Sunday, November 28, 2010

Abilty Testing Pays Off Big ...

Many years ago I attended a class on negotiating. The speaker said that the ability to negotiate was so very important because a person could make (or save) more money in a short period of time than any other way. The example he gave was this: imagine you are buying a car and in fifteen minutes you convince the salesperson to cut the cost by $5,000. Saving five "grand" in fifteen minutes is equivalent to making $20,000 per hour. Not a bad wage ...

Business owners and human resource professionals are in a similar situation when they make a hiring decision. The implications of this decision will either pay off big for the organization, or cost it dearly. So what is a person to do?

The answer is to make certain an applicant has the skills & abilities necessary for success PRIOR to hiring them. While this may sound difficult, advancements in skill testing software have actually made it simple and safe to determine whether or not a person has what it takes to succeed in your employment environment.

In certain mission-critical environments, there is more to lose than money. Consider hiring emergency services dispatchers and call takers who must operate in the most difficult, life-or-death circumstances. Hiring people who do not have the ability to multi-task in a stressful situation puts lives at risk.

Organizations who employ skill testing software are able to determine whether or not their applicants possess key skills and abilities. In this way, they are able to spend valuable time interviewing only deserving candidates and can focus their efforts testing soft skills such as motivation, synergy and attitude.

These software programs are not only reasonably priced, but they will actually pay for themselves over and over again in saved time, increased morale and productivity, and saved opportunities. Or, you could just roll the dice and see what you end up with ...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Recruiters Struggle to Deal With Wealth of Applicants

I read an interesting article in Workforce Management. In it, the author Fay Hanson describes the plight of recruiters who are overwhelmed by an unprecedented number of applications for each job. Estimates vary, but some are saying that there are ten job seekers for every single job opening. This enormous number of unemployed workers has created a landslide of applications for available positions across the country.

Add to this the fact that there are likely more highly-qualified applicants available than any other time in the past fifty years, and you’ve got a compelling reason to upgrade your screening processes. To take advantage of this experience windfall, I recommend that employers go through the following recruitment checklist to be sure that they are maximizing their efforts in this economy.

1. Use high-fidelity job simulations to make sure that you are selecting the most highly skilled workers. Put your applicants through the paces to ensure that they have the hard skills that it takes to succeed. Skill testing software packages such as OPAC Testing software for office skills and software abilities and C4, a test for customer service rep skills are two programs that are indispensible in learning whether or not a person has the critical skills necessary to make the grade.

2. Don’t disrupt the apple cart. You’ve taken a lot of time to build the well-oiled machine that is sustaining your workplace. Use either structured interviews or soft-skills video testing to learn whether or not your applicants have good situational judgment skills and interpersonal competence. One bad apple… well, you know…

3. Reach out to your community. When flooded with applications, the tendency is to source from fewer locations. This can affect the diversity of your workforce. Take the time to evaluate your applicant flow as well as the demographics of the candidates advanced throughout your hiring process. Make sure the demographic match that of your availability. If you need help in this area, you may wish to consult with an affirmative action consultant.

4. Hire for the long run, not the short term. If you need to hire a person to replace light bulbs, don’t hire the nuclear power plant operator. While finding “discounts” at the department store makes good sense, it doesn’t necessarily translate in the HR realm. Eventually, this economy will rebound and people who “stooped” to take lower-paying jobs will bolt for greener pastures. Refer to steps 1 and 2 in order to hire the most capable among those whose experiences and salary requirements closely match those of your available position.

For businesses who know that they will weather the current financial storm, the time is right to make some key additions to their workforce.