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Key attributes to look for in potential staff

There are certain situations that require hiring an applicant based on the individual's raw talents and abilities rather than on certain skills or what they have done previously. Some of these situations include:

  • A tight labor market: When there are not enough people with the desired experience and knowledge available in the job market when hires need to be made this may require a change in focus. A person's overall potential to grow into a position may be a key consideration in the hiring process.
  • College recruiting- Many larger companies are very focused on college recruiting. This allows them to find people that can be molded and shaped to address specific needs of the company and to selectively build a talented staff within the organization.
  • Learning organizations: Organizations that have a strong learning culture may focus their hiring on capable candidates that they can teach to do what is needed to meet the company's goals and objectives.
  • Value-focused: There are several organizations that are extremely focused on values. These organizations hire individuals who will "fit" into their type of organization. Hiring is guided by a strong set of values and beliefs similar to their own.

There are also some situations that call for hiring an individual based on a combination of skills and experience. Some of these situations include:

  • Brand-new organizations just starting up. These organizations often require specific experiences and knowledge in order to reach their goals and objectives. This type of situation requires the hiring focus to be on skills and experience.

  • Highly technical positions- This type of hiring is based on an applicant's mastery of a very specific set of skills. Organizations may have a position to fill that requires a person with specific knowledge, skills, and experience. Company's often times can not provide this type of training in an inexpensive and timely manner.

  • Need for mentors: An organization may base hiring an individual that has the capabilities of teaching others within the organization. The individual will become a long term investment and ensure the cultivation of a legacy of knowledge for the organization.

There are several types of assessment strategies when hiring is focused more on knowledge, skills, and experiences. These strategies include:

  1. Qualifications: One of the easiest ways to determine whether or not an applicant is qualified for a specific job is to review his/her resume. A resume can help you to determine if their experience and training is relevant to the specific job.

  2. Face to face interviews: Interviews face to face with an applicant can provide great insight into the applicant's experience and how they apply their knowledge and skills. An interview can also give a good sense of the applicant's personality and whether or not they could "fit" into the organization as a positive attribute.

Of course there are more structured, scientific methods of evaluation that can help such as knowledge and skill assessments. These types of assessments can verify that an applicant really does possess adequate knowledge in a specific area of interest. Another excellent way to determine whether an applicant has the experience and know how required to perform the job is life history. These types of measures can be quite different from qualification reviews because they have often been validated using scientific studies that link key life events directly to the job performance.

Hiring an applicant requires evaluating a wide range of things, which include abilities, motivation, experiences and knowledge. Determining whether or not an applicant is right for the position depends on a the right blend of ability and knowledge, along with raw talent and potential.

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