The Hiring Process
People generally assume that when hiring decisions go wrong, the fault lies with bad judgment during the interview process. But companies with successful hiring practices recognize that this explanation is far too simplistic. Hiring is a multistep process, and any missteps that occur early on in the process will invariably catch up with you.
No misstep can do more to torpedo the process than failing to take enough time at the start to form a clear understanding of your overall staffing needs.In this chapter, I examine the critical steps you should be taking as you go through this first phase of the hiring process.
Breaking Out of a Hiring Rut
The traditional hiring notion of "finding the best people to fill job openings" has been replaced by a much more dynamic concept. It's generally referred to as strategic staffing, which means putting together a combination of human resources - both internal and external - that are strategically keyed to the needs of the business and the realities of the labor market.This hiring approach is based on the immediate and long-term needs of the business, as opposed to the specs of a particular job.
The following shows the difference between the traditional approach to hiring and the strategic staffing model.
Paradigms: Old and New
OLD: Think "job."
STRATEGIC: Think tasks and responsibilities that are keyed to business goals and enhance a company's ability to compete.?
OLD: Create a set of job "specs".
STRATEGIC: Determine which competencies and skills are necessary to produce outstanding performance in any particular function.
OLD: Find the person who best "fits" the job.
STRATEGIC: Determine which combination of resources - internal or external - can get the most mileage out of the tasks and responsibilities that need to be carried out.
OLD: Look mainly for technical competence.
STRATEGIC: Find people who are more than simply "technically" qualified but can carry forward your company's mission and values.
OLD: Base the hiring decision primarily on the selection interview.
STRATEGIC: View the selection interview as only one of a series of tools designed to make the best choice of hiring.?
OLD: Hire only full-time employees.
STRATEGIC: Consider a blend of full-time and temporary workers to meet variable workload needs.
True, setting the strategic direction of your company is primarily the responsibility of senior management and not normally an HR function, but you need to look at your company's overall priorities and determine their staffing implications. Equally important, you need to make sure that any staffing decision clearly supports these business priorities. You're not simply "filling jobs." You're constantly seeking to bring to your company the skills and attributes that it needs to meet whatever challenges it may face. To do so, you must look beyond the purely functional requirements of the various positions in your company and focus instead on what skills and attributes employees need to perform those functions exceptionally well.