Is our hiring process reactive?

Today many recruiters and hiring managers simply react when someone quits, retires, or gets fired. We post an ad, interview, and hope we’ve hired the right person.  Usually, hiring mistakes result when we focus too much on the person who left and let our biases lead us astray. We tend to look for someone who is similar or dissimilar to the person we’re replacing, and we fail to base our decisions on objective data.

To make matter worse, as creatures of habit we rely on the same old processes. They’re easy to fall back on when we don’t take the time to strategically assess where we are today and what we need to do to be successful tomorrow.

To become proactive, we need to infuse objectivity into the selection process upfront, before the interview process begins. The better-quality information we obtain from qualified tools, the better our hiring decisions.  Such objectivity requires a new mindset, a mindfulness of what we are doing and why.  For more on this subject, see my article Easily Infuse Objectivity Early in Your Hiring System. (

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2014

Are Your Company’s Values Meaningful?

Everyone brings their own set of personal values into a company, whether it’s when to pay bills, if and when to respect authority or follow rules, or even what’s an acceptable time to arrive at work or an event. Some employees’ values will naturally fit into your organization’s culture, while other employees won’t align with your written business practices and unwritten business expectations. (Qualified core value assessments can reduce selection errors so you hire the right people with values that match your organization. [ ])

The purpose of having a written set of company values is to get everyone on the same page in order to create a workable structure for open communication, clarity of expectations and ethics, respect, trust, and so on. For values to have a positive influence, all employees and managers within an organization need to feel free to voice their concerns and learn how to interact without fear of retribution. Creating meaningful workplace values contributes to reducing turnover, increasing sustainable profits, and building a positive business reputation, since everyone is working from the same set of company principles.

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

Emotional hiring can be dangerous!

Many executives are good decision-makers or they wouldn’t have the title. However, many are so busy that they fail to listen during interviews unless the candidate says the right things. Then their impulsiveness and impatience kicks in and they hire people that “feel like the right ones”! Hiring based on intuitive powers may sound great, but in reality it is an excuse for not using a strategic hiring system.  

Anytime you hire someone who doesn’t fit all the necessary job requirements but has the likeability factor, you’re doomed for failure. Frequent job-seekers—people with backgrounds to hide and manipulative types—have honed their interview skills well! They know what to say and how to sell themselves to get a job. They know how to be likeable.

Infuse objectivity early in the hiring process. ( ) This will significantly reduce the possibility of interviewing these types of job candidates and falling into the emotional hiring trap. Use a structured interview process, qualified assessments, and due diligence. Call those references! (Learn how to hire the right person. Get your copy of Hire Amazing Employees, Second Edition. It could save your own job!

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

Are your hiring practices sane?

Recent research data revealed by Google’s head of HR, Laszlo Bock, showed that brainteaser interview questions, unstructured interviews, student GPAs or test scores, and conducting more than four interviews all had little or no predictive value for success of job candidates! ( Designing a simple yet predictive hiring system means thinking through your approach from the both sides of the desk: the applicant’s and the hiring manager’s. Infuse objectivity early in your process ( and use qualified assessments with high predictive values to help determine job fit. For other ideas, get your copy of “Hire Amazing Employees.” (

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013



Easily Infuse Objectivity Early In Your Hiring System

Did you know that requesting applicants to email or mail you resumes is outdated? Or that over 50 percent of resumes stretch the truth? Yet many companies rely solely on this data to select candidates for interviews—a poor selection practice. By doing so, they shortchange the goal of collecting good objective, valid, and reliable data in order to net truly qualified applicants.

Your hiring system speaks volumes: it’s the first impression many have of your business. Failure to utilize current technology has savvy job seekers questioning if you are a leader—or could be—in your industry. Failure to follow-up and communicate applicant status frustrates many. Top performers wish to work with winning bosses and companies that respect their time and efforts.

Using a well-designed applicant tracking system (ATS) is cost effective and allows you to post job ads and showcase your company, products, and services. It attracts qualified candidates, operates without paper, and helps you vet applicants, saving hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars. When strategically planned and followed, an ATS infuses objectivity into your hiring system early on.

Time-saving keys for ATS:

1) Require that an application form be completed. It minimizes truth-stretching (e.g., inaccurate job titles, job duties, company names, dates of employment, and titles).

2) Incorporate pre-screen questions and core value assessments to ensure objective, valid, and reliable data is used to select candidates for the next steps while weeding out unqualified ones.

3) Automatically thank applicants and make it easier to communicate with them. It’s critical to remember your applicants are future clients, vendors, suppliers, and decision-makers for awarding contracts. You want them to have a positive impression of your company. (Read Hire Amazing Employees, Second Edition for further time-saving ideas, available at

All ATSs are not all created equal. Factors to consider when choosing your ATS (taken from Hire Amazing Employees):

  • User-friendly sites can be reached within one or two clicks from the social media site or the job posting. Busy professionals need to be enticed the moment they read your online ad; most will not return—even if they have the best of intentions to do so. Make it easy for them to apply and for you to receive their information in order to infuse objectivity in your decision-making process.
  • Is there a fee for posting your openings on the ATS site?
  • What is the cost for setup and maintenance of the site?
  • Can the application form, job posting, and other pertinent information be customized?
  • Will it notify interested applicants of future positions? (That’s a great way to keep your candidate pool filled.)
  • Do your job openings easily post to job boards?
  • Can you collect EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) information? Tracking may be required if you have any government contracts (or if you are a subcontractor).
  • Is there a human verification process to reduce spam? This process prevents hackers from completing your application form and blasting resumes to you.
  • Is it easy to communicate with candidates inside the system and generate automated notifications (e.g., completion of application, request for interviews, etc.)?

