Written by Tracey Tafero, PhD, former Director of Consulting Services
Previously published by PSI Talent Management, prior to becoming Talogy.
If someone asked you, “What’s the most critical component of your organization?”, what would you say? Well, I would say, without hesitation, that it’s the people that make up your organization. All the decisions made within an organization, the products and services that are developed and delivered are ALL driven by the people that make up your organization. Having the right people in the right roles can absolutely mean the difference between prosperity of your organization versus failure.
This is the very reason why selecting the best employees upfront is so critical. Intuitively, this makes sense. Sometimes, though, it seems that this general good sense might get lost in the shuffle of the day-to-day in managing multiple organizational challenges, competing priorities, and looming deadlines. Trust me, though, employee selection processes are one area in which you don’t want to short-change the process, regardless of other competing demands.
For anyone who has worked alongside someone who was not a good fit for their position, or even perhaps themselves worked in a position that wasn’t the right fit, you know that there are many negative consequences to hiring someone who’s not a good fit. Alternatively, you can likely think of someone who was a stellar performer and a great fit, and therefore all of the positive benefits this person brought to the organization. Taking the steps to develop effective employee selection practices will pay off exponentially in the long run.
So here are some tips to developing an effective selection process:
- Understand the job. Start with an understanding of the job and the traits that differentiate successful performance on the job. You can either conduct a job analysis internally, or partner with experts in the field that specialize in developing employee selection systems.
- Develop a process and use it consistently. Determine the best means to measure the most critical traits, preferably through multiple means of measurement. The traits of interest should help dictate the types of selection tools that are of most interest, along with other considerations such as the efficiency of the process, candidate perceptions, and fairness. There are many different types of employee assessments and simulations available, along with interviews and role-plays, to name a few. Don’t flush your hard work down the drain by allowing candidates to circumvent your process.
- Identify valid tools. Ensure that the selection tools you utilize are job relevant and related to successful job performance (validation). There are numerous ways to examine validation evidence for any given selection tool, and this is a step where you could engage a consulting firm, if you wish.
- Train HR staff. Ensure that individuals involved in the selection process are trained, including interviewers, test proctors, and administrators. The majority of selection systems utilize some form of an interview, thus interviewer training is always recommended to both ensure consistency and effective interviewing techniques (not to mention legal defensibility). Further, interviewer training can be done in as little as two hours, using an effective online interviewer training program.
- Monitor your process. Monitor your selection systems continuously for process enhancements, examining pass rates, efficiency, accuracy, and fairness. As positions evolve in your organizations, so should the selection processes. And, given the criticality of selection processes, it’s important to repeat this process frequently.
Remember, your people are your organization. Investing in your selection processes is one of the best investments your organization can make.