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How to Hire Workers with the Skills that Really Matter

Are you actively recruiting workers who have the right skills for the jobs you are trying to fill? Or are you actively recruiting workers who have the wrong skills?

That second question sounds silly, but it might not be. Here’s a small case study that proves the point . . .

“Things Have Changed”

When the HR manager at a company that processes medical insurance claims needed to hire several new data entry workers, he found the text of the job listing he used the last time he was hiring them and posted it on the company job board. A few days later, the manager of his company’s data entry center called him and said, “Where did you get that job listing from? There are about four major inaccuracies in it, starting with the fact that most of our workers now are checking records for accuracy, not typing in information from paper forms.”

That kind of problem can easily happen today, when it is so easy to grab and reuse computerized files without reviewing them. But there are other reasons why companies make the mistake of recruiting for the wrong skills.

Here are some ways to keep that from happening.

Identify and recruit for the right “hard” skills. These are the technical and operational aspects of jobs. To pinpoint them, talk to managers who supervise the jobs you need filled and to the people who are currently performing them. Ask about the computerized systems they use, the specific tasks they perform, and more. Make sure to include what you learn in your job postings and ads.
Identify and recruit for the right “soft” skills. These are personal strengths like the ability to multitask, be patient with customers on the phone, solve problems, and more. One good way to identify these soft skills is to ask current workers “What is the biggest challenge you face on the job every day?” Another good way is to conduct exit interviews with employees when they are about to leave their jobs; you will often get more honest and deeper information from departing workers than you will from current employees.
And a final safety check . . .

Before you take your job postings live, ask the appropriate supervisors in your organization to check them over and make sure they ask for the skills your applicants really need to have.

Related Posts on How to Hire Workers
Time Saving Strategies for Hiring Managers
How Hiring Managers Can Stop Reading Resumes Today
Four Strategies to Fill Entry-Level Jobs Faster

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