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The ABCs of Effective Employee Selection

September 4, 2012

As the youngsters fill their back packs, grab their lunches and scurry abcoff for another year of school, I'm inspired to teach my own lesson in employee selection.  I think the Jackson 5 said it best: "A-B-C.  It's easy as 1-2-3."  You know the rest.  Selecting employees can be easy, as long as you are armed with the right tools and knowledge.

With that in mind, here are the ABCs of Employee Selection:


Looking back to our school days, we were tested in many different ways.  Whether it was an essay test, a presentation or even a fun take-home science experiment (who doesn't love the homemade volcano?), we never attended a class that only had one test for the entire year.  That would be a terrible way to assess students and in the world of employee selection, we all need to remember to use multiple employee assessments to test our applicants.

A strong hiring funnel will have multiple steps and will use well-developed assessment tools at each stage.  For example, a standard hiring funnel for hiring a leader/manager might include a resume screen, structured phone interview, online assessment battery and a final structured interview.  These four steps will actually use eight different types of assessments.  By doing so, you increase the accuracy, efficiency and utility of your employee assessment process.

Be Prepared

Remember when you decided to not study for a test - how did that go?  We've all been there and failed.  Prepare yourself better by studying the job.  Start with an understanding of the job and the traits that differentiate successful performance on the job.  You can either conduct a job analysis internally, or partner with experts in the field that specialize in developing employee selection systems.


Just as you developed consistent study habits in school, you need to develop a process and use it consistently in hiring.  Determine the best means to measure the most critical traits, preferably through multiple means of measurement.  The traits of interest should help dictate the types of selection tools that are of most interest, along with other considerations such as the efficiency of the process and simulations available, along with interviews and role-plays, to name a few.  Don't flush your hard work down the drain by allowing candidates to circumvent your process.

Remember, your people are your organization.  Investing in your selection processes is one of the best investments your organization can make.  Class dismissed!

Learn more about the topic in the whitepaper, "The 5 Sides of ROI."


Tracey Tafero, Ph.D. Tracey Tafero, Ph.D. was the Director of Consulting Services at PSI. She has extensive experience in designing, validating and implementing selection processes specific to clients’ needs. She has a proven record of successful selection and development project implementations from entry-level through professional and executive level processes, across a number of different industries.