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Hiring Job Interviews

We have changed a core aspect of our hiring process. In the past, we looked for people who had all of the training and expertise needed for the job, and we did not put much emphasis on issues like personality, friendliness, or cooperation. Now we are putting more emphasis on those latter factors, and less on the former. How does this sound?

It sounds like you are going to build a productive, cooperative, and stable workforce. Growing numbers of companies in many sectors are now placing major emphasis upon such factors as a job candidate's social skills, communication skills, emotional maturity, and energy, while placing less emphasis on his or her expertise or experience.

The underlying philosophy is that the technology needed for many positions can be taught, while it is far more difficult to teach someone how to be friendly, communicative, persistent, reliable, or caring. Related to this, companies have been finding that employees are more likely to fail as a result of an inability to get along with others, as opposed to an inability to do the work itself.

Screening for these kinds of factors in the hiring process can be more difficult. Obviously, it is essential to take a thorough work history, use competency questions, and take job references. Some companies also use consulting firms to help in this area. In doing so, it is essential that their techniques be job-related and validated for your firm.

Over the longer term, it makes sense to analyze your new approach to see if it is really working, and if the people hired under it are really working.

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