8 Steps to Successful Selection

Updated: January 01, 2012

There are 8 Simple & Effective Steps to Recruitment Success

1 Define

Define the job in terms of required competencies. Be careful when deciding on the requirements. Distinguish between the "essential" requirements and the "nice to have" requirements of the job. Think in terms of the ideal candidate. However, do take into consideration your existing top performers. What is it that makes them successful?

You will need to break your needs down into:

  1. Appearance factors, does this person look sound and act the part. To what extent are these qualities necessary and how much flexibility do you have with them. In reality, they will have little impact on performance in most roles.
  2. Resume or Curriculum Vitae factors. Education, Knowledge, Skills, Track Record and Experience all have a role to play in picking the right person. But I will ask you to carefully consider the levels you need in this job. Don't over spec the role. Think back to your top performers, what were their qualifications like and how difficult is it to pick up those special needs for the job.
  3. What are the Personal Characteristics of the ideal high performer, what behavioural traits are you looking for? What are their motivations, value systems and beliefs like? Will they fit in with the organisation? Can the hiring manager manage the ideal person?

You will probably find in this benchmarking exercise that your requirements are drifting away from the CV factors and towards more behavioural issues, or character traits such as values and motivation. This is good, you are moving in the right direction.

All selection decisions are made on the basis of "gut feel", that includes the good and the bad. The difference between the good and the bad is the degree to which the interviewer has acquainted themselves with the requirements of the role in terms of these personal qualities. If you know what you are looking for, you have a better chance of finding it.

The Appearance factors have minimal impact on performance, while the CV/Resume factors have not much more than a 20% contribution to make, and that in specialist roles only. Other roles rely on Personal Characteristics to find the true success indicators.

2 Attract

So where do we find these people. There are many ways to inform people about your vacancy, from traditional media to the internet or through an agency. There are pros and cons about each, but the key to success lies in grabbing the attention of potential quality candidates and leading them to take action.

In today's somewhat desperate labour market, an average vacancy notice will either be, lost in the masses of other vacancies and ignored, or become the recipient of an overwhelming response. In either case an unsatisfactory outcome.

The secret to attracting suitable candidates is to use the personal characteristics in your job advert to specifically target the right people. If the personal characteristics don't match the reader, they won't be motivated and hence you get a lower response with increased quality.

3 Screen

If you have set your selection criteria up properly in the definition step, then this process will be a whole lot easier. You can rate and rank each candidate that meet your knock-out criteria and the screener doesn't need to be highly skilled to do this, saving management time.

You should try to meet or call everyone who meets your minimum acceptable standard for these knock-out factors. If the pool is too big, try telephone interviewing with a standard script to reduce numbers, or try group interviews if it is a people oriented role.

Be inventive, don't raise academic requirements or set higher experience requirements if the ideal candidate doesn't need them. You may end up throwing the baby out with the bath water.

4 Test

This is the key to a successful selection process for a number of reasons. A good assessment tool can reveal hidden potential or risks that can be easily missed or covered over during an interview. Think of it as your interview insurance, it can help you to question your own judgement. It can highlight gaps between your own perception and assessment of the candidate and the candidate behind the interview mask.

An effective personality assessment tool will also provide you with probing interview questions that will guide you in assessing the candidate for yourself and for verifying the accuracy of the assessment.

No test or assessment is infallible. But you must also question the suitability of the tool to the role you are assessing. There are many personality assessment tools out there. Some good, some bad, you know the story. Some tools come in many different guises. For example, when it comes to behavioural traits, it is largely the strength an depth of the trait that defines the person. There are no real Sales Personality or Leadership Personality tests, only the same assessment in different guises.

5 Interview

Behavioural interviewing techniques are the most effective skills you need to develop as a recruiter or as a manager. The same technique can be used in so many areas of business. Most of my clients use their behavioural assessment techniques in their day to day work of developing their people and managing the performance review process.

6 Verify

7 Decide

8 Induct

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