The HR Answer Book
An Indispensable Guide for Managers and Human Resources Professionals
Authors: Shawn Smith, JD, Rebecca Mazin
Pub Date: June 2011
Print Edition: $24.95
Print ISBN: 9780814417171
Page Count: 288
Edition: Second Edition
e-Book ISBN: 9780814417195
Buy the book:
Employee Selection: How Do I Find, Attract, and Select the Best?
Hiring is a basic need for any employer that has at least one employee
who is not a partner or family member.This is where the employment
relationship begins. Policies and procedures for employee selection
will set the tone for the interactions that follow throughout an individual’s
time with the organization.
Hiring someone is easy.Hiring the best candidate isn’t always as simple,
and it will require planning and a logical process.Whether you have
one job opening or one hundred, the process and procedures you use for
employee selection will be directly reflected in the results you achieve.
FINDING YOUR CANDIDATES
“Isn’t it as easy as posting the job on the Web?”
Web-based job postings are an important part of an effective recruitment
strategy, but not the first step.Technology and the exponential rise
in the use of online social networking have dramatically expanded the
sources and methods for identifying candidates, but jumping right in
without planning and preparation can bog down the process.
Some Preliminary Steps
Before identifying the best recruiting sources, you must clearly identify
the parameters of the job.While a complete job description is helpful,
it may not be available and does not always include all the information
you need. Answering the following questions will help you define the
job parameters. If you are the hiring manager, you will probably have
the answers to these questions already or you know where to get them.
If you are not the hiring manager, then the hiring manager is a good
• What is the job title and who does the job report to? In your company,
a particular job title or level may have certain benefits or perks
attached to it. Does your company allow flexibility or creativity with
job titles? One candidate may only accept a job with a “director”
title, while another may be satisfied with a lesser title if you add the
word “senior.” Employers often add words like “senior” or “junior”
with the intention of upgrading an individual or adding an entrylevel
spot in a department. Use care in creating these new titles.
While the title of “senior sales associate” will add status, a title such
as “junior sales associate” can be a detriment.Think of the customers
or other employees who will interact with this person. Does dealing
with a “junior” inspire confidence? Creative titles are terrific as long
as they are appropriate for your culture both internally and externally.“
Brand Champion” might have a nice ring, but may not translate
into an understandable role in every business-to-business situation.
Speak to the person to whom the job reports to determine this
individual’s needs and expectations. In a larger department, the position
may report to a level below the hiring manager. In this situation,
you should speak with both persons.
• When does the position have to be filled, and how much does it pay?
A manager may demand a quick hire. Before you rush to offer the job
to the first available candidate, remember that the cost of hiring the
wrong person is potentially higher than leaving the position vacant.
The wrong person can make expensive mistakes or cause dissatisfac-
tion and turnover among other employees. Set realistic hiring timelines
that also take into account the availability of necessary
resources such as space, equipment, training, and supervision.
If you are filling an existing position, find out what the pay
range has been in the past. If it is a new position, ensure that the pay
rate is appropriate. If your company paid sign-on bonuses, relocation
expenses, or other incentives or special benefits in the past,
determine if they are available for this position and, if so, how much
money is available. Extra perks are far less common when candidates
are plentiful but may be necessary in industries or environments
where skills shortages exist.
• Who needs to meet or interview this person, and who will make the job
offer? Identify everyone who needs to be part of the hiring decision
and determine their general availability to conduct interviews.Also,
think about people who will be helpful in attracting candidates.
These people may include employees from a promising candidate’s
hometown or alma mater, as well as those with exceptional personalities
who might be effective salespeople for the organization.
It is often helpful to obtain many different perspectives on an
applicant, from both prospective superiors and peers. Consider having
an employee who is at the same job level as the open position
either conduct an interview, give a tour of the facility, or take a coffee
break with candidates. Not only is employee involvement in the
selection process good for morale, it will provide valuable feedback—
and a peer can help to “sell” the company.
The job offer should be made by the person with the authority
to make decisions and respond to demands.This can be the hiring
manager, a senior manager or executive, a member of the HR
staff, or a search firm, if one is used.
Worth Repeating: Tour Guide Obtains References
For a mid-management position in a service industry, a strong performer
met the candidate as part of a tour. The manager identified all
they had in common, including people they both knew and had
worked for. These names became the first references to be called.
• What are the skills/education needed for this position? What is the work
experience required for this position? Create a list of the core skills, edu-
cation, and experience needed to get the job done.You can add
additional skills and experience that would be helpful and designate
these elements as optional for successful performance of the job.
• Was someone promoted or fired? Where did the last person come from?
If the vacancy was created by a promotion, gather information about
the position from the person who last held the job. Check with the
hiring manager to ensure that the job content is not changing. If the
vacancy was created because someone was fired, find out if the termina-
tion was due to poor job performance or a lack of specific
knowledge or skills.
If the last person in the job had been hired within the past year,
check for a file of resumes of other candidates who applied for the
position. Find out whether the person came from a search firm,
Internet posting, networking, or other source, then make it a priority
to return to this source if it had previously generated strong candidates.
Maintaining applicant flow logs in a spreadsheet or database
will facilitate the process, particularly when resumes are filed electronic-
ally. A sample format can be found in the Tools and Templates
section of this book.
Better Forgotten: Great Post, Wrong E-Mail Address
A start-up in a major city placed a job posting on a site focused on the
town and industry. The posting included an e-mail address to send
resumes and responses to. The e-mail address was incorrect and
responses went into cyberspace. Candidates were lost and frustrated.
Double-check any information included in an employment posting.
Search the full text of this book
Search Full Text of
For single copy purchases of any AMACOM title, you can connect directly to the online retailer of your choice, from the list below, to buy the title you have selected. Most of our links will take you directly to that title on the site, making your shopping experience easier. You can also visit your local retailer, and if the book is not on their shelves they can special order it for you.
Retailers: Please contact us to change or add a listing.
Buying in Bulk?
We have very competitive discounts starting at 5 copies, as well as personal service, for bulk orders. Simply contact our Special Sales Department. Call 800-250-5308 or 212-903-8420 and ask for Special Sales. You can also email: SpecSlsWeb@amanet.org