Welcome To The Hiring Tips!

Hello and thank you for stopping by. I’m Stan Dubin, the Executive Director of The Employee Testing Center.

Our employee testing service has been helping companies make better hiring decisions for over ten years now. Whether you use our service or not, I decided a running collection of “Hiring Tips” would be helpful.

These tips address the full scope of hiring: employee motivation, skills, pay, testing, and evaluation. There are tips on what to ask, what not to ask and how to avoid dangerous hiring mistakes. There are 20 plus tips on hiring and the law that our readers have found very helpful.

Most of the tips now also include a podcast version. If you’d prefer to listen on your smart phone, iPod, etc., subscribe via iTunes.

All in all, we want you hiring better staff.

Enjoy!



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


Can You “Hear” Them Smile?

Phone Interview

Listen to the Hiring Tip Here

Before you sit down and interview an applicant in person, you (or one of your staff) speak to them over the phone, right?

What are you trying to determine at this point?

Besides a short interview which could end in an invitation to come and interview, there are some things you can discover by phone.

First and foremost, you are hoping they sound professional, right?

If music is blaring in the background, does he turn it down so the two of you can have a decent conversation?

And you’d like for them to be a bit prepared for your call. If they don’t recall what company you’re from even though you announced it at the beginning of the call, not a great sign.

How is your prospect’s manners? Does she let you complete your communication fully, or does she interrupt?

Is it a nice, smooth conversation from start to finish?

And last but not least, can you “hear” them smile?

I’m not making a mystical point here, folks. You know what I mean. Is the person bringing a bit of life to the conversation? And do YOU have a smile on your face at the end?

Pay attention to some of the above details in a phone conversation and your phone interviews will lead you to better prospects for the in-person interview.



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


What EXACTLY Does the Position Require?


Listen to the Hiring Tip Here

When we’re hiring for a specific position, whether it be an Office Manager, Collections Manager, Salesperson or Receptionist, we have a very good idea of what we’re looking for.

This tip is to take that “very good idea of what you’re looking for” and write down EXACTLY what you need.

For example, what exactly do you want a sales person to be and to be able to do. Again, I’m sure you have a very good idea of these things, but let’s list out some exact qualities.

You probably want your salespeople to be:

Persistent
Self starters
Very positive
Resourceful
Independent
Conscientious
Attentive to detail
Respectful
Friendly
Patient
Superb listeners
Passionate and compassionate
Excellent time managers
Able and willing to “pry”

So, that’s a pretty good list, right. And of course feel free to edit that list. Delete or add qualities as you see fit.

Now what do you do with this list of qualities you’ve put together for a given position?

You could look through the applicant’s résumé and see if any of these qualities are present.

When you speak to former employers, you could mention a few of the above qualities and ask to what degree were these present in his or her work.

And you could discuss each of these qualites directly with the applicant.

“Frank, I’m going to read off a few qualities that we consider vital for the position and I’d like you to tell me what each quality means to you, how you’ve applied them in the past and how you see yourself applying them here.”

And off you go. That should get you some good insights, right?

Build a very specific list of qualities for each of your key positions and keep them in a folder. When it’s time to hire for any of the positions, bring out the list and do your due diligence and do your best to hire someone who has most if not all of the qualities you want.

As I said, we all have a very good idea of what we’re looking for. Get a bit more organized on this point, a bit more exacting, and see if this produces a better quality hire.

I have a suspicion it will.



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


How Do They Treat Other People?

Listen to the Hiring Tip Here

How will your prospective employee treat your customers and other staff?

Will they be friendly, helpful and appreciative?

Or will they be tactless, dispassionate and cynical?

And how can you tell ahead of time?

Well, one can test for personality traits. Our 200 question test will get you past the usual social responses and give you unexpected insights into your prospect’s personality.

So of course I recommend using our test.

But what else can you do?

You could take your applicant around the office or store and introduce him to a few of the staff. Let your staff know ahead of time that you might be doing this and ask them to take a minute or two and “engage” — ask a few questions, maybe even be a bit disarming.

