The right number of employees keeps a business running…but the right KIND of employee keeps an organization thriving.
No organization can run without the right amount of staff to balance and manage the workload. This is why many organizations strive to keep their workforces happy and productive. At the same time, though, organizations are constantly trying to fill their positions with the right type of employee, which is why, even when they are technically fully staffed, most organizations are always hiring.
What is the “Right” Kind of Employee?
The definition of the right employee will vary from one organization to another and from one industry to the next. For some organizations, the ideal employee will meet a strict education standard that includes at least one degree and a handful of specified certifications. For other organizations, the perfect employee is someone with a reasonable work history, a personable attitude, and a strong work ethic. Some organizations value a long work history with few former employers and excellent references.
Despite the wide variance, there are certain qualities that every employer is seeking. These include punctuality, self-motivation, quick learning skills, attention to detail with orders or deliverables, basic customer service skills in regard to personality and manner, and a sense of loyalty.
Making the Most of Your Hiring Process
The search for the perfect employee is often a long one, with a high failure rate. This is because many applicants look good on paper, but a resume or application cannot predict how that person is going to behave or work after they are hired. Many of these ill-fitted applicants can be weeded out through the interview process, as long as the interviewer is asking the right questions.
Here are several important tips on making the most of your organization’s hiring process:
1. Write a Clear & Concise Description
When someone is looking for a job, they very rarely take the time to read and fully understand the job description, especially if it is lengthy and heavily worded. Companies should ensure that the job description is clear and easy to read. It is also important that during the interview, the interviewer goes over the job description in detail with the applicant based on the candidate’s resume and job history. This way, the company will verify that the applicant was fully informed of the position before starting a training program.
2. Look to Promote From Within
One of the most serious complaints we hear from employees is their perception that organizations “default” to filling positions by bringing in external people, without first determining if they have qualified talent already who could fill that role. In fact, a lot of employee turnover comes from people trying to advance their careers but seeing little prospect for that where they currently work. By putting more attention to developing their current employees, organizations could reap the benefits that come from internal advancement.
3. Publicize the Description Widely
By casting a wider net, you’ll be more likely to receive some quality applications. In addition to posting the job on major networks like Monster.com, also utilize other social networks and niche sites. You might also consider sending an email to your subscriber list requesting referrals.
4. Ask the Right Questions
Regardless of who is conducting the interview—an HR representative, hiring manager, company owner, or someone else—it’s critical that the questions are carefully and thoughtfully chosen.
Asking the right questions means understanding exactly what your organization is looking for in a potential employee. For example, if the applicant will mostly be dealing with customer service, it doesn’t make sense to question them on education history and certifications that don’t specifically apply to the position. Customer service relies more heavily on communication skills and personality than a degree in computer sciences.
Also, there are some questions that cannot be asked legally, and these should be avoided at all costs to prevent lawsuits.
For any organization, having an effective hiring process is critical in attracting and selecting the best employees. A key part of every hiring process is a proven interview process. If your organization is not already taking these tips into account, doing so will help you achieve an extremely committed and productive workforce.
Robert Gray is the President of Insightlink Communications, providing the most effective employee survey tools to organizations of all sizes and types. Since 2001 he has been committed to employee retention strategies, exit strategies and more.