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No Guru – Selection Not Recruitment October 9, 2007

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Sponsors.


You can’t get the staff these days…

How often have you heard that said?

It’s true that there are some skills gaps in the marketplace and we sometimes think that people in general, are less courteous, aren’t able to communicate well and have an “attitude”.

As the (rather annoying) current phrase goes ….”Whatever!”

Because, as business leaders aren’t we sometimes guilty of not looking inward? If we only look for negative traits – why are we surprised that we only see the negative in people? And anyway, what if it’s our fault by recruiting people into the wrong roles?

Let’s talk about Selection. Not Recruitment but Selection – the bit where the Agency sends along your list of prospective employees. This seems to be where SME’s in particular struggle and usually get it wrong. Without the backing of a large HR department it’s difficult to know:

  • What am I looking for?
  • How will I know when I see it?
  • Who is right for this role?
  • How do I know I’m being objective?

As a training provider we are increasingly asked for help in this area so here are 7 quick tips that will help you avoid costly mistakes if you are thinking of “interviewing” someone for a job.

1)    Define not just the role but the person – devise a specification of the competencies of your dream candidate: what experience, skills, knowledge and behaviours do they have? (email me if you would like to see an example)
2)    Devise Interviews and/or Assessments to give candidates the chance to show what they’ve got – test the competencies you have specified
3)    Don’t use Hypotheticals – use questions based on past demonstration of competencies – e.g. tell me about a time you delivered great customer service?
4)    Use follow up questions if the candidate hasn’t quite given you what you are looking for – again give them every chance
5)    Let them see the environment, sell your organisation to them! Encourage questions.
6)    Devise a simple scoring method for each competency question/test you employ (Excellent, Good, Average, Poor will do)
7)    The legal bit – always interview with a colleague taking notes, avoid making up questions “off the hoof” and finally; if it’s not fair, decent or legal and you’re not going to ask every candidate then don’t ask it!

Finally you may want to consider Personal Profiling of your short listed candidates – we use a tool called DISC. This provides an astonishing insight into how candidates behave in the work environment and is a highly cost effective way of matching the right people to the right roles.

Please feel free to contact us on 0870 458 2208 if you want a no-obligation chat about any of the above or email john.drysdale@noguru.net if you have any questions about selection.

Finally you might want to sign up for our regular newsletter on how to develop people and teams.  See www.noguru.net for more information.

Good luck and I hope that you, at least, can “get the staff these days”.

John Drysdale
Director of Training
No Guru



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