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4 Preliminary Steps to Consider in Finding, Attracting, and Selecting the Best Candidates




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Whether you are looking to hire in a strong economy where unemployment is low, or during a weaker period with prime unemployment rates, there are many sources for candidates. Hiring someone may be easy, but hiring the best isn’t always as simple. Either looking for one candidate or five hundred of them, the processes and procedures used during the recruitment and selection process will reflect in the results.

Step 1 – Identify the Job Title and Reporting Protocol

A particular job title or level often is associated with certain benefits or perks. Allowing flexibility and creativity with job titles is always beneficial. Some candidates may only accept a job with director title, even though listing the position as a manager carries the same duties and expectations. With lower level positions, adding senior or junior titles are beneficial to employers when upgrading or introducing entry-level positions in a department. In using junior or senior in front of a title, employers are urged to take into consideration other employees and customers interacting with the person holding that title in terms of the level of confidence inspired when dealing with a junior or senior associate. Communicating with the hiring manager whom the position reports to is key. HR alone cannot determine required needs and expectations of new positions. For positions reporting to individuals lower than the hiring manager, speaking with both parties involved is essential.

Step 2 – Establish a Deadline for the Position to be Filled and the Appropriate Salary

The cost of hiring the wrong person is potentially higher than leaving a position vacant. Hiring managers demanding quick hires is very common. Nonetheless, offering a job to the first available candidate is not recommended. Setting realistic staffing timelines allow for the evaluation of necessary recruiting and training resources. For filling existing positions, it’s important to understand what the pay has been in the past, and if it will remain the same. For new positions, employer should decide if they want to lead or match the labor market. Addressing these questions, of course, will depend on how much funds the company is willing to allocate towards that particular position.

Step 3 – Select Who will Meet or Interview this Candidate

It’s often helpful to gain many different perspectives on an applicant, from prospective managers and peers. Involving employees at the same job level in the interview process can serve as a morale booster. Engaging employees in giving tours of the facility, and taking coffee break with candidates provide for collecting valuable feedback about the candidate, and upselling the organization. As a rule of thumb, everyone who needs to be part of the hiring decision needs to be identified, along with determining their availability to conduct interviews.

Step 4 – Identify the Skills, Work Experience, and Education Requirements for the Position

A list of core skills, education, and experience needed often help with this task. Add additional skills and designate them as optional for successful experience. If the vacancy was created due to a promotion, gather information about the position from the person who last held the job. Verify with the hiring manager that the job content has not changed. If the position was filled recently, revisiting past resumes, search firms, networking, and other sources are worth looking into in identifying strong candidates previously generated.

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The recruiting and selection process is very time consuming. Careful planning is bound to yield better results. Speeding through interview and reference checks will overlook good candidates. A good interview and selection process is an investment, the first impression for a future employee. Employers are to cease this as an opportunity to set the tone for future working relationship. Nurturing this initial investment will greatly increase the chances of a mutually beneficial employer-employee relationship in the long term.

By Sophia Sanchez, PhD(c), SPHR

Founder and Principal Consultant
Develop For Results International
Author of  “The Development Alternative: Powerful Strategies for unparalleled Business Results”


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