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Do You Know What You're Looking For At Employee Selection Time?

Employee selection is a critical period in the forward movement of every business. All to often, it seems as though the person you interviewed has nothing whatsoever do to with the person you find yourself working with ninety days later. Your employee told you exactly what you wanted to hear, but today middle management is breathing down your back because

  • He's late every morning, and leaves early every night.
  • He's confrontational with his coworkers.
  • He acts snide and is frequently condescending toward customers.
  • He has a fundamental problem paying proper attention to detail.
  • His performance based outcomes are well below management's standards.

All this after the talent management crew over at HR evaluated him as "a keeper", "a winner", and "a team player who will clearly fit in well with his peers and thrive in the corporate culture." So what happened? Let's look at a few of the more prominent markers that someone who seems to be acing the interview is, in fact, a loser.

Interpersonal Relationships

  • Do his answers indicate that he can empathize -- more than just get along with -- other people?
  • Do they indicate that he is inclined to argue, rather than use diplomacy to solve problems?
  • How did he describe his few most recent supervisors?

Performance Issues

  • How do his answers indicate his core competencies match up with the job requirements?
  • How does his previous few jobs pay compare with market averages? If it's low, why?
  • More than just the HR lady -- what do his past supervisors say about his performance?
  • Were his references asked specifically about his attention to detail and his multitasking ability?

Essentially, your company needs to know, in exquisite detail, exactly what it is looking for in a worker before the hiring process begins. More importantly than that, it needs to have the tools necessary to get below the surface and look at the truth about a potential employee's past, not just what he tells you. Only when you can do that will the endless string of unwanted surprises from solid-seeming candidates finally come to a welcome close.