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2 X 4 Recruiting steps for effective personnel selection: More than a good feeling

Applying unsuccessful applicants is not only annoying, but simply too expensive. To avoid this, the tried and tested setup interview is usually used. Right. With the right requirements analysis, it goes smoothly.

personnel selection

"Nobody is a connoisseur"

However, in order to check whether the applicant is suitable, it is not enough to have a nice chat with each other. This results in the end only the promise, because the applicant also likes to eat Weisswurst. The central component of the interview should rather be the verification of the fit between the candidate and the specific body. An effective requirement analysis is essential for this.

“Nobody is a connoisseur of people”. This statement from Alfred Sloan (was CEO of General Motors (GM) for many years) should in my opinion everyone Executive heed. Because we all have the feeling, more or less, that we have “a good hand” when it comes to selecting employees. Unfortunately, that's just a feeling.

Reality and wishful thinking

The large number of problematic occupations shows that someone here also had "a good feeling" (otherwise the employee would not be in the Company or on his current position), unfortunately the reality does not correspond to the ideal.

"If you don't know what you are looking for, you will find anything (or nothing)". Unfortunately, we often don't take enough time in our management role to clear to determine what is required for a particular position. Only if we have a clear requirement profile - "clear" does not mean "expensive" - ​​are we able to check candidates for a suitable fit.

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The good requirements analysis - that's how it works

The following scheme is very pragmatic and efficient in order to really find application in everyday business. It is important that the position and activity is started, not with the description of the behavior or any Success Factors from current or former position holders. If we have concrete persons in mind when defining the requirements, these images can lead us in the wrong direction.

  1. objectives define: Identify the goals to be pursued by the position. Ask yourself the following question: "Why do we spend so much money in hand to fill this position?" The answers: "It should be achieved that ...", "It should be ensured that ..." For each position you will be able to extract around 3-5 location targets.
  2. Describe core tasks: In the next step, core tasks are then extracted for each position target 4-6. These are essential and necessary tasks, which must be fulfilled by a person in order to achieve the respective position goal. It is important that you describe what needs to be done. The description is given in the scope of activity, not in property statements.
  3. Derive requirements: In the third step, we derive the requirements, i.e. the things that someone wants and needs to be able to do in order to do the defined tasks well and safely achieve the position goals. The distinction between aspects of being able and willing is important because these aspects have to be questioned differently in the interview and the selection process. We don't have most of the problems with employees because someone cannot do something, because the problem can still be remedied relatively easily through qualifications and training. It is really difficult and much more demanding for the management task when an employee can do things but does not want to show us this “feat” due to his various personal motives. It is precisely these facets of behavior that must be checked carefully in advance, because this is where real problems often arise: "We hire them for their competencies, we fire them for their personality".
  4. Execution: At first glance, this 3 step model of requirement definition, which is defined above, may seem expensive at first glance. However, the time to perform well is no more than one to one and a half hours, even in demanding positions.

The advantages of the requirements analysis once again at a glance:

In order to make the requirements analysis successful, it is important to recall its advantages:

  1. Have a clear picture of the spot in your mind: You know exactly what you are looking for and can call on internal service providers (HR- or HR) clearly state what you expect from the candidates.
  2. Know where to cut back: You can certainly compromise. Candidates who meet the requirement profile for 100 percent are very rare anyway. But you can and should pinpoint exactly where you compromise and use skills to help mitigate your deficits right from the start.
  3. Multiple applicability: You can use this work, once done, for both internal induction and career development plans. But you can also explain in a structured and substantial manner to potentially interested internal candidates why they are eligible for the defined position - or why not yet.
  4. Ensure comparability of interviews: This work is the preliminary work for a structured interview guide. Because one of the most problematic sources of error in the “interview” procedure is the fact that interviews - even though the position is one and the same - are often conducted very differently depending on one's own physical condition, time of day or sympathy. Therefore it is not possible to get a clear picture of the candidates. Because I not only change the candidates, but also the measuring instrument (my interview). Nothing comparable can result from these measurements.

Try this procedure once. From my own experience I can confirm - it is worth it!

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