Success in Hiring Excellent People – Merit Based Approach

Strategy Plan One

February 25, 2012 

Merit based staffing processAs a busy entrepreneur leading and managing a company, you may not and should not be completely dedicated to operational tasks or specialized areas.  If you are expanding there is a need for to find good people and have those individuals lead units.

To find excellent employees for your team, you need to establish strong human resource staffing policies and procedures.  Staffing procedures that are unbiased and objective achieve the best results, with the best people bubbling to the surface.

Merit Based Staffing Process

In this modern era, it is common for human resource management to take a merit based approach, rather than what has been done in the past, such as ad-hoc or word of mouth hiring.  The merit based approach involves the selection of candidates based on pre-determined merit criteria.  Successful candidates must meet the criteria to be awarded the position.  The process is one that is more accountable, more objective and is easy to defend should unsuccessful candidates challenge your hiring practices.

Merit Based Staffing ProcessSome processes develop a number of criteria and establish assessment tools to grade responses to criteria.  Federal governments have moved to establish essential and asset criteria that a candidate must meet.  The essentials are one that must be met, while asset criteria would be the “bonuses” that an applicant would have.

Candidates can be screened in on first meeting the essential criteria, and then screened a second time when matched against asset criteria.  In some cases organizations also add in “best fit” criteria.  A candidate meeting essential and asset criteria, along with other factors, would give maximum flexibility to the hiring manager or human resource specialist.

Merit Based Staffing Assessment Tools


Differing assessment tools can be used to screen candidates on your established merit criteria.  Here are some tools to potentially use in your processes:

  • Resumes and cover letters
  • Exams and in-basket exercises
  • Simulations
  • Psychological profiling
  • Leadership competency matching
  • Interviews
  • Reference checks
  • Trial employment

Always remember to develop the process in advance.  Develop strong criteria and the accompanying assessment tools.  Keep track of each individual on their responses.  To make the hiring process more objective, ensure you have more than one member on the hiring selection team, as you will achieve a more global perspective on a candidate.

Human Resource Policies

Ensure your human resource policies include equitable opportunities for employment.  In this modern era, companies need to set a higher standard when it comes to values and ethics and responsibilities to communities.  Ensure emphasis is placed on equitable employment opportunities for men and women, ethnic groups and disabled individuals.  Some of the best mixes of professional teams can be achieved as a result of responsible employment equity policies.

Ensure you human resource policies, including the hiring process, are well documented.  Don’t discriminate or differentiate candidates from the hiring process.  With strong staffing processes and employee representation from all groups, you will have the strongest professional team.

Strategy Plan One

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

© 2012 Strategy Plan One


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