You’re always surprised, but you know you shouldn’t be. The superstar legal secretary that you just hired isn’t quite working out. As you walk by her desk, you notice that she is pecking at her keyboard with one finger (not quite the typing proficiency you expected). The bad news trickles in—your new “superstar” can’t type and has virtually no computer skills. You even have to show your new secretary how to send a fax.
Where did you go wrong in the hiring process? The candidate’s resume was sterling and she was a big hit at the interview, so what the hell happened? Here’s the problem: #1, the interview doesn’t mean a damn thing—everyone looks like a superstar at the interview; and #2: a resume is just a piece of paper and yes, candidates lie all the time on their resume.
Objectively Measure the Candidate’s Skills…Before You Hire Her
So, do you just throw up your hands and hope for the best? Au contraire, my friend. Before you hire the candidate, you test for her proficiency in:
- Grammar, and
- Computer skills.
These tests are available online (FreeTypingTest.com measures typing proficiency and grammar and EmployTest.com measures basic computer skills) and you can test the candidate during the interview. Now, you can objectively measure the candidate’s skills and see first-hand whether her resume is legit. You can also measure the candidate’s IQ or test their personality with Myers-Brigg, an online personality test.
And don’t worry if the candidate balks at taking the tests. It is very rare that a job candidate will refuse to take a test and even if she does, is this a candidate who you want to work for you anyway?
Weeding Out the Candidates before the Interview
Before you spend time interviewing a candidate, get her on the phone for a ten minute interview to hear her tone of voice, salary requirements and her future goals. You can save yourself a bunch of time by finding out that the candidate is only seeking part-time employment, is planning to move to Alaska in 4 months, or has unrealistic salary requirements.
It’s worth spending some coin to get a background search to find out if the candidate has any skeletons in her closet. A private investigator’s search of the candidate’s social media profiles might reveal some disturbing “hobbies” of the candidate, and it never hurts to do a criminal background search.
And if your candidate passes these tests with flying colors, take her and her spouse to dinner. Make sure you get along because remember, you’ll be spending a lot of time with your new employee and if you don’t enjoy having dinner with her, you shouldn’t hire her. Now, you’re taking the guesswork out of the hiring process!