Now that we have covered the seven fundamental building blocks of an effective organization, we turned
to the problem of staffing the organization with the right people, doing the right things, in the right places.
What is important to know about staffing the organization is that common sense will lead you the wrong
direction--you will be tempted to hire people who are like you, who appear highly motivated, or who "fit"
with the team. But before you select people on this basis, you need to know whether applicants have the
underlying knowledges, skill and abilities (KSAs) to perform the job. First select people on the basis of
their KSAs so you know you have people who CAN do the job, then select them on other factors like "fit"
or how much you like them. Doing this in reverse (choosing people you like or on the basis of their "fit")
first will produce candidates who aren't the most qualified (and may not be qualified at all). This is
because you have selected people on a basis that has nothing to do with qualifications---and you have
rejected people who are qualified. It is like selecting people randomly and then seeing which of those
people have the most qualifications (KSAs)--always a suboptimal approach. Better to select people first
on KSAs, qualities that will lead to high performance on the job, and then select people you like.
However, as we will see Wednesday, people you like better not lead to selecting only people of a certain
race, ethnicity, gender, age, etc., which would be discriminatory and therefore, unlawful.
The secret to effective selection (hiring) is prediction. You select people who have the highest predicted
performance on the job. KSAs--because they are, by definition, related to job performance--are the key to
identifying the best hires because people with those KSAs will be your best performers.
Selection starts with recruitment. Recruitment means looking for candidates who have the KSAs for the
job and then attracting them to your organization. Before you know who you are looking for, you need to
know what the job is and what it takes to be successful in that job. This is what you find out from a job
analysis. The job analysis produces two outcomes: a job description, which describes all of the tasks and
activities that people perform in that job, and job specifications, qualifications for the job or in other words,
the KSAs. You can do a job analysis yourself (as I do in my consulting work) or you can look up