One of the biggest problems many startups and small companies face is that they don't have standardized systems or human resource departments in place. Consequently, they use superficial criteria to hire people, such as how they look or how they come across in an interview. Basically, they are looking for a certain stereotype that has been successful in similar roles such as where they went to school or if they have a certain professional background. Before you do anything, start with a clearly defined job description. It doesn't have to be etched in stone. But until members of the organization reach a consensus about the tasks, responsibilities and level of authority for the position, it's not even worth placing a job ad. Then, using a more organized method for hiring with all the tools available, including assessments, will help you look at the candidate through several lenses and reach a new standard for employees.
Linda Hanson, CMC, is a certified management consultant and author of 10 Steps to Marketing Success. She writes, speaks and consults on marketing, management and customer service issues and can be contacted at www.llhenterprises.com. Sign up for her free newsletter The Superior Performance Report.