How to Find Qualified Employees

How do businesses find qualified employees in today’s tight job market? In previous segments, we have discussed tips for employers on how to attract employees and job search tips. In my conversations with various local businesses they still say it is difficult to find qualified candidates. Qualified employees are key to a business running smoothly and efficiently.

Sports teams have playbooks, which is a collection of plays that can be called in each situation. When it comes to hiring employees, employers need to have playbooks. This will help weed out the candidates so that you will be successful in your search for qualified candidates.

For each position you a list of job-related tasks. Each task and trait will need a weight in percentage assigned to it. What you deem as the most important skill and so forth. This requires building a rubric for each position. You will find a sample rubric below.

Do not panic, building and customizing rubrics do not have to be complicated or long. They can be short but when you outline the tasks you need accomplished and tailor your questions to those tasks you will be better equipped to finding the right employee. You can find many sample rubric on line.  Every member of the interview panel should have a copy of the rubric and after the interview, you need to have debriefed together to go through your individual rankings.

Candidate Name:  ____________________    Position: ______________________

Interviewer Name: ____________________    Date:       ______________________


Candidate evaluation forms are to be completed by the interviewer to rank the candidate’s overall qualifications for the position to which he or she has applied. Under each heading, the interviewer should give the candidate a numerical rating and write specific job-related comments in the space provided. The numerical rating system is based on the following:

5 – Exceptional                 4 – Above Average           3 – Average         2 – Below Average   1 – Unsatisfactory  



     5                4               3              2              1

Educational Background: Does the candidate have the appropriate educational qualifications or training for this position?



Prior Work Experience: Has the candidate acquired similar skills or qualifications through past work experiences?



Technical Qualifications/Experience: Does the candidate have the technical skills necessary for this position?



Verbal Communication: Did the candidate demonstrate effective communication skills during the interview?



Candidate Enthusiasm: Did the candidate show enthusiasm for the position and the company?



Knowledge of Company: Did the candidate show evidence of having researched the company prior to the interview?



Teambuilding/Interpersonal Skills: Did the candidate demonstrate, through his or her answers, good teambuilding/interpersonal skills?




Initiative: Did the candidate demonstrate, through his or her answers, a high degree of initiative?



Time Management: Did the candidate demonstrate, through his or her answers, good time management skills?



Customer Service: Did the candidate demonstrate, through his or her answers, a high level of customer service skills/abilities?



Overall Impression and Recommendation: Final comments and recommendations for proceeding with the candidate.



I cannot emphasize enough the importance of customizing your questions specific to the job. For example, when I was hiring an event coordinator, I would ask questions related to the job such as: Tell me about the largest event you organized. What was a challenge you encountered and how did you solve it? For customer service or front reception, you can ask questions about how they handled a disgruntled caller. Do not be afraid to give them a real example and ask how they would themselves in this _____ situation.

Finally, if you are not getting qualified applicants you may want to consider the following:

  1. Rewrite the job description. Be specific about the advancement and incentives. Create an attractive culture with the description.
  2. Ask co-workers and employee if they have anyone, they would refer
  3. Post the job with your local Chamber
  4. Utilize social media.
  5. Contact the local college/university

In the book Good to Great, the author Jim Collins said: “People are not your most important asset. The Right people are”.

Cheryl Viola, MBA, Executive Director


Collins, Jim. Good to Great, 2001 pp13