If your department has been able to assist in recruiting, you may have been able to help bring in a pool of talented job candidates. But when it comes to selection, the major responsibility passes to the hiring manager and HR. How can training participate in this process, even from a less direct perspective?
First, your overall training program should include management training, which, in turn, should include training on the entire hiring process. In some organizations, you’ll find that managers and those wanting to be promoted must take a “core” of courses that teach the hiring process, the management process, such as coaching, corrective action, and performance evaluation, and then leadership. If your organization already does this, take a look at how the hiring training is set up. If not, now might be the time to create a program.
To start with, both experienced and inexperienced managers can use a hand on resume evaluation, especially in an environment where the pool of candidates could still be rather large. You may be able to create your own program in tandem with HR. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy and may even lend itself to an online piece. Or, you may want to outsource this type of training once or twice a year. But more importantly, you will want to train managers on interviewing. Believe it or not, interviewees are reporting all kinds of horrors, ranging from hiring managers asking inappropriate questions to those same managers taking phone calls or checking emails during the interview. As the educational institution within your organization, you want to make sure this is not happening. What if you narrow the candidates down to one or two and a manager makes interview mistakes? Those bright candidates may just have another job waiting for them.
In addition to the obvious, interviewing training should focus on teaching managers how to create job-based behavioral interviewing questions that will explain how a candidate makes decisions and works within a team. Also, interviewing courses should touch on how to create an effective interview template, especially if the manager is interviewing numerous people over a few weeks. It’s easy to forget “who’s who” after a series of interviews, so the template a manager creates should jump-start his or her memory. Finally, add communication skills and panel interview techniques to the training. When managers emerge, they will be able to conduct professional interviews, which speak volumes about them and their organizations, as well as have memorable “portraits” of each candidate.
Moving from the actual training role, your department can also offer support. Again, HR may be overworked trying to recruit and set up interviews, so your help internally may take some of the burden. For example, newer managers may need to discuss their interview questions, their templates, or even their interviews. In the absence of an HR presence, or even in tandem with a recruiter, your assistance can be invaluable for a manager who is trying to make a difficult hiring decision.
To augment this assistance, either during the hiring process or during the training, have your staff use their benchmarking to help managers. For example, your new-hire trainers may be able to coach managers in the initial stages of creating their interview questions and templates using the successful competencies they’ve uncovered over time. If you translate those successful traits into interview questions, the hiring manager will be more able to judge whether the candidates have those traits or not.
The one caveat to training involvement in selection is to remember that it really is an indirect, passive role. Try to avoid having training personnel in on interviews. Too many people in an interview may lead the candidate to believe that no one makes decisions at the organization. Plus, the interviews should be confined to those who will be making the actual decision, such as hiring managers, colleagues, stakeholders, or human resources representatives.
Next, we will move into the more obvious roles that training has in the hiring process: development and retention.
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Bryant Nielson – Managing Director of CapitalWave Inc.– offers 25+ years of training and talent management helping executives, business owners, and top performing sales executives in taking the leap from the ordinary to extraordinary. Being a big believer in Technology Enabled Learning, Bryant seeks to create awareness, motivate adoption and engage organizations and people in the changing business of education. Bryant is a entrepreneur, trainer, and strategic training adviser for many organizations. Bryant’s business career has been based on his results-oriented style of empowering the individual.
Learn more about Bryant at LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/bryantnielson