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Part Two of a 2-Part Series on Systematic Interviewing and Recruiting

In Part One of this two-part article, we started with a simple analogy. Just as a junk food diet isn’t likely to contribute to a healthy lifestyle, a haphazard approach to recruiting, interviewing, and hiring probably won’t produce the high performing candidates that your organization needs. Good health requires discipline – a balanced diet, exercise, and limited burger intake. Correspondingly, it takes a systematic and well-planned approach to recruit candidates that possess the can do’s (competencies), will do’s (motivation), and the fit factors that enable them to contribute within your organization.

Here are the four steps that define a systematic approach to interviewing and recruiting:

Step 1: Define the Parameters

The first step in a systematic recruiting process is simply knowing what you’re looking for. That means taking the time to develop the objectives and the specific job criteria for the hiring process. The criteria can include competencies, experience, achievements, education, characteristics of the work environment, and other factors that describe the objectives for the position. Interviewers should be very familiar with the criteria and expectations before the interview process starts.

Step 2: Do the Prep Work

It’s important to thoroughly review resumes before the interview. Look for job gaps, the frequency of job changes, salary histories, and reasons for job transitions. You’ll form a preliminary impression of the candidate and identify issues or questions that are relevant to the criteria you’ve established. Take notes and prepare a few questions to probe the candidate’s experience and explore past accomplishments.

Step 3: Let the Candidate Talk

If there will be more than one person involved in the interview process, plan ahead. You’ll want to create an atmosphere where the candidate does 80% or more of the talking. Interviewers can certainly pose questions, but they should otherwise interrupt only to probe, seek clarification, or refocus the applicant if the conversation gets off course.

Step 4: Focus on Accomplishments

Selecting the best candidate is all about predicting the future. That’s problematic, but descriptions of an applicant’s past behaviors are the best predictors of future performance. Behavior-based interview questions allow the interviewer to gain knowledge of how a candidate makes decisions, the degree of their action orientation, and how they interact with others. Ask the candidate the specifics of what they did to gain an nderstanding how they met challenges and implemented solutions.

Payback – Great Employees

Beyond the significant monetary cost of a bad hire, simply filling positions with “warm bodies” can have negative impacts on morale, customer relations, quality, and productivity. Frequently, hiring nobody is a better solution than hiring the wrong person. A structured interviewing and selection process is designed to hire the right few, and it will quickly pay for itself with engaged employees who contribute in all areas of organizational performance.

The Focus Group provides a full range of Executive Search Services for Georgia Employers’ Association members and businesses throughout the Southeast. Click the link or contact GEA for more information.