Human resources are the greatest asset of any organization and nobody wants to hire the wrong person. Recruiting is a time-consuming process and requires careful planning, evaluation and serious deliberation before a final decision is taken.
Understandably, hiring personnel is one of the toughest jobs for new managers. First, they do not have the experience. Second, this lack of experience affects their confidence in their decision-making capabilities.
If you are a new manager in charge of the onerous task of hiring people, don’t let your insecurity get the better of you. Let’s take a look at some common hiring mistakes new managers make. These pointers can help you in taking the right decisions.
The preparation process should begin quite early on. Whether it is placing the recruitment ad or knowing what you want in a candidate, preparation goes a long way. Precise knowledge and a clear understanding of the role are more crucial than the person you hire.
Speak to the departmental head or your supervisor to understand what exactly is needed of the new recruit. Figure out the responsibilities of the job; make a list of tasks the candidate is expected to carry out on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis; and identify the skills and qualifications required.
If there are any mandatory physical requirements, be clear about them.
The time you spend planning the process will give you invaluable insight during the interview process and help in hiring a valuable employee.
It is good to boost local employment and certain roles, such as security personnel, are best suited for local applicants who know the neighborhood and the people. Otherwise, for all practical purposes, it would be a vital mistake to restrict yourself to local applicants.
Casting your net farther and scoping out applicants from other areas or towns gives you more choice. Moreover, hiring people from diverse places is often healthier for an organisation as they come with wider experience and different points of view, which might be useful.
Often, what meets the eye is not what you get in reality. A resume may look excellent with the right degrees but that does not mean the applicant is fit for the job. A short, ten-minute pre-interview telephonic conversation can save you the hassles of talking to people who are not that great as their resume mentions.
For example, if you are looking to hire a receptionist, you want somebody with excellent communication skills. This is hard to judge by looking at the resume. However, a short call can give you an idea of how articulate the person is and how clearly he or she can conduct the conversation.
Again, if you are looking for bilingual people, a telephonic conversation will give you a clear idea. You can determine if the applicant is fluent in both the languages.
In some other cases, an applicant may not be interested or available on that particular date. Instead of wasting time and waiting for such candidates to turn up, a phone call will help you eliminate them from the list.
This will leave out those who are unsuitable or uninterested so that you interview only those who are really eager and fulfil your initial expectations.
It is best to call a maximum of five or six applicants for a single post to make the interview process more precise, practical and successful.
If you plan to have a panel for the interview, keep it to two or three members. A large panel of interviewers can intimidate the applicant and even the best person can falter.
It is best to take the process step by step. Conduct the initial interview yourself and if satisfied, send them on to the departmental head or the HR head. This way, it is easier to keep track of the candidates and how they presented themselves at each stage.
At the end, you can corroborate the results and identify the right candidate who has completed each step successfully.
An interview can be ideally defined as an exchange of views between the interviewer and the interviewee. You are not looking for someone who just sits and waits for questions to answer. In fact, an applicant who wants to know more about your organisation, its vision, growth history and such other details – would be more involved and proactive.
Even for a particular job, be open to ideas that an applicant might suggest. You never know, but a different approach may actually work better in certain circumstances.
So, listen to the applicant as much as you like to ask questions. Be candid and have a formal yet friendly approach. Listen to their experiences, their exposure and encourage them to talk about themselves. This offers valuable insight not only into the person’s abilities but their personality too.
Another vital mistake that new managers make when hiring is evaluating an applicant against their own skills and mindset. Since they lack enough experience to understand diverse people, they tend to define people based on their own merits and image.
In the process, you make the mistake of choosing a person who is ‘exactly’ like you but may not be suitable for the job.
You don’t need another person who is just like you; you need somebody who is best suited for that particular job and will add more value to the company.
Skill and experience are important. However, that does not always make a good employee. That is why, listening is so important. You need employees who are high on motivation, loyalty and inspiration.
Qualifications are desirable, but an ideal employee is one who has inter-personnel skills, is friendly and approachable and is ready to help his/her co-workers. Be sure to factor in these personality traits when hiring a person.