How to Hire Good People
An HR Perspective


Prashob Jacob
Final Year PGDM HR Student
School of Communication and Management Studies

With the attrition rate going up day by day like hay fever, the haggard HR Managers must be wondering where to go from here. They would be almost happy and willing to welcome help from any quarter to hire successfully and to accomplish their task effectively in providing and managing the most crucial resource of any firm.

How to successfully hire a success-oriented person is something that rings in the minds of most of today's HR Managers. I wish to mention here that I am not assuming to be Mr. Know All, certainly not. All that I am trying to do is share some of my thoughts through this article.


THINK OUT OF THE BOX: The single-most crucial element is that we start thinking out of the box. Clarity is the key to hire successful people successfully. If we are going to adopt the beaten track of recruiting people matching them with a preset qualification and skill sets, we will only end up attracting and selecting mediocre people something that everyone does, and so does your competition!. Hiring should not be a Hit-or-Miss process but should be a systematic & rigorous process.

THE SOURCING CHANNELS: In today's competitive world a good HR Manager needs to keep all his sourcing channels open. The best sources of candidates are from: Employee Referrals, Advertisements, through Consultants/Recruiting companies, Job Fairs, through clients, vendors & suppliers, Job sites like Monster, Naukri, etc. The mantra is: Have the Resumes flowing. Keep your eyes open and keep looking for good candidates all the time. You can even create an opening for a good candidate, if it does not exist. This proactive action is the need of the hour. If we wait too long to look there will be none available.

REVIEW THE JOB PROFILE: This is important. If you review the profile you will know what queries to ask. Also scan the Resume for breaks in employment record.

RAISE THE STANDARD: Typically job descriptions are used to define specific positions. They usually include criterion such as Educational Qualification, skill sets, number of years of experience etc. This approach defines only the minimum performance with the result it ends up attracting average/mediocre performers

"To bring better candidates to the table, you have to raise the standard of what you define as top-level work," says Deutsch.

FIND THE BEST GRADE Of PERFORMERS: Most of the top performers may already have the jobs still they may be open for better opportunities and may consider to move on to your company, if they are impressed with the challenges and growth opportunities the position offers than the routine tasks and activities of the job. So, this aspect needs to be focused and highlighted while sourcing. The strategies to attract and capture these top performers range from developing compelling statement of work to leveraging the natural networks of similar and like-minded people. Once you have the top guys calling on you, ascertain if they would achieve the results you expect out of them.

IDENTIFY THE GOAL: Identify the substantial goal you are trying to achieve in the position. What do you need this person to deliver that you are not getting now.

The possible answers may include the need for more products, the need to speed up Lead Time or the need to have in place a formal product development process. Know exactly what you are trying to resolve.  Also try and identify the problems and obstacles standing in the way of accomplishment. The possible answers may include Inadequate staff or the lack of resources etc. Identify the quantifiable and measurable action items that the person needs to take to accomplish the substantial goal. This probably means you may need to hire more staff and develop a new process. Finally identify the metrics you will use to measure success in the position.

Identify all the success factors required to deliver the results you need from the position. Simply put, what are the results you expect? Once you have defined success in clear and compelling terms then it is easier now to identify the best candidate who matches up with your success profile.


The excellent guys are proactive, have high initiative and are self motivated. Such people will give you many examples. They do not believe in giving lame excuses. They get the job done by getting their staffs to execute almost flawlessly. They exhibit leadership qualities. Top performers achieve results through others by helping them to succeed. They are capable of leading a cross functional You need an objective and valid system for evaluating candidates. Good hirers generally do this
You can devise a score card system for the interviews. This can also double-up as a check-list so that you do not leave or miss out any data to arrive at the right decision. There are many pitfalls such as personal biases, emotions etc that cause people to lose their objectivity and make poor or wrong hiring decisions. Stay rational and objective and do not stray. This requires deep and intrusive reference checking, personality and skill testing, panel interviews etc. Management by Objective in performance management teaches you that. when you define what people need to achieve at the individual level, it has a terrific impact on productivity and organizational performance team. We can find this out by how they would have influenced and persuaded people outside their own teams to get things done.

Defining success and interviewing candidates in this fashion offers several benefits notable among them being that it takes the guess work out of the hiring process so that you need suffer round holes in square pegs anymore and above all you get the almost-perfect candidate.


Pattanayak, Human Resources Management- Text and cases, Himalaya Publishing House, 2005

V. Kubendran, Legal aspects of Business, Olive Publishing House, pp112, 115, 118, 237

Kramnik & Amstrong, Hiring or Firing- the art of selecting the best, Wiley Eastern Limited, 1999

Mamoria and Mamoria, Personnel Management, Himalaya Publishing House, 2003

Prashob Jacob
Final Year PGDM HR Student
School of Communication and Management Studies

Source: E-mail October 17, 2008




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