Finding the right employee can be difficult in even the best of circumstances. Poorly thought out search criteria can make the job that much harder by making it difficult to determine who the best available candidate is. Whenever you’re looking to fill a position, consider the following before you make a hiring decision.
Define Job Requirements or Qualifications
Be careful that your job requirements aren’t exclusionary or discriminatory towards other cultures or religions. For example, a rule that your employees must be clean-shaven. This would prevent you from hiring someone from the Sikh community even if you did not intend for it to do so.
To avoid issues with discrimination, be proactive about designing job requirements in such a way that only the absolute essentials are included: things that are required to do the job. This will ensure that your requirements fall under “bona fide” or government approved and will protect you from lawsuits and unflattering publicity.
Prepare a Detailed Job Description
A good job description will communicate the role’s responsibilities as clearly as possible to job seekers. It also allows them to get a better understanding of what their most important duties will be, and how they will be asked to prioritize. Ideally, the job description should also establish how the goals of the position contribute to the overall mission of the company.
A clear, detailed, well-written job description is not only useful for discouraging applications from less qualified applicants, but it can also help hiring managers better identify who has the most desirable characteristics for the job. For example, companies can learn more about where an employee might need more training by gauging their attributes against the job requirements.
Tailor Your Interview Questions
Avoid using the same tired old questions and instead draft specific questions based on the most important criteria outlined in your job description. You want to leave the interview with a good idea about how well the candidate will perform in the role and whether they will be a good cultural fit for your organization. You want to avoid using generic questions, so that they don’t just end up giving you the answers you want to hear.
Establish Employment Tests
Thorough background checks will protect you and your company from litigation over negligent hiring or a “failure to warn” if the employee ends up doing something violent or controversial. You have a duty of care to your employees, which means you can be held accountable if you hire someone who harms or threatens them. Aside from running the standard criminal background checks, it’s always a good idea to conduct a Google search for their LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter accounts. By doing so, you may get some insight into what type of personality the candidates have and the kinds of associations they maintain. Some firms also utilize credit checks to better gauge how stable a person is in making important decisions.
Strong search criteria will allow you to quickly identify who has the most desirable traits by providing you with a system where the most important attributes are properly emphasized and the vetting process naturally requires the candidate to showcase the knowledge you need them to have. As your criteria becomes more and more well defined, the hiring process will become proportionately easier as well. Save yourself some work later by putting in the effort to develop the right criteria early.
Salman Allidina | Contributing Writer