While the survey may have included a number of ‘subjective’ considerations such as recruitment, training, severance and reductions in productivity in the replacement cost estimates, the truth of the matter is that poor hires cost organisations time and money and so it is vital to get it right first time.
The first step in the process to ‘getting the right person’ is to identify a ‘specification’ for the ideal candidate. As a minimum this should be a description of the skills, qualifications, capabilities and experience that a candidate would need to fulfil the role successfully. However, it’s important not just to think about the current role, for example, you may also have a requirement to find someone who has the potential to take on a broader or more senior role.
The following questions are designed to help to prepare an appropriate person specification that can then be used to assess potential candidates against.
1. What technical skills are required for the role?
2. What qualifications are needed?
3. What level of intellect and thinking ability is needed? Does the role include resolving complex and challenging problems?
4.What specific behavioural traits are required? Does the role require big picture and long term thinking, or is it more about the day to day detail and completion of tasks? What type of behavioural profile is most successful in the organisation?
5. What experience is needed? Does the role require international experience, or experience of leading a team or specific sector experience?
6. What level of personal impact and credibility is needed for the role? Will the role holder need to interact with and influence customers, peers, other stakeholders?
7. What are the ideal candidate’s motivations and values? What are the organisations values? How important is it that the role holder can identify with these?
In addition, it is important to identify what ‘standard’ of ability is required. This could be in the form of minimum qualification levels or comparison to internal or external benchmarks.
The above is not meant to be an exhaustive list of selection criteria but a guide on the sorts of criteria that should be considered. Clearly, preparing a list of selection criteria is only half of the task of selecting the right candidate for a role. However, it is the vital first step in ensuring that the right candidate is selected first time.
* Lower Employee Morale & Decreased Productivity Are Biggest Consequences of Bad Hires & Promotions" [Right Management], press release, April 11, 2006
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