This will increase the chances that the candidate you liked in the interview is the employee you want and need.

Not sure what you're looking for in a candidate? Want help in gathering this information? Email me or call 540-420-1004 and let's schedule a time to talk. We can HELP!

6 Hiring Mistakes


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