Selecting new staff to fill a vacancy needs to be handled carefully and professionally. A successful outcome will see your organisation gain a valuable new staff member, plus the successful applicant will undoubtedly be very pleased to succeed in their chosen career path.
Interviewing and Selecting Staff
Interviewing and selecting new staff is one of the key roles in HR and is extremely important to an organisation. In the 1990s at The University of Melbourne, we were told that employing the wrong person was a $500,000 mistake! That was the estimated cost of having a person not perform in a position, disrupt the workplace and their work colleagues, the time and effort to remove them from the position, plus the cost of re-advertising and appointing the right person to the position.
Sometimes when you get over 100 applications for one vacancy, you think how can I do justice to each applicant? But spending 5 minutes reading each application is the least they deserve. While it may take 4 hours or more to do this, you can quickly determine if they have understood the role AND that they have addressed all the selection criteria.
Putting together a grid of the necessary skills, experience and qualifications needed for the position will allow you to quickly select your short list. You should not interview more than 5-6 people for a vacancy and internal candidates should be treated fairly and equally in comparison with external candidates.
Once your interview panel has gone through the normal processes, it is vital that you make sure you check the referees of your chosen candidate. Preferably phone them so you can talk to them directly and ask them direct questions. I have experienced referees writing glowing references, just to get rid of someone! But when you personally ask them if they would re employ that person, their answer generally gives you an accurate answer. Failing to answer such a direct question is also very telling.
The Joy of Saying “You’ve got the Job”
Letting all the unsuccessful candidates know that they were not selected is not a very pleasant task. They usually have high expectations of getting the position, otherwise why would they apply for the position in the first place? But one of the best aspects of managing a number of staff or being a HR Manager is the pleasure of letting the successful candidate know that they have the position. It all makes the whole process worthwhile. If your selection process is sound and well managed, the new person will be well suited to the position and provide many years of service helping your organisation achieve its goals.
A career in Human Resources (HR) can be a very rewarding job; especially dealing with people and successfully helping people advance along their career paths.