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Archive for March, 2009

Hard Skills

One of the most important factors during the interview process prior to actually interviewing a candidate is to gather a nice pool of potential candidates based on their hard skills.  The idea of this type of recruiting is to find a group that will have at least one great candidate in it who can be discerned with proper interviewer skills or interviewer techniques during a structured interview.

Hard Skills:

Hard skills represent the technical skills, education, and/or experience that a candidate must have in order to be considered for a position. Many times we simply accept the hard skills that a candidate lists on a resume or application. However, the interview process and any subsequent reference checking should be designed to verify these hard skills. For our purposes below, I will not be addressing education, but only addressing technical and experience skill sets.

I have included on the CD that accompanies this Program a sample document, Hard Skills Checklist Sample. This document is designed for you to list specific technical or experience skills that a candidate must have in order to effectively perform your open position. This sheet requires a candidate to identify the number of years of experience that he/she has utilizing each skill and his/her opinion as to the level of proficiency on each skill. The sample form on the CD is a checklist for an administrative position that lists the common Microsoft Word and Excel functions that a person may need to know to work effectively in a position. All you need to do is replace the WorFd or Excel skills in the Sample with the specific skills required for your open position and provide the form to your candidates to complete. At the onsite interview, I would either use a test or ask a series of technical questions in order to verify that the person has the hard skills that he/she claims.

By using a candidate’s hard skills to figure out if they are worthy of an interview, you will be developing a great tool to add to your interviewer skills and techniques that will allow for greater hiring success.  Don’t base a decision solely on these hard skills, however, because without a good personality, a candidate may not be well-suited for a position regardless of their intelligence and ability.


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