How to evaluate and choose a good employee?

How to evaluate and choose a good employee?

Employment is a high cost that we multiply by bad decisions

Have you ever wondered why in some of the world’s best companies the CEO or President of the Management Board approves all hiring?

There are two reasons – employment has an exceptional impact on the business and success of the company. Another reason is the fact that the majority of managers who carry out the employee selection process are not sufficiently skilled in this job and tend to hire worse employees than themselves (there are several reasons why this is so).

Recruiting or more precisely selecting new employees is one of the areas similar to sports and politics. Everyone has a certain opinion about him and we rarely deviate from our views even though they are the result of superficial experiences. In a few cases, we invest time and energy in understanding how to efficiently implement this activity, but we readily make decisions that affect millions of dollars in our companies. Our wonderful brain does not help us here, but because of less understanding it gives us greater confidence; this human tendency to misjudge one’s own intelligence and decisions was described by Dunning and Kruger after whom it was named.

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Small, medium, or large companies have the same challenge in the recruitment process – how to evaluate and select a good employee. Recruitment is an extremely challenging and complex activity that is unfortunately very often marginalized and has a low priority over operational tasks (which is logical to a certain extent). Very few companies, directors, and executives understand how to improve the recruitment process and do not have an understanding of the entire process and all assessment methods. Very few owners and members of the Management Board expect improvements in the recruitment process because the optimization of sales, procurement, or IT is always a higher priority. We must emphasize that, due to the business model and the complexity of products or services, not every company has the same need for quality employees, and therefore not all companies will pay equal attention to recruitment.

The reality of the recruitment process: In most cases, you will be interviewed by a person who is not sufficiently expert in that activity.

We will single out the job interview as a key stage after which we have to make a decision. The process of interviewing for a job will very often be carried out by a psychologist and the head/leader of the team in which the new employee will find a place. Of course, the manager makes the decision, not human resources or psychologists, which is also logical. Like any job, it is possible to perform the assessment of new employees poorly, averagely, or excellently. In order to be able to do it well, it is necessary to invest some time in theory, reflection, analysis, and application of what has been learned. A few guidelines that will help you with this.

1. Start by understanding the profile of the employee you are looking for

Why is this important? How will you research, vet, and analyze to what extent a candidate is a good fit for your team if you don’t understand what skills and attributes you are looking for? How to analyze the profile of a wanted employee? What level of expertise is required and what skills should candidates have? Look for help in the overview of work tasks and problems that candidates will solve in that position. Which skill segment is critical to success? How will we examine them and check them with candidates? What is your corporate culture and how would an employee cope with it? What expectations do you have of a new employee? You can go much deeper in this analysis of the candidate and the expected profile. If you know exactly what you are looking for, only then can you prepare good interview questions.

2. Preparing questions for a job interview

A job interview is gathering information, exchanging information, presenting yourself and the department, presenting the position, “selling” the position if you like the candidate, analyzing all information, fighting prejudices and subjectivity, and checking expertise, motivation, preference, and ambition. A very complex activity, especially considering the adaptation of answers and the candidate’s desire to get a job. Despite this, people in charge of a job interview will only spend 10 minutes on average preparing for such a complex activity.

There are various models of job interviews with different effectiveness of the methods. It is essential to use methods that are more objective and give more precise results. If you ask all candidates identical questions and interpret and analyze them correctly, you are on the right track. If these questions are relevant to work situations and tasks and will help you analyze the candidate’s skills and whether they will be successful on the job, you are on a very good path. Think in terms of – what I want to know from the candidate – and then shape it into a question/example and determine the desired answers and how to evaluate them. No one but the head of the department is in a better position to prepare the relevant questions for the candidates and it would be desirable to take some time for this preparation.

3. Be professional, represent yourself, your department and the company

Companies, i.e. directors and managers, often think that they are above the candidates themselves and that the only important thing is their decision. The best candidates are not ready to tolerate illogical and unprofessional job interviews. A job interview in more than 60% of cases is the first contact between the candidate and the company and a powerful experience for the candidate. In today’s age of transparency, simple and quick exchange of information and experiences, it does not matter what impression you leave on candidates and how you present the company. It is best to view a job interview as a meeting with an important client or user. Be professional, ethical, specific, and honest. Not because it’s the right way,

4. Hiring is not a matter of ego, but of good decisions that will help the development of the company

It is often difficult to admit to yourself a lack of skills when evaluating candidates and hiring. Most of us believe that our approach is good or the best because we have made the right choice several times. The difference between average and best employees is sometimes measured in millions of kuna. The best employees are between ten and even a hundred times more productive than average employees in positions that require creativity, entrepreneurship, product, and business development. The efficiency of training, the time required for independent work, the time spent on managing a new employee, and correcting mistakes, are all factors that we influence when choosing a new employee.

5. Employment is a high cost that we multiply by bad decisions

For your company or department, try to calculate how efficiently you implement the recruitment process, to what extent the manager makes good decisions when hiring, what is the effect on the results of the department, and what is the productivity of the new employee. Although still in its infancy, very soon success in employment will become an important indicator of the extent to which you can improve the process. With a little progress, you can probably have a positive financial impact on your company. The cost of employment can be from HRK 15,000 to more, depending on how long it takes and whether you have hired additional consultants, but the cost of a wrong decision is measured on average in the amount of 1.5 to 2 annual salaries, which for domestic companies would amount to around 130,000 to HRK 180,000. If it is a question of sales positions or positions that have a greater impact on income, the cost of a wrong decision in hiring can amount to several million kuna. There we also calculate the cost of lost productivity, repetition of the recruitment process, the cost of training, time spent on employee management, administration during recruitment (opening an e-mail address, employee ID, contracts, equipment (computer, mobile phone, maybe also a car), applications for mandatory insurance, etc.), administration in case of dismissal and re-employment.

The complexity of the process, the lack of understanding of assessment methods, the struggle with our own analysis and assessment skills, and subjectivity make it difficult for us to evaluate and select candidates. A small shift in a more efficient recruitment process will enable better decisions and the achievement of better results for your team and company.