Help, we keep hiring idiots!
Reading time - 4 minutes

Help, we keep hiring idiots!

11th September 2014
By Jacqui Beel
  • Define the job
  • Plan your recruiting strategy
  • Construct a checklist
  • Review credentials and applications carefully
  • Pre-screen your candidate
  • Getting the interview right

Hiring the right employee for your business is just as challenging as it is important. A successful employment relationship will have a positive impact on your mind-set and your overall working environment. The time and effort you put into the hiring process will be paid back to you in employee productivity (with interest!) should you choose the right person for the job.  As well as enhancing employee morale, you will find yourself pushing for those more challenging goals with someone who is capable and willing to stretch themselves. On the other hand, hiring the wrong person is expensive and time-consuming. It’s best to get it right first time!

So what’s the magic formula?

Unfortunately, there is no 100% fool-proof formula that can be applied to ensure you hire the right person. There are, however, some straightforward steps you can take to make sure that the hiring process is done in the best way possible.

Define the job

Begin with a job analysis. This will enable you to discover what duties are required of the role, the responsibilities that come with it and the necessary skills needed. This information is paramount in putting together the job description. Creating the right job description is the first part of the hiring process, and should hopefully whittle down a few of the interviewees who really shouldn’t be applying. If too vague or broad, a job description can attract people to apply who simply do not have the tools for the job.

Plan your recruiting strategy

Again, this step is aided by a well-constructed job analysis. Set up a recruiting planning meeting with employees who will be involved in the hiring process to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Construct a checklist

Aside from creating a sense of progress, a checklist helps you keep the process on track and gives you a more specific idea of what you are looking for. A checklist is an important part of getting the hiring process right and giving you the best chance of hiring the right employee.

Review credentials and applications carefully

Once again, a task made easier by a thorough job analysis. Review CVs, cover letters and job application letters. Review these against a bulleted list of the most desired characteristics to screen the applications that fit best with the image your checklist gave you.

Pre-screen your candidate

This is not an essential part of hiring someone new, but a pre-screening telephone interview can help tell you if the person merely looks good on paper, or if they truly have the skills to fit in with your job. Getting a feel, albeit over the phone, for the candidate’s personality will give you an idea of how well they fit with the working culture of your team.

Getting the interview right

Now that all the preparatory work has been done, don’t make it count for nothing by getting the interview (arguably the most important factor in the whole process) wrong. The interview is essentially what will shape your final decision. At this point, after the pre-screening and checklists etc. have done their job, only genuine competent candidates should have reached the interview stage. Therefore the interview questions should be designed to separate the average candidates from the outstanding candidates. Establish the qualities you would want to find in an outstanding candidate, and tune your questions towards topics that give interviewees the opportunity to show such qualities.

Don’t forget to do background checks on your potential employees. It makes sure that they actually have all the skills they claim to! It’s a good idea to start with former work references and educational credentials.

There are thousands of fantastic potential employees wanting to work for you; it’s just a case of finding them. You’ll be able to by putting in a little extra time and effort in following these crucial steps, it is well worth it. Happy interviewing!