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Hiring process frustrating, aggravating, a crapshoot



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June 23, 2010 | 07:21 AM
I love almost every part of my job as editor — the variety, creativity, flexibility and people.

But, there's one aspect I don't like and I would guess managers in other jobs and careers would agree.

The interviewing and hiring process can be the most difficult, irritating and frustrating part of being a manager.

Every year or so, we need to hire an editorial staff member after one moves on to bigger and better things.

With the departure of reporter Jerica Harvey, who for just more than a year did a solid job covering Williams Bay, Walworth County and Lyons and Springfield, here we are again.

It seems as if we just went through the process to hire her and now we have to start over.

Immediately after receiving Jerica's two-week notice, I wrote the employment ad and it was posted on the Wisconsin Newspaper Association website. That was the easy part.

Since then, e-mail letters, resumes and writing samples have rolled in. That means the fateful and hated interview process is right around the corner.

It's difficult to admit, but there's one reason why I dislike the interview process. I've been tricked by a few candidates in the past as to their ability and desire to perform the job for which they were applying.

As an experienced reporter, I always have believed I possess the skill to determine whether someone is not telling the truth or being only somewhat truthful. Apparently, that "lie detector" doesn't work when it comes to hiring people.

Since becoming editor and leading the hiring process, I've left interviews believing in my heart that we had found the absolute perfect person for a job in our editorial department. I was thrilled to offer them the positions and get them started, only to realize they weren't at all what they advertised during the interview process.

During the interview process, they claimed to be hard working and motivated self-starters, showed pleasant personalities, seemed like intelligent quick learners and appeared to want to improve in their craft as reporters and writers. It turned out some of the people we hired had none of those characteristics. I have so often questioned how or why I didn't see the truth.

I often feel as though I should have a better handle on this aspect of being editor than I do, and that makes the whole situation much worse.

These disappointments and failures as a manager have led to the sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach every time I think of interviewing a prospective candidate for a job at the Regional News. Toss in already existing questions about the work ethic, desire and abilities of the candidates in their 20s and it seems as if hiring a new employee is like a crapshoot. The only problem is, this is not supposed to be a game of chance.

I can only assume these feelings and opinions aren't rare. Managers in all careers and in all businesses struggle with the same issues when hiring new personnel. At least I hope we're not the only company that has these same problems.

Each time we go through a hiring process, I hope to gain a better grasp on it and improve how the entire situation is handled.

Once again, I will take what was learned during previous hiring processes and use that knowledge in this upcoming effort.

But, that doesn't make the entire process any less frustrating or aggravating.

Did I tell you that I'm starting to feel sick again just thinking about it?

Seiser is the editor of the

Regional News.

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