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As we approach Spring and the better weather, (one can hope), I thought I would go back to basics and remind you of the essential facts when recruiting new employees.  

If there is one thing I have learnt repeatedly during my twenty plus years of HR Management it is this:

You can successfully train someone if they can show they have the capability and competence, BUT it is far more difficult and maybe even impossible, to change ATTITUDE and create HONESTY and INTEGRITY.

These traits are fundamental in successful Leaders and successful Companies and in my opinion, equally important in all employees, irrespective of their status or position. We all know how internal politics and hidden agendas are unproductive, negative and a great time waster and morale destroyer.

I also believe there are three key behavioural traits for success – INTEGRITY, INTELLIGENCE and ENERGY. IF you don’t have the first one, the other two may well destroy your business culture and restrict your opportunity for success…....

People lacking honesty and integrity will often ‘play the game’ and drain your resources in this unproductive manner.  IF you can master the art of not recruiting them in the first place, you can reduce the frequency of your office politics.   You can then use someone like me to consistently manage the existing employees out of your business - Not easy, But not impossible with the right approach and perseverance…..

So, what is Integrity?

A dictionary definition would be honesty, trustworthiness and wholeness.  But for us in the employment world it is more about doing the right thing, even when no one is looking and the choice is not easy.  Integrity is about being true to yourself and your word.  IF, as a Company you can ensure you have this integrity displayed by you and your Managers, you can develop a culture where these key values of honesty and integrity develop and grow, so you can recruit like-minded employees with no hidden agendas or office politics.

Now, please note, I am not saying this is easy and can be accomplished overnight, far from it…..  However, if you agree with my beliefs, you can begin to make a difference to your values, culture and success of your Company.

Below are some example interview questions which can be incorporated into your interview technique to help assess an applicant’s integrity and honesty.  I hope you find them useful.

Interview questions

  • People with high integrity and trust adhere to high ethical and moral principles and consistently apply those principles to their circumstances. Describe several very challenging situations that demonstrate your capability in this area.
  • HR Evaluation ImageKeeping confidences can be difficult at times, especially when it can be to our own personal detriment to do so. Describe a similar situation in which you were involved.
  • Sometimes, we are pressured to compromise our personal value systems. Describe the most difficult situation when that happened to you.
  • Integrity and trust sometimes involves admitting our shortcomings and mistakes or doing something that is unpopular with others. Share a similar situation in which you found yourself.

Further tips and advice

  • People don't want to look bad in an interview and will very naturally put their best foot forward. An effective interviewer makes the interviewee feel at ease in giving what potentially could be negative information about themselves.
  • Think about providing a rationale for talking about poor or unethical behaviour prior to asking a question. For example, "Everyone in an organisation breaks the rules sometime. Can you tell me about some times when you've broken the rules?" With the opening phrase, you, as the interviewer are giving an excuse to the interviewee up-front to offer an example of negative behaviour.
  • Do not take notes on these negative behaviours whilst the applicant is talking. If you begin to write, the applicant may not continue to open up or give additional, meaningful examples.  Instead, concentrate on remembering what they are saying in terms of negative behavior and then, when the subject has changed and is more positive, you can make your salient notes.

As always, remember the purpose of the interview -  to determine whether the applicant being interviewed is the right match for your vacant position, the department in which it falls and your company culture.

Finally, remember you only have a certain amount of time available for the interview, so ensure all your preparation is completed beforehand.  Before the interview you should have enough information to be able to write a career brief on the applicant.  Such preparation will allow you to focus on any potential weak areas as well as focusing on their personality and potential abilities, relevant experience and developmental areas.

IF the interview has been successful, you should be able to answer these three crucial questions:

  1. Is the candidate able to do the job?
  2. Is the candidate willing to do the job?
  3. Is the candidate going to be manageable?

If the answer is YES, I think you will have your answer………!!!!

Julie Page, an experienced HR & Training Specialist, works with companies of all sizes to ensure they utilise Employment Legislation, Best Practice and their own Aims and Objectives to maximise their Business Potential through their Staff. 

To find out more about the contents of this Newsletter or ways in which Julie can work with you for your HR and staffing requirements, please contact her on 07776 135350 or through this website for an initial discussion and free consultation.

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