The head of HR at an accounting firm was recently about to recruit a new CPA to join his enterprise practice team.
“I know all about this position,” he thought. So he wrote a job description, posted it, interviewed some candidates, and made a hire.
Easy, right? The problem was, the CPA he hired turned out to be wrong for the position – very wrong.
What had gone wrong? And more importantly, what can that head of HR do better the next time around? One way is to use a strong hiring team instead of “shooting from the hip.”
Who should be on that team? Five important members should be . . .
Somebody Who Already Does the Job
He or she will provide reality-based, real-world intelligence about the skills and aptitudes that are needed to do the job well. What skills does the job require daily, for example? What systems must be used? What personal traits are required? Those are factors to roll into the job description and hiring criteria.
Somebody Who Relies on the Person in the Position You Are Trying to Fill
The heads of other departments that will rely on your new employee, for example, can help you identify the skills that your new hire should have. Would they like your new hire to file reports quickly, respond to customer complaints or suggestions, or just to be flexible and responsive? The more input you get from people who will rely on your new hire, the more effectively you can identify key traits to screen for.
Somebody from Top Management who Knows Long-Term Priorities and Plans
Is your company about to launch a new product, start using a new computer system, or place more emphasis on marketing? Someone from upper management who has the “big picture” can help you identify important traits to hire for.
Somebody Who Reports to the Position You Are Trying to Fill
What kind of person do they think you should hire? Were there frustrations with the person who held the job previously, and what were they? From their perspective, what key traits should your new hire have? Remember, reports can provide critical information that no one else can.
A Customer or Other External Constituent Who Relies on the Person Who Holds the Position
You might not be able to make a customer a permanent part of your hiring team. But you can talk to customers who are already relying on the person who will fill the seat you are trying to fill. What has frustrated them in the past? What has worked well? What traits would they value most in the new employee you are trying to hire? The more information you can gather from clients and customers, the better your new hire will be.
Shoot from the Hip, or Build a Team?
Of course, that is up to you. But if you think about the question for just a minute or two, you will see the better way.
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