Employee Selection Process

Careful Recruitment


Yes, hiring someone new IS expensive. It takes overhead and training and blah blah blah.
BUT it is way more expensive to tolerate a bad employee, his behavior, and his low productivity.

Your Objective: Hire the best people you can find and take your time in finding them.


As far as the cost of hiring someone new.  (okay okay we will acknowledge this)
Use the attached worksheet which considers these dicey factors:

    Recruitment Costs
    Selection Costs
    Training & Orientation Costs


Creating and Managing Your Employee Selection Process

Yes, they must have interpersonal and effective team communication skills!
Yes, they must be competent in certain job-specific skills!
Yes, they must have impeccable work standards!
Yes, they need to be easy to get along with!

Oh my -- we are looking for the perfect person. We will never find him.

Well, think again. Hiring is a process of determining what you can live with and what you must have. Refer to this list of 6 MUST-DO's. Best to flesh out those skills that are easily measured, while looking for the not-so-easy-to-see indicators of a good employee.

MUST-DO #1 Employment Background Check   ... or more

It used to be that this was a useful tool. But fast forward into our litigious society, and find few people and companies willing to take on the liability of bad-talking a former employee. It leaves them open for a variety of lawsuits about defamation and unfair just cause.

So now best practices involve broadened research to include criminal background checks as well as a personal background check. Getting personal referrals that you can chase down in person, and talk to "off the record" on the phone leaves people with more options in disclosing truths.

Must Do #1 therefore includes collecting personal references from business and social relationships on the employment application. Then find an inexpensive resource that can give you criminal background check. These are getting more readily available.

MUST-DO #2 A Great List of Hiring Questions

There can be a laundry list of hiring questions for the employee selection process, but in truth, how they are answered is the best indicator.  So use a good baseline of interview questions that look for the two spheres of a business environment: what people do and how they interact to do it.

The 10 questions outlined in the free interview form compose a nice balance.
To use it - select at least 3 employees that will interview each candidate. Collect scores separately. Compare together and then discuss as defined in the next step: MUST-DO #3.

MUST-DO #3 A Cross-Check Process

Interview candidates can absolutely BS their way into your heart. How to best detect it? Use many interviewers in different interviews. Share the answers to common questions, as well as gut instincts about the individual.

In other words, conduct a host of interviews at separate times by separate people. Sure the panel approach may be common, but the one-on-one will be more revealing IF you debrief with each other later.

A solid interviewee will have consistency in his interview, whether talking to chatty me or detail-oriented Mike or serious Sue. The candidate with manipulative intentions will ebb and flow in his answers, giving situation appropriate answers that will often coincide with what he told someone else. The truth varies for these individuals so often that they easily flop around reality by answering whatever fits the situation best, but not in an ethical way.

MUST-DO #4 Time Management Skills

The free interview form that is provided here includes a dedicated question to time management capabilities. More than ever, this skill is critical. We live in a business world that is sophisticated, demanding, and fast-paced. A shrinking violet will crumble quickly under a schedule that rules her, rather than the other way around.

Time management is not about having the slickest gadget. It is about discipline. Even if the time management tool is post-it notes here and there, it can be effective given the right master.

MUST-DO #5 Capability to Learn

All of you who work in an industry that does not involve CHANGE can read past this.
Okay, now that they are gone, that leaves us with damn near everyone. Am I right? How much has your tool kit changed in the past 10 years? How about in the past 6 months? Have you learned how to flex? You bet!

Your prospective employees must show a competence for adapting and growing. They should employ interactive methods such as listening to learn and sharpening the saw. If they do not, well ... they will be flat and extinct in a heartbeat.

In this MUST DO, listen for how well they come back with clarifying questions about the situation. See if they are interested in what is different about your workplace than what they may be used to. Are they on the verge of offering ideas? Do they request some training or mentor time if they get the job?  All good signs.

MUST-DO #6 Handwriting Samples  (I know ... it sounds weird)

Although graphology, or the study of handwriting, has existed for centuries, there is still little empirical evidence of identifying job competence or personaliy compatability.  However, this non-technical skill is still one of the best indicators of communication capability.  

Employees are often in a a position of needing to communicate in writing, and regularly interacting with the customer base this way, especially when face-to-face problem solving occurs. Handwritten instruction or clarification for a co-worker or customer becomes something tactile and often long-lasting. A clearly-written message is a must.

This Must-Do will not be a make or break, but it will help identify a prospective employees ability to communicate without an online spell-check or delete button.

And just to re-emphasize --- this is for assessment of communication capabilities, not personality profiling or reading someone's horoscope.

Lesson Learned

We avoid bringing on someone new because if what seems to be an overwhelming investment in recruiting and getting someone new on board. But is that really smart?

Weigh the cost of keeping a poor employee!  Consider:
  • Lost production (depending on their shortcomings and why you consider them a poor fit for the job)
  • Influence of others in loss of production
  • Conflict
  • Poor communication
  • Inefficient interaction with customers (may directly affect customer accounts)
  • Time spent in disciplinary meetings
  • Overhead
  • Benefits

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