As baby-boomers continue to retire, it is more and more obvious that we need to start building a replacement workforce. When previous experience doesn’t exist, think about hiring for behaviors and teaching skills.
Some of the areas you might explore include the candidate’s school record. Many high schools will share information about the student’s attendance in class and grades. Ask candidates for names of teachers who can verify their participation and ability to learn new things.
Another area to explore is participation in extra-curricular activities such as scouts, sports and volunteering. If the candidate has shown an interest in getting involved and committing to participation, this can be a good indication of the ability to work well with others and work towards a common goal.
If the candidate has been working in a different industry, try to verify his/her work history with previous employers. Was the candidate dependable, did he or she follow policies and rules? Was the candidate helpful to others? Is the candidate a job hopper? Did the candidate grow within the position or was the candidate promoted to other departments? Did the candidate express an interest to learn new things? Was the candidate considered an asset in the department? Did the candidate work all assigned overtime? Why did the candidate leave? What was the candidate’s greatest strength and where did he/she need improvement?
These questions can be easily verified by asking the candidate what the previous employer will say. Since many employers will be happy to verify what you already know, ask the candidate to write down answers to a variety of questions and then send the questions off to the previous employer for verification.
Using techniques to help you understand previous behaviors will lead to better hiring decisions in the long-run. Most skills need to be learned and training someone with a solid work ethic will pay off in the long run.
Karla Dobbeck is a certified professional in Human Resource Management with over 20 years of experience in many aspects of human resource management; including placements, employment law compliance, policy and system design and development, and supervisory and employee training. Her clients include professional & business organizations, privately held companies and associations. To learn more, visit www.hrtechniques.biz