Recruiting

Single Key to Attracting the Best Hires

In yesterday’s Advisor, we covered the indispensable role of the job description in attracting the best candidates. Today, how to prepare for the critical job interview, and some great news—your job descriptions are already written.

The Interview—it’s not a time to chat and visit, it’s a time to dig and investigate. Preparing is a two-step process. First, use the job description to identify the traits, skills, and abilities you need. (No job description? Write one.) Second, determine how you will figure out if the candidate has them.

It’s one thing to say you need a sharp financial analyst who can meet deadlines and knows about corporate reporting requirements. But how do you figure out if a candidate can meet those criteria?

It’s easy, right? Just ask:

  • Are you a sharp financial analyst? ("Yes.")
  • Can you meet deadlines? ("Yes.")
  • Are you familiar with corporate reporting requirements? ("Yes.")

That’s a pretty quick interview. And a pretty meaningless one. Instead of yes/no questions that telegraph the desired answer, figure out some other ways to get at the information.

  • Ask about the types of projects the person has done (biggest, most interesting, most challenging, for whom, with what help).
  • Ask about the environment the person works in (what sort of deadlines, how many projects at a time, what he or she does when priorities conflict).
  • Ask about the boss (likes and dislikes, pet peeves, time you pleased or annoyed).

Go through the job description, pick out key issues, and design questions that will help you get at those issues.

A side benefit of this work is that you’ll end up with a set of questions that you can ask of all candidates, ensuring consistency in your interview process. Otherwise, you’ll end up asking different questions of each candidate, and you will have little basis for comparison (except, perhaps, the basis for a discrimination charge).

Finally, don’t forget to ask routine questions that are deal breakers. For example:

  • If a certification or degree is required, be sure the person has it.
  • If travel is required, be sure the person can travel.
  • If relocation is required, be sure the person can relocate.

If you’re bringing someone in from out of town for the interview, get these questions answered by phone before the visit—you don’t want to have to report to the boss and the hiring manager that you just flew someone in from the coast for an interview, only to discover that he or she was missing a key criterion.


Set that keyboard aside! Your job descriptions are already written. Click here to see why thousands of managers have a permanent place in their offices for BLR’s classic Job Descriptions Encyclopedia.


Of course, it’s easy enough to say that hiring begins with a good job description, but having those well-written job descriptions is a never-ending battle for every HR manager. How about your job descriptions? Complete? Up to date? If not—or if you’ve never even written them—you’re not alone. Thousands of companies fall short in this area.

It’s easy to understand why. Job descriptions are not simple to do—what with updating and management and legal review, especially given the Americans with Disabilities Act’s (ADA) requirement of a split-off of essential functions from other functions in the description. Wouldn’t it be great if your job descriptions were available and already written?

Actually, they are. We have more than 700, ready to go, covering every common position in any organization, from receptionist right up to president. They are in an extremely popular BLR® program called the Job Descriptions Encyclopedia.

First created in the 1980s, the “JDE” has been continually refined and updated over time, with descriptions revised or added each time the law, technology—or the way we do business—changes.


Prewritten job descriptions in the Job Descriptions Encyclopedia now come with pay grades already attached. Click here to try the program at no cost.


Revised for the ADA, Pay Grades Updated

There was a major revision, for example, following the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In fact, BLR editors reviewed every one of those 700 descriptions to ensure they were ADA-compliant.

Another enhancement was the updating of pay grades for each job. According to our customers, this is an enormous time-saver, enabling them to make compensation decisions even as they define the position. You can see a sample job description from the program by clicking here. (Yes, it is the one for HR Manager. Pay grade: 38.)

The BLR Job Descriptions Encyclopedia also includes an extensive tutorial on setting up a complete job descriptions program, and how to encourage participation from all parts of the organization. That includes top management, the employees, and any union or other collective bargaining entity.

Quarterly Updates, No Additional Cost

Very important these days, quarterly updates are included in the program as a standard feature—key at a time of constantly changing laws and emerging technologies. We’ll send you new or revised descriptions every 90 days. And the cost is extremely reasonable, averaging less than 43 cents per job description … already written, legally reviewed, and ready to adapt or use as is.

You can evaluate BLR’s Job Descriptions Encyclopedia at no cost in your office for up to 30 days. Get more information or order the Job Descriptions Encyclopedia.

Download product sample
Download list of job descriptions included

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