Smart Hiring


Learn how to build the most critical part of your business—your employees.

Let Smart Hiring Take You to the Next Level!

Finding and keeping the right employees is critical to the success of your company. But with the tangle of legal and practical issues involved, the hiring process is often littered with mistakes—mistakes that can cost you money, customers, and your reputation.

Smart Hiring at the Next Level ...

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Smart Hiring: The Complete Guide to Finding and Hiring the Best Employees

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Learn how to build the most critical part of your business—your employees.

Let Smart Hiring Take You to the Next Level!

Finding and keeping the right employees is critical to the success of your company. But with the tangle of legal and practical issues involved, the hiring process is often littered with mistakes—mistakes that can cost you money, customers, and your reputation.

Smart Hiring at the Next Level helps you sidestep the pitfalls that are tripping up the competition and shows you how to attract and hire the candidates who will put you on the road to success.

Inside, you will learn:

—Strategies for attracting the best candidates
—How to write effective ads and recruiting materials
—The 80 Percent Rule for assessing applicant suitability
—How to decode resume-speak and get the information you want
—Who should be involved in the hiring process
—How to tap into non-traditional labor sources
—The importance of job descriptions
—How to get honest feedback from employee references

Over 500 interview questions!

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Editorial Reviews

Business Life
"...a quick, easy-to-read handbook."
Bottom Line Business
"Comprehensive guide to finding and hiring the best employees."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402209307
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks
  • Publication date: 7/28/2007
  • Series: Quick Start Your Business Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 938,115
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert W. Wendover has been writing on hiring and other management topics for more than 20 years. He is the author of six books including Two Minute Motivation: How to Inspire Superior Performance and Hey Dude! The Manager's Short Course on the Emerging Generations. He serves as Managing Director of the Center for Generational Studies, based in Aurora, Colorado.

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Read an Excerpt

Make Your Job Notice Attractive

Excerpted from Smart Hiring by Robert W. Wendover © 2002

Writing a job notice is like writing an advertisement. The description must sell the job in the best light possible. At the same time, it must be honest and accurate. More than one company has lost a lawsuit over the wording in an ad that hid or exaggerated the true nature of a job. Recognize that selling the position will also generate a number of unqualified applicants. If you have other positions to fill, this strategy might be a good way to collect resumes for those openings.

Follow these guidelines for writing the notice:
• Start the ad with an attractive and descriptive headline. Try to use wording that appeals to the values of the groups you are targeting. If you do not attract applicants' attention from the first glance, the ad becomes a waste of time and money.

•Write a brief description of the duties. Be sure to include what makes this job attractive. Do not include the obvious. Listing duties such as "development of software" in a job description for a computer programmer is redundant. Instead, include the uses of the software proposed and in what language. Providing information about the role of the position in the company helps to sell the job.

• List required experience and education.

• Ask for a salary history. This will help you screen candidates who may be applying over their head or for a position for which they are either under- or overqualified.

• Sell the benefits of the job. How will the applicant benefit by holding this position? What's unique? The "Lab Supervisor" example on page 81 illustrates the value of selling benefits.

• Stress quality-of-work-life issues within the ad. Values such as ethics, reward for hard work, and personal and professional growth are experiencing a resurgence of priority in candidates' minds.

• Avoid adjectives that do not demonstrate the specific job. "Exciting, challenging, and rewarding, etc." are relative to the individual.

• Personalize the ad. Talking to the applicant instead of just listing duties and qualifications will make the reader stop and think. The first example on the next page attempts to convince the reader to apply. Notice the persuasive language in the job summary.

• Edit closely. Eliminate unnecessary words and phrases. Assume potential applicants will be able to follow the flow of the ad. Be careful of abbreviations, however. These can be easily misunderstood or indecipherable.

• Answer the questions the candidate is most likely to ask. Put yourself in the reader's position. If you were reading one of the examples below as a job searcher, what questions would you have? Does this posting answer these questions? What would improve it?

• Listing salary is up to you. Some employers do not want their competitors to know how much they are paying. On the other hand, good candidates may not want to apply unless they know the nature of the compensation.

• The identity of the company can also be omitted at your discretion. Many larger companies do this to reduce the number of unqualified applicants who are simply attracted to the name. Other employers do not provide their name because they do not want competitors to know they are hiring. Not listing the company name also releases you from having to respond to rejected candidates without losing good will in the job market. This can be advantageous when there is a large number of submissions. On the other hand, good candidates may not apply simply because they fear the employer they are presently working for may be the advertiser. Some simply want to know where they are sending their credentials.

• How candidates may respond is up to you. For immediate hires such as staff and semi-skilled positions, it is best to have the applicants call for an appointment. In many cases, these individuals will not have resumes and will have to come down to complete an application. If they do apply in person, be sure someone is available to spend a couple of minutes interviewing them. The public relations benefit of this is tremendous. When you are hiring for a professional or executive position, ask for application by resume.

Developing Labor Pools for the Future
Organizations that will thrive in the future must be proactive in their development of consistent labor pools. This development must be implemented now and take place continually.

