What You Need to Know Before Hiring New Employees

Most employers will need to wear a human resources hat at some time. However, many business owners and managers faced with this task have never had HR training or experience. Hiring the right people can be really difficult. In an interview situation people will say anything to get the job, especially in times of mass unemployment. People can seem friendly, interested and enthusiastic at interview only to find they are lacklustre, tardy and uninterested before long once they have their feet under the table.

management training
Hiring new employees
Legally it can be difficult and expensive to correct hiring mistakes.  It lowers moral in the company when people leave, and those who don’t pull their weight, or who have a bad attitude towards work can lower employee moral generally. Another problem can be hiring candidates what say they can do something just to get hired, when really they have no or little experience at all. This can leave you and your team frustrated, training people to do things they should know how to do costs time and money.

If you can, set them a task that they can do on your premises to test their skills, always follow up references, and ask the referees specific questions about personality, punctuality and sick leave. Ask about specific roles that they have claimed to have done for their previous company. Writing a CV is a little like writing the property description for an Estate Agent. Candidates may make small jobs seem like huge achievements. They may claim responsibility for team projects when their contribution can be quite small.

If you are particularly impressed by an achievement or roles claimed by a candidate ask their previous employer specific questions about it.

Remember you are hiring for skills not charm.

You can make your life a lot easier by asking the right questions at interview. Have a think about what is really important to you, what do you value the most in your current team members? What drives you mad about some of them? Tailor some of your own questions for your interview and for your referee questions that might give you some insight into whether this person is going to please or plague you after they have signed a contract.

Here are a few interview question suggestions:

In previous jobs, can you give some examples of using your own initiative in moments when you were not so busy?

Have you had performance reviews? Was there anything that reoccurred?

Have any situations made you late for work? How often would you say that occurred?

Think of a recent problem that you have had with a Manger. How did you handle that?

What character traits do you posses that make you a good candidate for this job?

If something happens and your priorities need to change, maybe more than once a day, how does that make you feel?

How many days absent would you say was acceptable in one year?

How did you respond the last time your Manager critiqued your work?

Give me an example of a time when you worked or made a decision on your own initiative.

What was the most frustrating experience in your last job?


Written by Heather Buckley, director of Silicon Beach Training in Brighton, providers of Management Training and Leadership Skills Training courses.