Bottom Line Recruiting - Six Ways to Hire Smart

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    Dont Wait Until You Are Hiring Before You Interview. More and moreorganizations are interviewing candidates before there is even a spot to fill. Beup front with the candidates about what you are doing.

    Use Your Website to Recruit . Do not just have a section where people canapply for a job. Instead, use the Join Our Team section of the site to sellpotential employees on your culture, your organizational mission, and thecompanys values. Replace those typical, dry, corporate job descriptionswith strong writing about your companys commitment to success - and itscommitment to employees. Remember: The very best candidates will berecruited by other companies. You need to make sure your organizationstands out, and the website is one good way to do that. One company evenhas a Talk to the President link on its website where job candidates canactually e-mail the president of the company with specific questions - and theydo!

    Stay in Constant Contact with Interested Candidates. When a qualified

    candidate submits a resume to you but you do not have current openings, donot let that person get away! Continue to nurture the relationship so that whenyou do have an opening, you dont have to start the relationship all over again.

    Social Media. Millions of college students, recent graduates, and otherInternet-savvy potential employees have accounts on MySpace, Facebook,and other social media sites. Make sure you have one, too. Not only can youbuild a profile to let viewers know about your company, you also can use thesites to keep in touch with potential candidates.

    2. Know What You Are Looking For

    There are some things that hiring managers can do to forecast thecandidates future success, but it takes some planning to know what to lookfor during the interview. Here are a couple of things you should do to preparefor the interviewing process:

    Conduct a Job Analysis. Gather and organize information about the job thatyou are preparing to fill. Use that to prepare a detailed job description,determine pay rate, and help you decide on training needs as well assummarize expectations for successfully handling the job. As you prepare toconduct a formal job analysis, avoid these major mistakes:

    asking or requiring an untrained person to conduct the analysis; not allowing enough time to complete the task; using an unreliable process to collect data; failing to involve the incumbent in providing information; and not getting upper managements support in a commitment of resources to

    complete the analysis.

    Prepare a List of Job-Related Criteria. Job-related criteria are the skills andqualities that a successful candidate must possess in order to meet thespecific requirements of the job. The list should include technicalrequirements as well as non-cognitive criteria such as leadership capabilities,interpersonal skills, objectivity in decision making, and skills in problem

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    solving. For nonexempt positions, you may have criteria such as computerskills, organized thinking, and the ability to get along well with others.

    3. Examine Resumes and Applications for Red Flags

    Anyone who decides to falsify evidence of work experience, skills, andeducation can easily do so on a resume. Some research suggests that almostone-half of all candidates lie, distort, or in some way fabricate information onresumes and applications. Recent research found that more than 40% peoplehave bogus degrees. In addition, 60% of employers routinely interview andhire individuals without requesting any academic documents for verification.There are many pieces of information on resumes and applications thatshould immediately get your attention and warn you of potential problems. Beaware that some candidates reinvent their employment histories on resumes.In other words, do not take everything you read at face value. Just becauseyou see something questionable does not mean that you will necessarilyscreen that individual out. Warnings are there so that you can follow up with

    the candidate and ask questions by telephone and/or in person until you aresatisfied with what you hear. Red flag warnings include the following:

    Qualifi ers Such As Had Exposure To, Have Knowledge Of, andAssisted With. Ask additional questions to determine if the candidateactually did the work or was merely a spectator.

    Candidates Who Attended a School. They may be hoping that you dontrecognize that they didnt graduate. Ask what is meant by attended.

    Inconsistent Dates. Dates of employment that overlap are questionable.

    Rarely can one person work for two different companies at the same timeunless they work part-time at each place of business.

    Regression in Work History or Appearing to Step Backward in Career orJob Duties. Question this especially if the candidate is willing to accept a jobthat pays considerably less than the previous job.

    Changing Jobs Frequently. Many employers are apprehensive about hiringpeople who have hopped from job to job within a short period of time becauseof the expense associated with rehiring. For some jobs in certain fields suchas information technology, however, changing jobs frequently is more or lessexpected.

    Gaps In Work History. Explore the reasons behind why the candidate wasunemployed for a period of time without getting into personal information.

    Concealing Gaps in Work History. They only include the years that theyworked for each employer. In fact, you might not even realize it.

    Questionable References. If references are listed on the resume, are theyimmediate supervisors or are they other individuals who didnt directlysupervise the candidate? Not listing immediate supervisors could mean thatthe candidate had trouble getting along with people or has something to hide.One or both scenarios are likely.

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    Spelling and Grammatical Errors. It is your call whether or not you want toscreen out people because of these types of errors. Keep in mind that somecandidates would be excellent employees, even though they are notparticularly good at preparing a resume or writing a cover letter. The finaldecision is yours. Heed red flag warnings, and make sure before you extend a

    job offer that you are satisfied with the candidates explanation for the thingsthat you are questioning. If after discussing one or more red flag warningswith the candidate you are still not comfortable with what you are hearing, payattention to your intuition or gut feelings. They generally do not lead youastray.

    4. Prepare Before the Interview

    Before you bring in candidates for a face-to-face interview, you need toprepare yourself. Here are some tips for setting yourself up for the bestinterview process possible.

    Develop Questions that Are Related to the Job Criteria. Which questionswill elicit the information you need as related to each criterion? What you hearwill not only help you make a sound and defensible hiring decision, but it willalso help you predict future success on the job.