Here are a few key strategies for ensuring your work force of the future:

• Make sure recruiting awareness is a way of life for all employees. This will ensure a constant stream of referrals. Reward those who do refer.

• Maintaining positive employee relations is critical to the recruiting effort both inside and outside the organization.

• Continue to build corporate image at every opportunity. Maintain a constant flow of information about programs and special events taking place in the company.

• Anticipate changes in the community's demographics and therefore its labor force. Don't follow what the media are saying. Find out before they do!

• Closely monitor applications. Look for patterns in response from certain labor groups. This will provide keys to where you should concentrate your advertising.

• Maintain your aggressiveness in the pursuit of applicants. Be creative and try the unusual to attract attention.

• Hire the best when they appear. Even if you don't have an exact spot, do what you can to get them on board and take advantage of their enthusiasm and skills.

• Get rid of employees who don't produce. These individuals have a negative impact on the teamwork and energy of those who do. Consequently, applicants and new hires will develop the wrong impression of organizational culture.

• Know your organization's strategic plan and where you'll have openings in the next twelve months. Anticipation of need eliminates panic.

A Checklist for Recruiting Basics
____ 1. Have you developed a set of procedures and contingencies for recruiting within your company?

____ 2. Have you included the cost of recruiting in your budget?

____ 3. Have you developed a system for recruiting internally?

____ 4. Have you developed a system for tracking referrals?

____ 5. Do you provide an incentive program for referrals?

____ 6. Have you developed a relationship with a reliable employment agency to serve your staffing needs?

____ 7. Are you consistently checking your recruitment literature and advertisements for potentially discriminatory statements or inferences?

____ 8. Once again, do you really need to fill the position?

____ 9. And again. Do you have a well-defined description for the job to be filled?

____10. Have you developed a profile for each of the applicant groups from which you recruit?

____11. Have you begun to include senior workers in your recruiting plans for all levels of work?

____12. Have you examined the feasibility of including individuals with disabilities in your staffing plans?

____13. Have you examined the feasibility of including temporaries in your staffing plans?

____14. Have you considered using contract managers and professionals in certain positions?

____15. Have you developed a recruiting plan taking into consideration changes in your staffing needs and labor pools over the next five years?

____16. Have you communicated the importance of recruiting and provided employees with the information necessary to "sell" the company?

____17. Are you taking steps to get involved with local schools to foster relationships for recruiting students and graduates?

____18. Do you regularly evaluate your organization's image?

____19. Have you examined the variety of alternative work plans such as flexible scheduling and telecommuting for their suitability in your organization?

____20. Have you organized and implemented an internship program with local schools?

____21. Have you examined the way you are recruiting professionals to ensure you are addressing their needs?

____22. Have you developed an aggressive stance toward recruiting employees?

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Table of Contents

Smart hiring for the 21st century
Why this book? To save you time and money!

Chapter 1: Hiring the Best Employees
The changing workforce
The impact of employee turnover
The hiring survival checklist
Alternatives to recruiting

Chapter 2: The Legal Requirements of Hiring
What laws apply
Common selection issues
Negligent hiring
Enforcement and recordkeeping
State requirements

Chapter 3: Job Descriptions and Compensation
The importance of job descriptions
Job analysis and audit
Writing job descriptions
Determining compensation

Chapter 4: Recruiting the Best
Recruiting as a hiring tool
The recruiting plan
Budgeting for recruiting
Internal recruiting and referrals
Identifying applicants' motivations
Enhancing organizational image
Exploring sources of labor
Locating external applicants
Creating an attractive job notice
Developing labor pools for the future

Chapter 5: Family and Friends: Dealing with Nepotism
Nepotism in business
Devising a nepotism policy
Tips on screening family and friends

Chapter 6: Evaluating Applications and Resumes
Resumes and applications: where should they be used
Electronic options for resume screening
Evaluating a resume effectively
Evaluating cover letters
Development and review of applications
Reception of electronic applications
Evaluating the whole package

Chapter 7: Screening Applicants by Telephone
Getting off to a good start
The value of telephone screening
Interactive voice response programs
Preparing to screen by telephone
Conducting the screening
Evaluating callers

Chapter 8: Take-Charge Interviewing
Detecting the winners
Establishing the process
Developing questions
Conducting the interview
Alternative interview strategies

Chapter 9: Obtaining Reliable References
The importance of checking references
Conducting a reference check
Checking credentials

Chapter 10: Employment Testing: Do's and Don'ts
Overview of testing issues
Paper and pencil testing
Selecting integrity tests
Polygraph screening
Genetic screening
Drug and alcohol screening
Performance-based testing
Medical screening

Chapter 11: Landing Performers: Making the Right Offer
And the winner is
Notifying candidates
Negotiating offers and compensation

Appendix A: Sample Interview Questions
Appendix B: Federal Recordkeeping Requirements
Appendix C: Sample Compensation Plan
Appendix D: Recruiting Strategies
Appendix E: Resources

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