In any period when there is high unemployment or under-employment, there is a challenge to fill job openings with the best possible people. There is no magic formula for identifying high performers but there are activities and approaches that will increase your level of success. Here are a few for you to consider: Don’t rush the process- Organizations that suffer from a mediocre workforce are usually guilty of one or both of these two mistakes; pushing quantity over quality; ambiguity about job and performance requirements.
Verify the resume (education, positions, skill, accomplishments etc.)- DO NOT accept resumes at face value. Everyone knows that resumes are embellished to reflect the most positive side of the candidate, and that is being polite. Investigate through background and reference checks.
Demonstrate their skills- Those skills that are critical to the open position should be demonstrated by the candidate whether through proficiency test, role play, problem solving case study, etc. You will get a peek at how the candidate works under pressure and also see a work product that will help make your decision process more effective.
Consult peers and co-workers- Use your internal relationships to help with determining which candidate is best qualified. The hiring manager is not always the most objective when looking at several candidates over a short period. Get the advice of others that do not have the pressure to hire.
Best work habits over skill- You can and should be increasing the skills of all employees, but you cannot teach, preach or coerce a quality work ethic, a team player or a good communicator out of someone that may be highly skilled but lack these other qualities.
Hire from within- If the company is interested in long term effectiveness and increasingly positive results, then the candidates should be hired from within. If there are no high performers, then you probably have the wrong culture to retain them when you do hire them. If you are turning over a new program, then start with the new hires and integrate them with the existing employees where both receive the same treatment (education, trust, delegation, responsibility, etc.).
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