screening selection

The Importance of implementing a robust Screening and Selection Process (& avoiding expensive mistakes!!)

Most managers consider themselves to be excellent recruiters and rave about how great they are at picking the right person for the job; to the point where they will even say that they “will know” if the person is right within the first two minutes of the interview.

So why is it that on average only about 26% of employees in any team or organisation are recognised as being top performers? and….

Why is it that the informal recruitment processes that most managers use, result in less than 22% of employees being fully engaged in the workplace?

The reason is because the screening and recruitment processes used by most managers are completely subjective and unstructured resulting in a 74% incidence of selecting non-top performers but a 100% success rate in selecting someone they like!

Why is more emphasis placed on “like” instead of “fit”? Because deep down they want someone like themselves and/or they want someone who will be easy to manage. Either way there is a high probability that while they may like the new employee, the new employee will not be highly productive and great at their job.

So what is the answer?

The answer is to implement a robust screening and selection process that concentrates on “Fit” to the role and then provide the management team with effective solutions on how to manage all of their respective direct reports.

End result ……… Everyone Wins!!


How can you establish a process that not only increases the success rate of selecting future top performers, but also increases the overall employee engagement level across the entire organisation?

It is not that difficult to achieve, just follow these steps:

1)  Develop an Objective High Performance Role Benchmark

Identify the Critical Success Attributes of the role by developing a Role Benchmark based on the objective
assessment of your proven top performers or by assessing the role using an online Job Analysis Survey.

In a recent study it was discovered that those tasked with selection, training and management do not understand or recognise the critical success attributes of the roles they are responsible for.


2)  Create an Enhanced Position Description  

A Position Description does not have to be a complicated five page document but it does need to accurately describe the requirements (KPOs and tasks) of the role, how it fits into the overall organisational structure and provides an accurate “description” of the type of individual required.


It should include Position Title, Description of the Role, Salary Range, Reporting Structure, principle Daily,
Weekly and Monthly tasks, KPOs, minimum Skills & Experience required and the Critical Success Attributes (Abilities, Traits and Interests).


An enhanced Position Description provides an accurate insight into the “type” of individual required not just
what the role “does”. It provides those tasked with screening and selection with an accurate description of the individual they are searching for. 


3)  Create a Targeted Job Advertisement   

The standard job advertisement used by most organisations, whether in printed or online format, will espouse the virtues of the employer, describe the role and the key tasks and highlight a few criteria that will “get candidates in”.


Nowhere do these old style advertisements give potential candidates information for them to decide whether
they will “like” the job based on what they enjoy and want to do. They are all about the employer, not about the potential employee. They do not answer the one fundamental question an applicant
wants answered: “What’s in it for me?”


Targeted job advertisements are created so that they are more about the desired attributes of a candidate
thereby allowing them to make an informed decision whether they should or shouldn’t apply. In other
words they select or deselect themselves for the role which results in a dramatic increase in response rates of excellent candidates.


To obtain more information on how to create Targeted Job Advertisements, please contact your Peoplogica


4) Screening      

The aim of screening is to reduce the number of applicants to a maximum of eight candidates who will be processed through to the first interview.


The Screening process can be very time consuming, frustrating and full of flaws, or it can be streamlined,
effective and cost efficient. In other words, you can use the time honoured approach of having all applications, and attached resumes, emailed to an individual who prints them all out and delivers a two foot high pile of paper to an already stressed manager, or you can screen out applicants that do not possess the basic skills/knowledge using an online skills testing platform, such as
Peoplogica Skills.


5)  First Interview      

The First Interview is not just an opportunity for the candidate to impress a potential future employer and to
demonstrate that their resume has not been exaggerated, it is also an opportunity for the employer to demonstrate the professionalism, ethos and culture of the organisation; both the candidate and the employer should be “selling” themselves to each other. 


The following summarises a proven First Interview Process:

a) Introduction: How the interview will be conducted, the process going forward and the timelines.

b) Resume Review: Candidate to give a verbal review of their employment and experience history, interviewer to ask appropriate clarifying questions.

c) Role Specific Questions: Interviewer to ask any role specific questions to confirm qualifications, experience, the level of skill etc.  

d) Standard First Interview Questions: All candidates should be asked standard questions to ensure that a
consistent benchmark is established.

e) Candidate Questions: Candidate offered the opportunity to ask any questions about the company and/or the role. 

f) End Interview: Reiterate the intended recruitment process steps/timelines and end interview.


6)  Measure the Candidates’ Degree of “Fit”      

After all first interviews are completed; you will be in a position to compile a shortlist of candidates who
will be invited back for a second interview. It is at this point that all shortlisted candidates should be scheduled for the relevant JobFit Assessment and measured against the
High Performance Role Benchmark that was developed at the beginning of the recruitment process.

Only assessments that establish JobFit, are Benchmarkable and have a “Distortion Scale” should be used for
recruitment purposes. The assessments we use and recommend are:

•      ProfileXT

•      Profiles Sales Assessment

•      Customer Service Profile

•      SnapShot


7)  Second Interview     

The second interview is very much the business end. For the candidate to be sitting in front of you, they will have the necessary experience and are most likely good enough to do the job, but the end result is not about being “good enough”, it is about being “outstanding”; we want a future top performer!


We want to ascertain the degree of “fit” that each candidate has to the role to ensure that they will be able to
cope with the mental demands of the role, thrive in the environment and with the people they will work with and, finally, to enjoy the role and be fully engaged.


Use the behavioural interview questions provided in the Interview Guides. The number of questions you ask
will vary from candidate to candidate but do not lose sight of the main goal; and that is to get as much information about the candidate as is possible to confirm that they have the highest degree of fit to the role and the organisation.


8)  Coaching Reports      

Now that you have selected the candidate who has the best fit to the role, it is now imperative to give your
management team the information they need to effectively manage their direct reports on a day-to-day basis. 


By using the Coaching/Sales Management Reports, developed from the individuals’ assessment results, the
management team are then provided with the essential information to train, coach and mentor their direct reports to be effective, productive and engaged employees.


Further Information

If you would like further information regarding:

1.      The development of High Performance Role Benchmarks

2.      Creating Enhanced Position Descriptions

3.      Creating Targeted Job Advertisements

4.      Screening Questions and Tests

5.      First Interview Questions

6.      JobFit Assessments

7.      Coaching & Management Reports


Written by Mark Purbrick

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