Strategies for Selecting Top-Quality Workers

05 Aug

By: CEC Newsroom

CEC News / Newsroom

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Written by Mr. Dylan Downes
Labour Management Advisor
Barbados Employers’ Confederation

As all employers quickly learn, there is a difference between an employee who has been correctly matched to their job and organization, in contrast to one who has not. But, how do you find and match the right people to the right jobs? We often aim to achieve this by having a comprehensive people strategy and a well-structured recruiting and selection program. The key to successfully developing such a program lies in following a befitting recruitment process for the positions you need to fill. Resist the temptation to omit steps, because taking shortcuts during the process can negatively impact your results and ultimately lead to an increase in turnover rate or lower-than-expected levels of productivity.

Your first step is to make sure you have an effective job description for each position while ensuring alignment to Section 13 (2) (e) of the Employment Rights Act, 2012-9. Your job descriptions should reflect a careful thought process relative to the roles the individual will fill, the skill sets they will need, the personal attributes that are important to completing their tasks, and any relevant experience that would differentiate one applicant from another. Though this may appear to be general knowledge you would be surprised that there are companies which fail to develop or maintain updated job descriptions. Considering this, the BEC is one such organization that provides guidance and consultancy services to ensure that employers are up to and where possible, beyond par.

In addition to creating the job description, it is important to draft an advertisement, describing the position and the key qualifications required. Although some applicants will ignore these requirements and respond regardless, including this information will help to limit the number of unqualified and unsuitable applicants. It is recommended that you post the advertisement in the mediums most likely to reach your potential job candidates. Of course, social media has become the leading avenue for advertising vacancies, but do not overlook targeted industry publications, email blasts and the local newspapers.

Once the advertisement is posted, you will start receiving resumes; sometimes many more than you anticipated; especially in the current economy. Therefore, knowing what you are looking for in terms of experience, education and skills will assist you in shortlisting resumes effectively for the identification of potential candidates. After you have narrowed your stack of resumes to a handful of potential applicants, the interviewing process should commence.

In recent times we have found that companies do not see telephone-screening interviews as necessary or meaningful; however, studies have shown that the telephone-screening interview saves your company effort, time, money and energy. A telephone-screening interview will fast track or further short list your most qualified applicants in preparation for face to face interview process. That being said, you should not only rely on a resume and telephone interview when selecting the best applicant. But, also have a dependable profile assessment tool to help you analyse the core behavioural traits and cognitive reasoning speed of your applicants. For example, a good test will provide insights as to whether the individual is conscientious or lackadaisical, introverted or extroverted, agreeable or uncompromising, open to new ideas or close-minded and emotionally stable or anxious and insecure. These assessment tests can be administered in person or online. Online testing and submission of results can help you determine whether the applicant should be invited for a face to face interview.

During the face to face interview you should have a consistent set of 10 or 12 questions to maintain a structured interview and offer a sound basis for comparing applicants. Make your selection by matching the best applicant to the profiled job description. Prior to making your final selection it is advised that you conduct your due-diligence on the individual to uncover any potential problems not revealed by previous testing and interviews. Lastly, you should make your offer to the candidate. The information collected during the interview process will provide you with important insights as to starting compensation levels and training needs which are required. There is no absolute guarantee that each potential candidate will be a “perfect” match/fit for the organization. The above approach and the systematic processes of recruitment and selection will surely eliminate unsuitable candidates whilst leaving room for the best fit for your organization.

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