©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013 All Rights Reserved

Want an award-winning ATS to attract amazing employees to your company? Click here

Jeannette Seibly has been hiring amazing employees for over 34 years. She delivers straight talk with immediate results to business owners and executives of $1MM to $30MM enterprises, achieving dynamic results. You may contact her at to discuss your hiring challenges. Get her newest book, Hire Amazing Employees, Second Edition: Improve Your Profits (and Your Work Life)! It includes templates for interviews and reference checking.


Small Employer Hiring

Small businesses are the backbone of the economy, and on average employ 1 to 10 employees. Many of these business owners have previously worked in corporations, and falsely believe they don’t need a systematic way of hiring due to their smaller size. While they may be right about not needing a formal hiring policy like a larger company, cutting corners and using subjective tools and practices will not protect them from litigation. The sad fact is that a small employer is more likely to make a hiring mistake for multiple reasons, mostly due to lack of experience in hiring. They are under the mistaken belief they can coach and motivate anyone for success. Their lack of awareness simply creates sleepless nights and unnecessary expense of hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars!

The biggest challenge? One bad hire can literally force a small enterprise to close its doors due to theft of money, data and proprietary information. Or, they incorrectly reason it won’t cost them anything to hire a straight commission salesperson, if that person is unable to sell. They don’t calculate the cost to their reputation nor the excessive marketing costs with no positive ROI. One small business owner suffered through theft of proprietary information. It cost him dearly. Instead of seeking better ways to hire people, he simply recreated the mistake by solely relying upon his gut.

Gather objective information. The more objective information you can gather up-front, the less likely you are to interview and select the wrong person. Most interviewers make their decision within the first five minutes of an interview, but spend the next thirty or sixty minutes asking questions that make no difference in changing their minds. Instead, use a structured interview format focused on experience, education and job skills. Have candidates take a skills test to determine true proficiency. Often overlooked is asking about any special requirements. Never assume they read the job posting simply because they applied for the job (e.g., if travel is involved, ask if they are available to travel and how often).

Qualified assessments. Many small employers need to broaden their perspective of what is a qualified assessment. If you’re relying upon non-qualified assessment results, its pay now or pay later in loss of clients or the employee’s unwillingness to do the required activities. Insist upon reviewing the Technical Manual for any assessment you wish to use; do not rely upon a letter from the vendor telling you it meets all federal, state and local laws. Select qualified tools in accordance with the Department of Labor Testing and Assessment 2007 guidelines (for a copy contact: If you have developed one on your own, spend the millions of dollars required to ensure the validity and reliability coefficients comply with EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity), DOL (Department of Labor) and various other requirements.

Training. Since most small business owners don’t hire often, they may overlook current employment laws. Set up a written strategic hiring process and have it reviewed by legal counsel. Review it each time you hire. Take time to learn best interview practices, how to correctly use assessments and skill testing and when to conduct background checks and drug screens (states laws vary). The basic rule of thumb is stay focused on the job responsibilities along with the applicant’s ability to successfully achieve intended results.

All jobs are important! One business owner didn’t feel the receptionist position was an important job in his company. He didn’t understand it’s the client’s first impression, and often a long-lasting one! He spent 5 minutes talking with each candidate and then selected the first one he liked. He went through three employees within a month. He not only lost several clients, one top employee left in protest of his hiring practices.

Hiring Amazing Employees, 2nd Edition, is coming soon! I’ll share more information during this upcoming month.

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2012  All Rights Reserved

Focused on the Wrong Things to Hire the Right Person?

Every boss, C-Suite and executive wants to hire the best person to achieve the best results. When the right candidate is selected, companies grow profitably. The major concern for employers during the selection process is fear – fear of hiring the wrong person. This is the hard reality: No one wants to hire someone who is a thief or can’t or simply won’t do the job. But instead of creating a process to collect the right data and make an informed decision, employers too often rely upon tiny fragments of information that are not factual or misconstrue observed behavior. When interviewers fail to follow a strategic selection processes, they are unable to sufficiently compare applicants to make the best decision (think, apples with apples).

Structured Interview: Many employers create questions that have nothing to do with the person’s actual ability to do the job. They focus on whether candidates like money, are loyal employees, want to work, are task or idea focused, etc. Savvy interviewees will tell you what you want to hear! Ask interview questions that are legal and focus on results the person has achieved. Determine the level of skill they actually possess currently, by drilling down into their responses (e.g., Tell me more. Which means?)

Assess Whole Person: Interviewers rely upon their perceptions to infer a person’s entire character. They dismiss a candidate because s/he didn’t bring a pen to the interview, or read a book or listens to music they don’t like. Traditionally we have relied upon 1/8th of the information readily available to evaluate a person’s job suitability: key words on resumes, interview savvy and reference checks. It’s time to access job fit – the 7/8th’s that is often overlooked. You can train the right person to develop needed skills.

Use qualified assessments to determine job fit. Review the Department of Labor guidelines and Technical Manual (each publisher should provide these) to determine appropriate use of any assessment. When choosing an assessment tool, do not solely rely upon a sales person’s knowledge or their attorney’s letter to determine if the tool can be used for pre-employment purposes.

Due Diligence: Use core value and job-fit assessments; background, credit and criminal checks; employment and school verifications; structured interview questions (including all the ones contained in assessment reports); and reference checks with previous employers. Follow your own system in its entirety. If your selection system and interview questions are constructed to obtain the right information and are used correctly, you will make an informed hiring decision.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2011