"If each of us hires people who are smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs, but if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we shall become a company of giants."

This topic provides information of a general nature regarding hiring practices. It is not intended as legal advice regarding hiring practices and should not be viewed as a substitute for legal consultation regarding hiring processes, generally, or specific individuals situations.

The importance of effective hiring

Hiring good people is one of the most significant contributions you can make to your organization. Good hiring decisions create a foundation for more effective performance by you, your team, and your company. Conversely, bad hiring decisions drag down performance and are expensive and painful to correct.

Overview of the hiring process Hiring involves careful thought about what the position entails, what characteristics are required to carry out its responsibilities successfully, and who would make a good candidate. To make a good hire, you need to define the job requirements recruit promising candidates interview evaluate the candidates make an offer and hire.

Each step helps you further refine your candidate search.

Defining the Job Requirements Before you can make a good hire, you need to know what you are hiring for. You also want to determine what will make for a good "fit" between an individual's skills and personal attributes and the requirements of the job and the organization. Different types of jobs have different requirements. An operations manager in a bank will need to have different attributes than a sales manager in that same organization.

To define the job and its requirements, you need to determine the primary responsibilities and tasks involved in the job. Answer the question, "What does this person have to do in this job?" background characteristics needed to perform the job (education and experience) personal characteristics required. For example, does the individual need to have strong interpersonal skills? Be highly intelligent? key features of your organization's culture (team-orientation, degree of conformity, reward systems) your managerial style (authoritative, coercive, democratic) and its implications for an effective working relationship.

Background characteristics

The two major background characteristics to consider are education and experience. In the case of education, you may wish to specify a certain type of degree, or a certain level. Be sure to ask yourself whether a specific educational background is truly necessary. Can you be somewhat flexible in this area, or can relevant experience be substituted for a certain educational background?

Base the experience requirements on a thorough analysis of the specific tasks and responsibilities of the position. Which would be most desirable: industry experience functional experience large vs. small company experience? Industry and functional experience are particularly important for externally-oriented positions requiring knowledge of products and competitors.

If a good candidate does not know or has not done everything required, consider whether he or she can learn what is needed and how long it will take. Determine whether the organization can afford the time needed for on-the-job learning.

Personal characteristics

Personal characteristics indicate how the candidate will approach the job and how he or she might relate to co-workers. Evaluate these personal characteristics relative to the tasks and responsibilities you've listed for the job opening. Analytical and creative abilities. Demonstrated by the candidate's intellectual skills and creative powers. A candidate's analytical and creative abilities determines how she assesses problems and comes up with new approaches to solving them. Decision-making style. People vary in this matter. Some are extremely structured, analytical, and fact-based; others rely more on intuition. Some make decisions quickly, while others put them off or ponder them. Some depend on consensus, while others seek their own counsel. It is critical to determine whether a particular style is required for success in the job and, if so, what it is. Interpersonal skills. Interpersonal skills and behavior are intimately connected; that is why understanding a candidate's interpersonal skills is an important part of the hiring decision process. To determine which interpersonal skills are most appropriate for a given position, think about the set of tasks that will be performed in the position. Which traits would translate into good performance, especially in view of the superiors, peers, and direct reports with whom the person will interact? For example, a controller should ideally be patient and formal, demonstrating careful, cautious, detail-oriented behavior. For a sales manager, high extroversion and low formality might be desirable.


Demonstrated by the candidate's personal goals, interests, and level of energy. Ask yourself, "Does the job in question match the candidate's personal aspirations? Would he or she do the job with enthusiasm and energy?"

From India, Gurgaon
The Great Recession hit the American workforce hard. October employment numbers are out and the hiring landscape is looking better, but we’re not in the clear quite yet. We’ve got all of the facts and figures your service industry business needs to stay on top of hiring smart in 2011. Check out the PeopleMatter Institute Blog to make 2011 your best business year yet.
From United States, North Charleston

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