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Get off the bench – hiring is not a spectator sport

Hiring the right person for the right job matters more than ever in government because tight budgets are making resources scarce.

So how do you hire the best and the brightest on your first try? Tim McManus is the Vice President for Leadership and Education at the Partnership for Public Service.

He told Chris Dorobek on the DorobekINSIDER program that hiring correctly matters more now than ever before.

“With sequestration it is unlikely you will be able to hire for every person that’s leaving because you simply don’t have the budget for it. When you are not allowed to back-fill every single position you really need to make sure it counts,” said McManus.

Disconnect between managers and HR pros

“Oftentimes because hiring isn’t easy we hit the default button and really rely on the HR staff to do much of the work. But nobody knows the nature of the work that needs to be done better than the managers and supervising staff. So they’ve really got to play an active role in this process and not just sit on the sidelines. Hiring is not a spectator sport.

To hire right you should:

  • Focus on the skills and needs the position requires most. We have a tendency to pull out a position description from 5 years ago, blow the dust off and post it on a website. We don’t really take the step to say this is what we really need out of this position.
  • Talk to the folks that actually do the job. Use the staff as a resource. They know the networks and other potential good hires.

For more hiring advice you can check out Geoff Smart’s presentation at the Next Generation of Government Training Summit. Smart wrote the book, Who, that focuses on the proper methods of hiring.

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