Employee Selection Techniques

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Employee Selection Techniques
Finding the right employee is an art. (DreamPictures/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Choosing the best employee for a job opening is, to some extent, a guessing game. The job of a hiring committee is to reduce the guessing as much as possible and determine who will be best for the job. Getting it right the first time can save the company money and time down the line.

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Conversation

Having a conversation with someone for an hour can tell you a lot about her, if you know what you are doing and know how to direct the conversation toward things you need to know. Although job hiring situations are called interviews, they are really conversations if you are doing them right. Engage the candidate to a depth where you can observe how she thinks about things. Present her with some challenging premises or scenarios and observe how she reacts to them. Allow her to ask questions about you and the company.

Testing

Administer formalised tests to prospective employees, or obtain the results to tests that they have already taken. These can range from written exams to determine their expertise in certain aspects of your business, or tests designed to highlight aspects of employees' personalities. Always obtain clearance from candidates to access their test records or to give them tests.

Apprenticeship

An apprenticeship gives a new employee a chance to learn the ropes in your business, and it gives you an opportunity to observe the apprentice over a long period of time and determine if he would be appropriate for your business. An apprenticeship is good for the apprentice because it gives him an impressive addition for his resume, and good for the business because it has an employee for a limited amount of time; at the end of the apprenticeship, if he is inappropriate for the job, there's a minimum of hassle or hurt feelings.

Compatibility

A new employee's compatibility with existing staff is as important as her ability to do the job. If possible, include staff in the hiring decision and allow them to meet prospective employees. Because people have to work together and cooperate in a business environment, they need to be able to communicate and get along. This is as much a product of personality as it is of work acumen, and some people naturally blend together better than others.

Staff Input

Continue to include the staff when making decisions about who to hire. This reduces the chance that staff will blame you if things don't work out, and it will also give them more of a sense of control over their own work surroundings. In addition, some staff members are bound to work harder to make the new employee a success if they were part of the new employee's hiring.

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