in the News
Employee Management Begins Before You Hire
By Joseph Sefcik, President, Employment Technologies Corporation
Have you ever reflected on a new hire and said to yourself,
“I made a mistake in hiring this employee?”
If so, you are not alone. Terminating that individual
may have been relatively easy, but chances are it was
an unpleasant and most likely a difficult task.
Being an effective manager is always easier when your
employees are skilled and reliable. Effective employees
will make you a more effective manager. When your employees
are skilled and capable, work usually flows more smoothly,
clients are more satisfied, and there are fewer crises.
As managers, we are challenged most by employees who
are not entirely capable and perform less than satisfactorily.
Therefore, we will be more effective managers if we
focus on selecting the right people to hire. Selecting
the right people requires an effective selection process.
If we take shortcuts in the selection process and lower
our standards for quality, we will end up having to
compensate for those shortcuts by spending additional
time managing and supervising ineffective employees.
We all face the temptation to hire quickly and fill
open positions. Giving in to this temptation often forces
organizations to compensate for new-hire deficiencies
through training or supervision to catch employee mistakes
before they become real problems. Unfortunately, too
often we depend on training to make an employee into
something they never were from the beginning. Similarly,
we may conclude incorrectly that our management is ineffective
when in fact, we simply hired a management challenge.
Our job as managers is tough enough without inviting
Is selecting the right employee the answer to effective
management? Not entirely, yet an effective selection
process evaluates applicants who 1) fit the job and
2) possess the required skills. Selecting new employees
who meet these requirements will ease the dependence
on requiring additional management to compensate for
Job Fit. Job fit refers to a method where the manager/employer
evaluates an applicant for compatibility with the job
requirements and the working environment. An employee’s
job compatibility is one of the earliest indicators
of voluntary turnover. Turnover can erode morale within
your organization and erode customer confidence. Therefore,
one aspect of the selection process should be to match
the preferences and motivation of applicants with the
conditions and requirements of the job. This can be
accomplished informally with an interview or more formally
with a test designed specifically to measure job fit.
Possess the Right Skills. Possessing the right skills
refers to evaluating whether an applicant has the necessary
skills required to do the job. This is not merely a
review of prior work experience because just being in
the job at a previous employer is not a guarantee that
an applicant possesses the right skills. Accurately
evaluating an applicant’s skills usually requires
a diagnostic tool. These tools can be as direct as a
typing test or a test for voice inflection, or they
may even include a comprehensive simulation test that
immerses applicants in “virtual reality”
of the job. Written questions or written tests usually
are not sufficient in determining skill levels of applicants.
If given the choice, we would all choose to be on a
winning team. Winning teams always strive to hire the
best people possible. It is easier to manage good people
and it is easier to win with good people. Selecting
people who fit the job and have the necessary skills
to succeed just makes good business sense.
Joseph Sefcik is President and CEO of Employment Technologies.
He has 25 years of experience in the field of employee
selection. Twenty years ago, Mr. Sefcik designed the first
automated job simulations for entry and mid-level jobs.
These early simulations evolved into the EASy™ brand simulations
and later on, in 1994, the formation of Employment Technologies
Corporation. Visit ETC on-line at www.etc-easy.com.