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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00002651/00001
 Material Information
Title: Hiring and Selection
Physical Description: Fact Sheet
Creator: Wysocki, Allen F.
Publisher: University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, EDIS
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2000
 Notes
Acquisition: Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Melanie Mercer.
Publication Status: Published
General Note: "Published March 2000."
General Note: "HR 001"
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the submitter.
System ID: IR00002651:00001


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Hiring and Selection1 Allen F. Wysocki2 1. This is EDIS document HR 001, a publication of the Department of Food and Resource Economics, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. Published March 2000. Please visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu. 2. Allen F. Wysocki, assistant professor, Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. http://webct.nerdc.ufl.edu:8900/public/WysockiExtension/index.html The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap, or national origin. For information on obtaining other extension publications, contact your county Cooperative Extension Service office. Florida Cooperative Extension Service/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences/University of Florida/Christine Taylor Waddill, Dean. Introduction Economic systems around the globe continue to undergo significant changes, and the management of human resources is no exception. Hiring and Selection Basics Management of human resources is one of the most important managerial tasks today. For most companies, labor costs are significant and, for many companies, labor is the largest single cost. One recent study showed that companies spend an average of $30,000 to hire and train sales people. Given the overall importance of labor and the costs of hiring and training, it is in the best interest of companies to do a good job of hiring and selection. This is of greater importance in the tight labor markets that currently exist. This newsletter is devoted to the selection process, including types of interviews, interview questions and the "do's and don'ts" of interviewing. Types of Interviews There are basically three types of interviews used in the hiring process: unstructured, semi-structured, and structured. Unstructured interviews are based on questions that are not planned. Basically, the interviewer must rely on his or her interviewing experiences and "wing" the interview. The advantage of the unstructured interview is that it takes little, if any, time to prepare. The disadvantage of the unstructured interview is that important job-related issues may remain unexplored and illegal questions could be asked on the spur of the moment. Semi-structured interviews use a combination of interviewer experience and pre-interview planning. One advantage of the semi-structured interview is the flexibility to explore areas of questions as they arise during the interview process. The main disadvantages of the semi-structured interview approach are that important areas of questions may be missed or illegal questions may be asked on the spur of the moment. Structured interviews are based on questions planned in advance and asked of all job candidates. There may be a distinct advantage to asking each job candidate the same series of questions because this approach usually results in the interview strategy with the highest reliability and validity. The primary disadvantage of the structured interview approach is the inflexibility to explore areas of interest/concern that may arise during the interview.

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Hiring and Selection 2 Your author would advise against using the unstructured interview approach. Choosing between the semi-structured and structured approach should depend on the experience and personality of the person conducting the interviews. Interviewers with years of experience are generally better prepared to conduct semi-structured interviews as compared to interviewers with less experience. Interview Questions What questions should you ask during the interview? In general, it is best to start the interview with open-ended questions that begin with what, where, why, when, and how (e.g., How will your education help you achieve your career goals?). Here is a list of six thought-provoking interview questions to ask potential managers: 1. What are your greatest strengths? 2. What are your greatest weaknesses? 3. What does the word "success" mean to you? 4. What five things have you accomplished that you are most proud of? 5. Why should we be interested in hiring you? 6. When I call your last employer, what will they say about you? There is nothing magical about these six questions. After each of these questions, be sure to ask, "Is there anything else you wish to add?" In addition, there are many other insightful questions that could be asked during the interview. These six are offered only as an example. Avoid closed-ended questions during the interview. Closed-ended questions are those questions that can be answered by a simple yes or no response. Yes or no responses offer little insight into the candidate's thought process or abilities. You are forbidden to ask a persons race, religion, national origin, sex or marital status during an interview. You may not ask whether the candidate has ever been arrested nor deny employment on this basis unless it can be proved to damage the employer's business. However, if you know that the candidate has been arrested in the past, you may ask if he or she has ever been convicted of a crime. You may only ask about current disabilities that would interfere with the present job. Although you are not allowed to ask a person's specific age, you have the right to ask if he or she is older than 18 years of age. Physical capabilities are not to be considered unless they directly impact the candidate's ability to perform job duties (lifting heavy boxes, etc.). Job Interview Do's Generally speaking, during the interview the job should be previewed (job title, its relationship to other jobs in the company, the main duties and the kinds of materials and machines to be used). Also, forewarn the applicant about any undesirable job-related conditions. For example, hazardous fumes, dampness, holiday work schedules, etc. Be careful not to scare the candidate, but rather provide facts. It is better to present all information (good and bad) up-front rather than after the candidate is hired. Always be prepared for the interview process with questions based on the application form. Be self-confident and self-controlled. Have a positive mental attitude and establish a friendly, informal but business-like atmosphere. Avoid interruptions during the interview, such as phone calls and visitors. Be a good listener and show genuine interest in the candidate. Encourage the candidate to speak. Only interrupt with questions to keep the candidate on track, and use silent pauses effectively. It is a good rule of thumb to let the candidate do 75% of the talking and the interviewer to do 25%. Also, have the candidate explain or clarify statements. Observe the general appearance and demeanor of the candidate. Close the interview in a friendly constructive manner, and leave the candidate with a good feeling. Be sure to inform the candidate of the anticipated follow-up procedure to be used upon completion of the interview process. Make notes afterwards, not during the interview.

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Hiring and Selection 3 Interview Don'ts Avoid leading questions that suggest the proper answer. Do not antagonize the candidate, nor dominate the interview nor become involved in an argument. Do not pry into the candidates personal life. Do not become cold and impersonal or cross-examine. Do not belittle the candidate's qualifications nor emphasize the candidate's weaknesses or handicaps. Do not give encouragement to candidates who are obviously unqualified, nor paint only a rosy picture of the job nor ignore the less desirable aspects of the job. Conclusion This concludes our discussion on hiring and selection. Future topics will include motivation, leadership, discipline, improving performance and termination. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome and you may email me directly at wysocki@fred.ifas.ufl.edu or respond via my extension web page at http://webct.nerdc.ufl.edu:8900/public/ WysockiExtension/index.html. References What Every Supervisor Should Know by Lester R. Bittel and John Newstrom, 1990. The New Managers Survival Manual by Clay Carr, 1995. Human Resource Management by Fisher, Schoenfeldt and Shaw, 1996.