Road Map to Hiring Great Employees

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Road Map to Hiring Great Employees

Here is a simple strategy using cost-effective assessment tools for hiring good people. First, allow me offer you a simple strategy that will make your life easier and produce results. The following scenario can show you how to take advantage of cost-effective aptitude and competency assessments.

Scenario: You need to hire an outside sales person to represent your product or service and get new business. This is a critical role for growing your business. If this person doesn’t generate at least $6,000 per month in revenue, they are costing you money.

Step One: Create a strategy

Be open-minded. Write a performance based job description to avoid disqualifying candidates for the industry-specific skills they can learn on the job. Remember you are going to hire people who are smart, fast learners.

Step Two: Post your job ad to as many job boards as possible

The goal is to cast the widest net possible. If your first impulse is to say, “But I don’t have time to screen all those resumes or talk to all those people”, remember: you don’t need to spend a lot of time screening resumes. Have a check list of items you are looking for by the time you get to the third resume you’ll have it memorized. Once you have selected you first group of great applicants put them in a pile and review them again to make sure they meet your needs, then start contacting them. Dedicate time to contact people put 20 min aside to make calls or send e-mails to schedule phone screens Check out: Indeed, CareerBuilder, Craigslist, industry job boards, LinkedIn, and local classifieds.

Step Three: Use a basic skills test upfront.

Send your best applicants a short, inexpensive 10 minute skills test or integrate the skills test into your ATS platform. Have them take the skill test before you schedule an in person interview, so you don’t waste their time or yours on an unnecessary meeting

Step Four: Phone-screen your best candidates

Spend 20 minutes, no more, no less, phone screening the candidates with the best resumes and the ones that scored well on your skills test.  You will probably have five-to-ten good applicants at that point, so your time investment is minimal.

Step Five: Interview the top five candidates

You should have five, or fewer, candidates who look pretty good at this point. Bring them in for a 30-45 minute interview. To figure out all the reasons why they shouldn’t work for you, see our article on “Common Mistakes Made by Interviewers.” If you still like the candidate in the interview, have him or her take a more in-depth aptitude assessment and a competency test.  If you find disqualifiers early in the interview, cut it short. You are not doing anyone any favors by going through a full interview if you know the person isn’t a good fit.

Step Six: Invite the top candidates to meet with your top management

Bring the best two or three people back (you might only have one at that point) to meet other leaders in your organization. Spend a few hours with this person to clarify all of your unanswered questions about disqualifiers. Spend time finding out how these people might add value to your business. Discuss real business scenarios to learn how they would solve these real business problems. By now you should have a clear picture of whether this person is a great fit or not.

Step Seven: Check the candidate’s references

Have the top candidates provide you with references from their direct supervisors (get at least three references). Make sure the candidates permit their references to talk to you. If they won’t, that is a red flag. Confirm the candidates’ successes and weakness with these references. If the comments made by the references don’t match up with what the candidates have been saying about their qualifications and experience, ask the candidates for clarification, or move on because there is a problem.

This process can be completed in 2-4 weeks. If you are really serious about finding the best people, you may discover other candidates along the way. Start the process with those people, too. Don’t stop looking. You never know who you are going to find.

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