TileLetter’s Business Tip section will periodically feature excerpts and synopses from the new NTCA Reference Manual Business Section. Within the Organizational Development chapter of this document is Part II of information on Recruiting and Hiring practices for your company. Part I of this section – which addressed finding applicants and interviews – appeared in the Coverings issue of TileLetter.
Verify the compensation structure to be sure it is in line with the position before making an offer to a job applicant. Publications are available showing the current compensation ranges for most positions. The compensation ranges are different for different parts of the country; make sure you are looking in your area. Ask the Better Business Bureau for the name of a firm who publishes this information or check the internet for salary and wage survey data. Industry associations are also a good source of wage and salary data.
Ask friends and contacts in the industry what the compensation ranges are for the position you wish to fill.
If you ask for salary histories from the applicants, and if they tell the truth, their responses will give you an idea of the general salary range of how much people are presently paying in your geographic area for the position you are seeking to fill.
There are several basic questions that should always be asked including:
- How are you acquainted with the candidate?
- How would you describe the overall quality of his/her performance?
- Would you hire this person again?
There are other equally-important areas that need to be covered that will be unique either to the firm or the job itself or possibly both. For instance, the person doing the reference checking needs to understand the culture requirements. For example:
- Does the candidate need to be someone who can be an agent for change within the organization or someone who has the ability to maintain the status quo?
- Will the job allow the candidate to continue his career growth and development, or will it be perceived as a dead end job?
- What is the firm’s management philosophy?
- Are firm personnel encouraged to be creative, or is everyone supposed to stay within the lines?
- To what type of person will the successful candidate report: a hard-driving no-nonsense manager who takes a strong hand-on approach, or a more laid-back individual who delegates?
Reference-check questions need to be thought through carefully and are not to be asked in a vacuum. It’s one thing to inquire about a candidate’s past job performance. It’s quite another to determine whether or not that performance is relevant to the position being filled.
Suppose a candidate’s references all describe him/her as a person who prefers to work independently and who doesn’t require or desire much supervision to get the job done thoroughly and on time. Then suppose that the manager for whom this candidate will be working is very hands-on and likes to closely monitor the progress of projects he/she has assigned to subordinates. There could be a potential problem.
Suppose a prime candidate is described as someone who is ambitious and eager to move up within the organization by doing more than is expected and getting things done ahead of schedule. Then suppose that the person to whom the candidate will report is a solid performer who is content with the position he or she holds and the type of individual who goes out of his or her way to avoid controversy? Could that ambitious candidate be faced with a potential fast-track career advancement roadblock?
Even though a candidate receives what appear to be glowing reviews from references, these comments need to be put within a broader context that compares past performance to the nature of the job that needs filling.
It’s not just a matter of determining if the candidate is right for the job. Determine if the job is right for the candidate. Tailor reference questions to ensure proper fit.
For access to this entire document, as well as the information-packed NTCA Reference Manual itself, contact Jim Olson at [email protected] or 601-939-2071about NTCA membership.