Key points to remember when hiring

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in Hiring,Human Resources

Time to hire new people? Here are some points to bear in mind before you start:

Understand the job you're trying to fill. Don't fall into the trap of assuming you know what the job requires because it's one you supervise, or one you yourself have held. The person who's doing the work often understands changing job duties and requirements better than anyone. So ask your employees, and put your own view of the job together with that they tell you. That composite view might differ from the formal job description, but it probably will be more accurate. 

Look for the right--and fair--qualifications. Emphasize the qualifications that will enable a new hire to produce. But remember that you'll face potential problems down the line if you try to require more or better qualifications than those possessed by your least-qualified current employees. For example, if you currently employ a data-entry specialist who types 50 words a minute, you shouldn't require that a new hire type 70 words to be qualified for the same job.

Give applicants a realistic view of the job. Don't oversell a position or softpedal its less attractive features. For example, if advancement opportunities are limited, it's best to say so. Honesty may cost you an excellent applicant now and then, but it will avoid a great deal of dissatisfaction in the future. 

Find out what you need to know about each applicant. Basically, you need to know two things--whether an applicant can do a job and whether he or she wants to. "Can" means they have the right skills, knowledge and abilities, regardless of experience. "Wants to" is of course more subjective, but still should be based on evidence. You'll have to judge this based on applicants' demonstrated experience and on the fit between their goals and what the job offers. These factors are more important than the truly subjective impressions you may derive during an interview.

Tip: When you add a new employee, instead of using it as an occasion to slack off, make it a time to step up. Bringing on new people with new skills and capabilities is an opportune time for revisiting the team's performance goals and standards--and maybe for raising expectations. Use the new energy as fuel for positive change and progress.

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