    Develop a Simple Candidate Rating Form. That will allow you to quicklyand easily evaluate each candidate against your specific job criteria. The formshould include:

    job title; candidates name;

    date of the interview; list of the job -related criteria; the specific things you are looking for as you evaluate the candidate against

    the job criteria (for example, if creativity is one of your criteria, probe forspecific examples to support her claim of being a creative individual);

    room for recording notes; and a rating system (it can be as simple as P for a positive rating, A for an

    average rating, and N for a negative rating).

    5. Interview with Purpose

    If done right, a face-to face interview will tell you more about a particularcandidates suitableness for the open position and your company thananything else. Here are some tips for a successful interviewing process:

    Start on the Right Foot. A proper greeting opens the door to good rapport,but you can do more to help the applicant relax. Make sure you communicateinterest and warmth. Try not to judge people in the first few seconds. Theymay be intimidated by the interview and hesitant to speak. Help them getstarted, and youll find that your sensitivity will reap rewards as applicantsreadily respond to your questions.

    Eliminate Interruptions. One of the biggest mistakes inexperienced hiringmanagers make is allowing interruptions. If you dont have time to interview,wait until you do have time. When you permit interruptions, you arecommunicating to the applicant that the interview is not particularly important.

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    How will my performance be evaluated and how often? What is it like to work for you? What are the major challenges of the job? What hours will I be working? When is the last time this organization had a layoff? Where is the person who had this job before me? What expansion is planned for this department, division, or facility? How well do I meet your expectations? When do you plan to make a decision?

    6. Do the Research

    Check References :

    When it comes to the ordeal of hiring, its tempting to skip the reference-checkportion of the process. When someone blows you away during the interview, itis easy to rationalize t hat you dont need to spend the time and effort chasing

    down her references. Do not give in to that temptation! Checking references isone of the most important components in the hiring process. Many candidates- even the good ones - are less than honest when it comes to theirbackgrounds, qualifications, and credentials. And no matter how forthcominga person is in an interview, you can still learn a lot about them by talking topeople they have worked for or with. You can make the reference checks gosmoother if you follow a set routine every time. Here are seven things youshould do for every person you hire:

    Ask Each Candidate to Sign a Form Permitting You to Ask Questions ofFormer Employers and Other References. The form should prevent the

    candidate from suing you or former employers you talk to based on whatsuncovered during the reference check. If you dont have this form, you canask only basic questions - dates of employment, pay rate, position, etc. Thatinformation will reveal nothing about the candi dates qualifi cations andcharacter - two things you really need to know about.

    Once You Have the Form, Fax It to the Reference or Former EmployeeBefore You Call. It is a good idea to include your personal credentials as wellso they know who you are. A lot of employers these days are afraid of beingsued if they say anything negative about a former employee. This signedwaiver form will put them more at ease.

    First Things First. When you call the former employer, check the basicinformation first: job titles, salary, position, dates of employment, etc. If one ofthese very basic checks doesnt match what the candidate (or the candidatesresume) told you, then you know right away that something is wrong.

    Next, Get into Specifics. Now you want to ask some very specific questions- using the information you gathered from the person in the interview. Forexample, if the candidate talked at great length about a certain project, askthe former employer to talk about the candidates role in that project . Themore specific you can be, the more valuable the information youll gather.

    Listen for Negative or Even Neutral Comments. If the person isnt sayinganything bad about the candidate but is also hesitant to say anything reallygood, then you need to pay attention. Lukewarm praise can speak volumes.

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    The one key question to ask is this: Would you hire the person back? If theperson hesitates, that is a pretty good indicator that you might have aproblem.

    Take Positive References with a Grain of Salt. Just about everyone canfind someone who will say something good about them. Positive referencesare fine, but you need to take them for what they are. That goes for positiverecommendations from former employers, too. A lot of former employers areafraid - even after they receive the waiver form you faxed them - to sayanything negative about a former employee. That is why you need to listencarefully. If they truly would recommend the candidate, that will show through.If they are merely trying to protect themselves by not saying anything bad,that will show through, too.

    Do no t Take No for an Answer When It Comes to References. If thecandidate is still currently working at a job, he/she may not want you to callhis/her boss, obviously. If that is the case, ask for a senior coworker, a

    vendor, or someone else at the company you can talk to. Social Media andthe Web Applicants and employees do not have a reasonable expectation ofprivacy in what they do, say, or post in any public forum, including theInternet. So you a re not violating anyones privacy by viewing a personal blog,webpage, MySpace page, or other Internet site that is otherwise open to thepublic. The Web provides an additional investigative tool, complementing thetraditional screening methods, to identify the people you want to employ andthose you do not. A Google search of a name may quickly turn up newspaperarticles of criminal activity or other notoriety you want to avoid, just as it mayturn up positive information. Blogs and Facebook sites may either confirmrepresentations and assessments or expose them as false. If the information

    is sufficiently current, the sites often can give you valuable insights about theperson you are evaluating. That means that you have more and betterinformation to make an informed decision. You have to consider whether thepotential employee or someone else posted the information and whether it isauthentic Doctored photographs and phony blogs could create problems ifyou blindly accept them and take action without giving someone anopportunity to at least tell his/her side of the story. Some countries haveadopted legislation that prohibits employers from using information gatheredabout current employees lawful conduct or lawful consumption of products -such as drinking, smoking (tobacco), weight, and marital status - as the basisfor job-related decisions, from hiring to adverse employment decisions. Theimportant question presented by some of the legislation is whether thegathering of information and the use to which it has put are connected to theemployers legitimate business interest. In those countries, there may be littlereason to conduct an Internet search. You may learn something from theInternet that you would not learn in an interview or from an application. Forexample, you cannot ask about disabilities unless the candidate raises theissue in connection to h...