Be clear on what you want
Have you defined what the successfulapplicant will need to do? The job needs tobe defined to include purpose, duties andresponsibilities and a person spec. Youshould split the criteria into essential anddesirable.
Create an advertisement
Target the people who are most likely to beinterested. Will it be national or localpress? Professional journals or theInternet? Your money is wasted if yourtarget audience are unlikely to look whereyour ad is placed.
Prepare the job description and personspec
Have them ready to be sent to allapplicants, so that those who do not meetyour minimum criteria do not apply. Whenchoosing essential criterion, check howimportant they really are? Could some of the skills be quickly developed on the job?
Collect the information you want toprovide to candidates
Company literature, job and person spec,contact name for informal discussions etc.Get them ready in advance so you can sendthem out promptly.
Decide on the date of the assessment
You will want to ensure that the people tobe involved in the assessment process areavailable and suitable interview rooms arefree. Decide whether you will hold theassessment on your company premises orin a local hotel.
Place the advert
Allow sufficient time for applications to bereceived, a short list drawn up and letterssent out. It can be helpful to applicants if the assessment date is included in theadvert so they can keep the day free.
Decide on the format of theassessment
This will be based on your agreedcompetences. It is from this that youchoose the elements of assessment, don’tstart by choosing a numerical test and apresentation; they might not be relevant.From the competences you can choose themost appropriate assessment method.Some but not all can be assessed viainterview, but if e.g. presentation orinfluencing skills are important, then youneed the candidates to present, not just talkabout it.
Decide whether to introducepsychometrics (timed ability tests).
These can introduce some objectivity, andthere are definite right and wrong answers.Care needs to be taken over the choice of tests, as numerous ones are available. Thechoice has to be made on what is relevant tothe assessment. Are the tests at the rightlevel? (You do not want to set a testdesigned for a senior executive if your targetgroup is junior managerial level). Checksalso need to be made as to whether relevantnorms are available. This is the group thatyou compare the candidate’s response with.If you are recruiting for senior managers inthe public sector, is a norm group of engineering students appropriate?
Is a personality questionnaire going tobe used?
Benefits to the organisation are an in-depthunderstanding of a persons personalqualities. Care needs to be taken that thequestionnaire is designed for recruitment(some, like the MBTI, are not to be used forthis purpose). You also need to allow time inthe process for the questions to bediscussed with the candidate. It is goodpractice to do this, and it will validate theirresponses. Candidates also see this as avery positive aspect of the assessmentprocess.
Who will form the assessment team?
It will usually include a HR manager; linemanager and often an external consultantwho has been involved in designing theassessment elements. Often a panel inter-view is included as it enables all assessors tosee candidates and have first hand evidenceon how the candidate behaves. Decisionsneed to be made on how to divide up thequestions, who will take notes etc.All assessors should be trained in interviewtechniques to ensure they: plan questionsthat relate to the competences; askquestions which are open and probing ratherthan closed and leading; accurately recordthe responses; leave the evaluation to theend.If a panel member has not been trained theyneed to be supported through the processto ensure all good practice interview guide-lines are adhered to.
Top tips for Recruitment: insider tips from achartered occupational psychologist
Manyorganisationsstill rely oninterviews forselection, butinterviews canbe veryunreliable,particularlywhenundertaken byuntrainedinterviewers.Follow thesetop tips to getthe rightperson inplace.
© Denise TaylorAmazing People3 Brook House Barns,Aston on Carrant,Tewkesbury GL20 8HL01684 772888www.amazingpeople.co.uk