The Right Barriers Can Make a Big Difference When Selecting Employees

If properly placed “selection hurdles” aren’t part of your employment process, you’re probably wasting a lot of valuable time and money.

Selection hurdles are barriers strategically placed in the hiring process to eliminate unqualified individuals from further consideration. Used properly, they increase efficiency and reduce hiring costs substantially. Unfortunately, companies often overlook worthwhile hurdles. And sometimes the wrong hurdles are used at the wrong times.


BizTip #1 – Use selection hurdles that are appropriate for the job in question.

You’re wasting your time and money if you use hurdles that are unsuitable for a particular job. For example, if you want to hire someone for an entry-level clerical job, it would not be cost-effective to put applicants through several rounds of testing and interviewing to weed out people who don’t meet your requirements. However, if you want to hire a manager, using assessment simulations and panel interviews are probably worth the effort.

BizTip #2 – Always start with minimum qualification requirements.

Use less costly and time-consuming hurdles earlier in the hiring process. Make sure you tell people about minimum qualifications before the application process begins. It makes no sense wasting time evaluating individuals who don’t meet basic job requirements (e.g., driver’s license, college degree, relevant work experience, willingness to work different shifts).

BizTip #3 – Measure applicants’ skills and abilities before you conduct job interviews.

Skills tests are relatively inexpensive compared to what it costs to interview applicants. Interviews are costly because they eat up interviewers’ time. So test people before you interview them. There’s no reason to interview individuals who don’t have what it takes to be successful. Learn more about skills tests and see how cost-effective it is to screen applicants before you interview them.

BizTip #4 – Assess job-related personality traits only if skills test standards are met.

Personality tests usually are more costly than skills tests. To save money, administer personality tests only to those individuals who have met the standards on the skill and ability tests. Consider using personality tests to hire people with the right traits needed for success on your jobs.

BizTip #5 – Use screening interviews before conducting in-depth interviews.

Prioritize competencies needed for your jobs. Then focus on these areas during shorter, preliminary interviews to eliminate people who are least likely to succeed on the job. Screening interviews can be an effective way to identify applicants who deserve more attention during a more costly and time consuming in-depth interview. You can easily customize structured job interviews to meet your specific business needs.

Minimize Costs with Selection Hurdles

Selection hurdles, if used properly, can help you streamline your hiring process and minimize costs. In addition, the strategic use of appropriate employment techniques in the right order can give you the upper hand in identifying competent individuals who will make long-term contributions to your profitability and organizational health.

Author's Bio: 

Barry Farrell is an organizational psychologist who has provided management consulting for over 35 years. Visit GreatBizTools to try some free BizTools and to register for a free 15-day trial of WebAssess, an online testing system.