Bob Larson, CPC
Bob Larson, CPC

March 2016 Issue # 193

 Feature Story


 As all employers quickly learn, there’s a world of difference between a worker who’s correctly matched to their job and their organization, and one who is not. But how does a company find and match the right people to the right jobs? According to an article published by, a well-structured recruiting and selection program is essential.

The key to successfully developing such a program, the article points out, is to follow a proven recruiting process for positions you need to fill. And be certain to resist the temptation to omit steps, as shortcutting the process can shortchange your results. Here from the article are action items you should consider:

  1. Develop accurate job descriptions. Your first step is to make sure you have an effective job description for each position in your company. Job descriptions should reflect careful thought as to roles the individual will fill, skill sets they’ll need, personality attributes that are important to completing tasks, and any relevant experience that would differentiate one applicant from another. This may sound basic, but you’d be surprised how many small companies fail to develop or maintain updated job descriptions.
  1. Compile a “success profile.” In addition to creating job descriptions, it’s important to develop a “success profile” of the ideal employee for key positions in your company that is critical to the execution of your business plan. These might include team leaders, district managers and salespeople. For example, let’s say you have 20 salespeople. Within that group, you have four top performers, 12 that are middle-of-the-road and four that aren’t quite making the grade. If you could bump the number in the top group from 20 percent to 33 percent, that could have a dramatic impact on your company’s performance.

To accomplish this, you need to profile everyone in the sales group to identify skills and attributes common to the top group but missing from other groups. Using this information, you’ll be able to develop a profile to help select candidates most likely to succeed in the position.

  1. Draft the ad, describing the position and key qualifications required. Although some applicants will ignore these requirements and respond regardless, including this information will help limit the number of unqualified applicants.


  1. Post the ad in mediums most likely to reach potential job candidates. Of course, the Internet has become the leading venue for posting job openings, but don’t overlook targeted industry publications and local newspapers.
  1. Develop a series of phone-screening questions. Compile a list of suitable questions you can ask over the phone to help you quickly identify qualified candidates and eliminate everyone else.
  1.  Review resumes you receive and identify your best candidates. Once you post your ad, you’ll start receiving resumes…sometimes many more than you anticipated. Knowing what you’re looking for in terms of experience, education and skills will help you weed through these resumes quickly and identify potential candidates.
  1. Screen candidates by phone. Once you’ve narrowed your resumes to a handful of potential applicants, call the candidates and use phone screening questions to further narrow the field. Using a consistent set of questions in both this step and your face-to-face interviews will help ensure you’re evaluating candidates equally.
  1. Select candidates for assessment. Based on responses to phone interviews, select candidates you feel are best qualified for the next step in the process.
  1. Assess your potential candidates for their skills and attributes using a proven assessment tool. A resume and phone interview can only tell so much about an applicant, so you’ll need a dependable assessment tool to help analyze core behavioral traits and cognitive reasoning speed of applicants. For example, a good test will provide insights on whether the individual is conscientious or lackadaisical, introverted or extroverted, agreeable or uncompromising, open to new ideas or close-minded, and emotionally stable or anxious and insecure.

The success profile for each position will help determine which behavioral traits are important for that position. These assessment tests can be administered in person or online. Online testing can help you determine whether the applicant should be invited for a personal interview.

  1. Schedule and conduct candidate interviews. Once you’ve selected candidates based on the previous steps, schedule and conduct the interviews. Use a consistent set of 10 or 12 questions to maintain a structured interview and offer a sound basis for comparing applicants.
  1. Select the candidate. Make your selection by matching the best applicant to the profiled job description.
  1. Run a background check on the individual. The goal is to uncover any potential problems not revealed by previous testing and interviews. 
  1. Make your offer to the candidate. The information you collected during the interview process will provide important insights as to starting compensation levels and training needs.

Finally, some additional pre-recruiting tips from the article:

Before you start the hiring process, determine your strategy relative to how people fit into your organization. What is your process for making sure they’re a good fit with your company’s culture? Decide whether your approach to the cultural question should include a second interview. Also, who else, if anyone, do you involve in interviews to help make this selection and judge the candidate? Your goal is to have a plan that will help determine whether you have a qualified applicant who will fit into your company’s culture.

In addition, decide whether you’re going to conduct pre-employment testing. How much is it worth for you to know an individual’s strengths and weaknesses, not just as a hire/don’t hire test, but as a coaching tool to help determine their training needs and best approach to maximize the person’s productivity? Pre-employment testing is often overlooked, when it could be a very valuable tool.

Clearly, if you want your business to attract and retain good clients, your comprehensive people strategy must include a recruiting and selection strategy that attracts and retains quality employees. Following a well-thought-out, structured process will help you best match the right people to the right jobs in your company.

News from BLK

As Spring begins we continue to see an increase in hiring across numerous sectors with scientific leading the charge.  Numerous clients are looking at adding to staff during the 2nd quarter.  We at Berman Larson Kane continue to be very optimistic for the remainder of 2016 and beyond.

One major observation is that contract-to-hire appears to be the preferred model by several clients.  So job-seekers should be open to various employment arrangements besides direct hire.

As the unemployment rate continues of decrease competition for top talent and will continue to increase as we have witness many job-seeker acquiring multiple job offers.   As a reminder the BLK talent discover team will always bring to your attention the best talent the market has to offer.