On Hiring

Review by William Petryk

By: Robert Half

By: Robert Half

One of the most arduous tasks a manager encounters is the process of hiring.  Done properly it takes much time away from an already busy schedule.  However, it is one of the most important tasks encountered and, if not done correctly, all of the ramifications are negative and expensive:  greater turnover, more training, costly advertising, and having to go through the process again.  A book that I found to be very helpful was written by someone who should be very knowledgeable on this subject, the eponymous Robert Half.  Years ago he authored On Hiring. The latest edition is called Finding, Hiring & Keeping the Best Employees and it is worthwhile to have a copy if only for easy reference.  Hiring is process that is not done often, but when it does arise it deserves your best attention.  Any resource material that can help you will more than recoup its investment.

Hiring is not a simple task.  Rather, it is a series of tasks that begins with reviewing the job and its requirements.  Then assessing the skills needed to do the job, finding good candidates who have these skills, reviewing their resumes, screening them, interview them, and finally selecting what, in your mind, is the best person.  After all this the procedure is still not completed.  You must still check their references, negotiate terms that are mutually acceptable, and then begin with orientation and training.  Robert Half’s books review each step of the process and offer good suggestions on how to do them effectively.  Included are sample interview questions and ideas on how to word a job ad.

Another text that I highly recommend is The Smart Interviewer “ Tools and Techniques for Hiring the Best! by Bradford D. Smart.  This book also reviews the hiring process but its emphasis is on the interview, the most crucial part.  Mr. Smart explains the structure of the interview and recommends how much time to spend on each major topic.  As an example, this is what a 45-minute interview usually resembles:

Opening “Chit-Chat” 2 minutes
Education 3 minutes
Work History 11 minutes
Plans and Goals 4 minutes
Self-Appraisal 3 minutes
Management 5 minutes
Intellectual Characteristics 3 minutes
Technical Skills 4 minutes
Personal Characteristics 3 minutes
Work Habits 4 minutes
Interpersonal Skills 3 minutes

The book also includes many sample questions, sample forms to help rate candidates, and what to look for in responses.  There are also several appendixes that are very helpful.  Lastly remember this quote from Robert Half: time spent on hiring right is time well spent.

« Back to Petryk’s Library