THE BLOG
06/23/2014 04:13 pm ET | Updated Aug 23, 2014

Hire Slowly

Take time to evaluate the need for the position whether it's a newly created position or a replacement. Align the need to the business purpose.

If a job description exists, review and revise it. Know and incorporate the skills, aptitudes, and work style of the best performers in the position or a similar position. Refine the purpose statement to include key words designed to be optimized in search engines. Identify the functions critical to the position and describe the level of authority. The qualifications must be relevant, tied back to the essential functions and objective, such as "two or more years designing software programs." Limit the list of skills required to perform essential functions to five for recruitment purposes.

Develop the posting directly from the job description. The recruitment plan should include where to post based on placement goals. Placement goals may include specific outreach efforts to veterans and people with disabilities. This is especially true for employers with government contracts.

The plan also includes whether resume banks and recruiters will be used, the posting period, and timeframe for the entire project through informing all applicants of the selection. Time-to-hire and cost-to-hire are frequently used metrics, but have nothing to do with quality of the hire. If the timeframe of the plan doesn't work; don't force it.

It's wise to have a group of individuals involved in the selection and interview processes to reduce personal bias. Selecting individuals for this purpose should be based on the nature of the position. The group is composed of someone who has a thorough understanding of the position and how it contributes to the business; someone who will interact closely and/or be the primarily internal customer; a direct report if the position is supervisory; as well as the hiring manager.

Anyone involved in making hiring decisions needs training. The 2001 ruling of Mathis v. Phillips Chevrolet, Inc. described an employer's lack of management training as "willful disregard for the law." "Leaving managers with hiring authority in ignorance of the basic features of the discrimination laws is an `extraordinary mistake' for a company to make, and a jury can find that such an extraordinary mistake amounts to reckless indifference" of anti-discrimination laws.

Once the position has been posted, anyone responding to the posting should be considered an applicant. To minimize bias, all members of the search group reviews each of the applicants against the knowledge and skills required to perform the essential functions. The applicants meeting the minimum standards will be assessed for sufficient diversity in companies required to comply with Affirmative Action.

These applicants move to an interview process which can take many forms and steps including phone interviews, virtual or streaming video and face-to face (group and individual). Questions during the interview should be consistently administered to all applicants and directly relate to the position. This step can reveal personality, aptitudes, technical skills and work style which are most predictive of performance and retention.

Skills, personality and emotional intelligence testing may be a used as a portion of the evaluation process. Tests must be valid, reliable, directly related to the position and equitably administered.

Employers should establish a recruitment plan, including each step in the process. Determine who will be involved in the hiring process and provide periodic training to those involved. Check for disparate impact before extending an offer. If it exists, review the process and outcome at each step to assure your decision is sound and fair.

Retain recruitment records. Job applications, resumes and other replies in response to job advertisements, including records pertaining to hiring decisions (including selection testing, interview notes, background investigations) should be maintained at least one year; or two years for companies with federal contracts; or after final disposition of any litigation.