The Basic Steps to Take BEFORE you Start Interviewing Candidates

Part one of two parts on Interviewing.

We have all seen the typical interview consisting of the boss spending most of the time talking, the potential employee smiling, nodding in agreement, and then being appointed. We have also seen that same employee leaving the company, only for this piece of theatre to be reenacted.

How do we stop this expensive, time consuming and embarrassing situation from continuing?

Here are some basic Must Do’s:

Before you start looking to fill a position, first decide exactly what it is you want that person to do and make a note of it.

Remember, if you are unclear on what it is you need, you’ll never find what you need.

Start by making a list of the five critically important tasks that must be done in this job. These key areas that the person is going to be directly held accountable for should not overlap into other jobs.

You now have the basis of what will become a job description for the position to be filled. Be unambiguous about what you want accomplished in this job, and also decide who the person should directly report to.

Next, construct a Person Specification by drawing up an imaginary profile of your ideal candidate.  Decide how much experience you would prefer that person to have had in the relevant area of operation. Three years, ten years? Think it all through. Does the candidate need to be high on doing or is low on urgency also acceptable because of the nature of the job? If the person is going to fill a management position, do you want a “Tell” manager, or a participative type of manager? Is a super achiever the ideal person, and why should that person stay? Ideally, what level of education are you looking for? If the person has to travel, how often and for what periods of time?

By clearly determining what you want the person to do, and then listing the skills and experience you want your ideal candidate to possess, you are dramatically improving your chances of finding the right person for the job, and in so doing avoiding the “employers trap.”

The trap most employers fall into is they find a person they “like” and they build a job around that person, instead of deciding what the job is, and then finding the right person for the job.

Determine where and how to find suitable candidates. Should the person be promoted from within? If so, how long will it take for the internal candidate to be trained if they have not already been trained, and also how long will it take for their replacement to be prepared for that new role?

If an internal move is not possible, consider your contact list, or others that may know potential candidates, or utilize the media or recruitment agencies.

If you or an executive draft the advert for the job, make sure that the key requirements that you thought through in terms of the job and the person, are clearly spelled out.

When the resumes are received, search for those that are close to the ideal candidate that you drew up. That way you won’t get bogged down in considering candidates that do not fit what you are looking for.  Many people apply for jobs that they are not entirely suited for, so you can eliminate at least seventy percent of candidates by sticking to your “ideal” model.

In the next article we will be discussing some actual interviewing techniques.

The first thing Bernard Kirk tells his clients is that the absolute critical factor in any business is people.

With seventeen years of operational management, twenty two years of strategy implementation for multiple entrepreneurs, professionals and high level businesses across the globe, Bernard is an expert in how people affect outcomes.

Having the right people doing the right things in the right job, is usually the difference between mediocrity and greatness for both the individual and the organization. Bernard’s methods of determining what needs to be done by what type of person and how to select and retain those persons has attracted interest on an international basis. Bernard has consulted in the retail, hospitality, manufacturing, medical, recycling professional and academic fields. He lives in Arizona, USA.



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