Hiring the right people is a critical issue in any business. Employees are a reflection on us – our business priorities, customer service model, and values. Hiring the wrong person is not only inconvenient and frustrating, it directly impacts our bottom line. There is no other resource in our arsenal that has this much power to make or break a business; yet managers and business owners don’t spend the necessary time or resources on the hiring process.

There is no magic formula to hiring great people. Essentially, what we put into the recruiting and hiring process is exactly what we will get out of it. However, the benefits of establishing strong hiring practices far outweigh the initial effort that is required.

The key to hiring great people is knowing what we are looking for and providing an objective way to compare each candidate to those standards or requirements. One of the most effective methods of doing this is by establishing competency-based job descriptions. Rather than focusing on static job duties, the competency-based job description focuses on job-related knowledge, skills and abilities, motivations, and other requirements that are essential to success in that position.

All things considered, if a competency-based job description is used for all candidates, and they are subject to the same requirements for applying and interviewing, the right person will stand out when asked the right questions. By using the same standards for all candidates and focusing on their ability to perform the job being asked of them, we are also likely to avoid a number of legal pitfalls related to faulty hiring practices.

Hiring does not have to be the torturous process that it often appears to be. Using a clearly written job description as a standard will help to eliminate unqualified candidates, allow hiring managers to objectively review resumes and application materials, and result in an enjoyable and fruitful interview process that yields two to three well-qualified candidates to select from.