Staffing Tips in the New Economy

According to ERC’s most recent 2010 Economy & HR survey, the staffing landscape is expected to change this year, particularly in a positive light. Employers appear more inclined to hire or maintain their staffing levels in 2010.

A new study conducted by suggests that new trends have emerged in terms of what are the most important staffing objectives this year. According to the poll, candidate quality has emerged as the most important priority for 2010. But what does quality of hire mean? How do organizations select for quality of hire and measure quality? While each organization must define what success means for a given job and measure quality of hire according to these standards, here are a few common ways organizations measure quality of hire:

  • Surveying the hiring manager or supervisor (rating the hire on a scale)
  • Consulting performance reviews or other documented records of performance (critical incidents, write-ups, formal recognition, etc.)
  • Measuring worker productivity, error rates, and other objective measures of performance

Another important question is: how do organizations find quality hires, especially in the midst of the large number of job candidates available in the labor market? A robust staffing process can lead to better quality hires. Great workplaces that excel at hiring top talent tend to…

  • Use effective sourcing. What is deemed as effective sourcing depends on the organization. Some organizations find the most quality hires using social networking tools, while others using job boards or online career centers. Track the quality of hire (measured using any of the methods outlined above) you receive from each source to determine what sourcing works best for your organization.
  • Use a mix of selection tools. One of the most common ways workplaces select quality hires is by using a range of selection practices. Final selection decisions are most predominantly based on how well candidates’ do relative to an interview, resume/application, screening, validated assessment tools, and work samples/simulations. Typically, great workplaces use all of these selection tactics. The more selection tools used, the more comprehensive the entire picture of the applicant becomes and the more accurately you’ll be able to assess their true abilities and talents.
  • Consider the “soft stuff.” Most great workplaces place a heavy emphasis on how well the hire’s personality and style fit within the organization and team in which they will work. If you’re unsure of how an applicant’s personality or style will fit into your organization, consider having a professional assess your candidate with a validated assessment tool.

Perhaps your organization is considering rehiring laid-off employees. Among organizations that re-hire laid off employees, three primary reasons for doing so are stated: familiarity with the job, understanding of the organization’s culture, and minimizing the likelihood of a bad hire, as cited in a survey conducted by Right Management (2009), a Manpower company specializing in talent management. These are certainly added benefits of hiring laid off employees. Nonetheless, re-hiring laid off employees presents unique challenges to be considered including considering performance level prior to layoff, new job expectations, and what was communicated prior to the layoff (severance agreements, job security, etc.).

Regardless of whether your organization is hiring new or old this year, quality of hire will likely be of utmost concern in 2010 and it will be important to align your staffing processes with that which staffs the best possible talent.

Resources for Members

  • For sample policies and practices as well as expert guidance related to staffing, recruitment, selection, please contact
  • For information on selection assessment services provided by ERC, please contact
  • For online recruiting needs, please click here for more information on ERC’s partner,
  • For a variety of staffing needs including temporary and direct placement services, please click here for more information on ERC’s partner, Staffing Solutions Enterprises (SSE).
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