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It may seem counterintuitive, but it is during the worst economic times that finding and retaining quality employees is the hardest. There are several reasons for this, but the most candid is simply that good employees aren’t laid off first. In addition, most people are less likely to take a risk and seek a new job when the economy is struggling.
Finding good employees is a key step in retaining employees and thus reducing turnover. Large companies across the country have been revising and, in some cases, even validating their hiring practices in order to better do just that. It has the added benefit of also lowering liability exposure for failure to hire claims. Although smaller employers may not have the resources available to professionally validate their hiring process, as recommended under the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) Uniform Guidelines, there are a number of steps employers can take to help to improve their hiring procedures.
What is a Validated Hiring Process?
A validated selection process is a process that has been professionally analyzed by industrial and organizational (I-O) psychologists or similar professionals and designed to identify those attributes in applicants that are job-related and essential for successful employment. While in traditional validation, all the steps would be performed by outside I-O psychologists, who would ultimately prepare a technical report on the process, your company can perform some of these same steps in-house and hopefully improve your hiring.
Often, companies’ employee selection processes follow one of two scenarios. First, the company may have no formal hiring process and likely has not formulated any real thoughts on the specific skills or attributes needed in a successful candidate. This is often the situation at smaller companies, where the owner, the managing supervisor, or the sole HR person is often the only interviewer of all the candidates. Or, the company may have a more detailed interview and selection process, where applicants are interviewed by a number of different individuals. However, in both situations, if the selection process utilized does not identify candidates with the particular and unique skills necessary for the specific job being filled, the benefits of hiring in a manner consistent with a validated selection process are not realized.
A fundamental first step is therefore to determine the specific attributes of the position. This can be accomplished by interviewing employees and supervisors, to determine what knowledge, skills, and abilities are required for the job. For example, employers can assemble a group of subject matter experts—supervisors and employees with experience performing, and knowledge of, the job—and have those experts formulate a list of attributes and skills necessary for the job. Employers can then base interview questions and qualifications off of those skills and attributes.