One example might be an employee looking startled that the person is interested in a job there and asking, “Are you sure you want to work here? The boss is a decent chap, but the pay and perks aren’t so great.” Maybe this gets said within earshot of the boss, or maybe not.

A disarming question or two may reveal something about your applicant that you might not otherwise see.

While you’re walking around, observe how your applicant deals with each person they come into contact with, not just your staff. If you use the elevator, does he hold the door open for others; does he acknowledge the existence of the doorman; the receptionist?

Maybe you go out for a coffee — how does he treat the barista?

Whatever interaction you can observe, take it all in and evaluate.

And remember our motto:

The more you know about someone BEFORE you hire them, the better your hiring decision will be.



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


How Fanatical Should You Be About Hiring The Right People?

Listen to the Hiring Tip Here

I’ve written over 150 hiring tips and almost all of them offer advice on “how to” hire someone.

This tip will be a bit different. It will focus more on your viewpoint of hiring.

I realize I’ll be preaching to the choir with many of you, but, well, I enjoy a little preaching here and there.

First, let me read a few quotes from a few CEOs.

From Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks,

“We employ 200,000 people. So I can make the case – and I have for years – that the most important discipline at Starbucks is human resources.”

Kevin Ryan, CEO of Double-Click, a Google subsidiary, realized this about hiring:

“I used to think business was 50 percent having the right people. Now I think it’s 80 percent. The best way to be productive is to have a great team. So I spend more time than most CEOs on human resources.” 

This next one is from Lee Iaccoca, famous for steering Chrysler Automotive away from bankruptcy and into record profits:

“I hire people brighter than me and then I get out of their way!”

And last but not least, the late Steve Jobs had this view of the importance of hiring:

“I have participated in the hiring of maybe 5,000-plus people in my life. So I take it very seriously.”

Now I understand these quotes are from CEOs of large companies and a good number of you run much smaller businesses.

But, on any scale, just how important is hiring the right person?

I’m thinking 99 out of a 100 of you will say, “It’s very important.”

But for many of us, it’s also a juggling match.

How much time do we spend trying to find the right person juggled with filling the position that needs filling and hoping for the right person the next time.

I know from speaking to many business owners, that part of that thought process includes:

“Is the right person really out there?”

So a fair (or even a large) amount of compromise occurs.

I understand. It’s not easy. And it can be frustrating to cast a net out there and what comes back is not what you really need and want.

So, what to do?

Well, you’re certainly familiar with the following slogans:

– You’ve got to have the right attitude.

– If you have the right frame of mind, anything’s possible.

– Success comes to those who believe.

And there are many others like those.

Now, I’m not here to give you airy-fairy advice, but I do believe if you have a fairly strong conviction to hire the right person AND that that individual IS out there, you have a much better chance of making that happen.

If your conviction along this line has taken a number of “hits” and you’ve accumulated too many losses on wanting, but not getting the right person, then I have this advice for you:

Change your mind.

That’s the one thing ALL of us are extremely capable of doing.

Change your mind.

In a completely new and fresh unit of time, put the correct emphasis on hiring the right person and develop a clean viewpoint that this person IS out there and IS eager to be a part of your team.

As my Jewish mom used to say — when offering chicken soup as the cure for just about anything — “Well, it couldn’t hurt.”

…and, when it comes to hiring, it just might help.

So, feel free to change your mind and determine the right people are out there for you.



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


Have Them Turn The Tables On You

hiring interview

Listen to the Hiring Tip Here

In many cases, anywhere from 90 to 100% of the hiring interview focuses on asking the applicant questions.

The good interviewers will allow the applicant to ask a few questions as well.

But what if we turned the tables here and insisted the applicant ask a lot of questions.

“Robert, I’ve asked you a number of questions here and I appreciate your answers. Now, I’d like you to ask me three questions. Anything you like.”

Or you could make that five questions you want from the applicant.

I realize it’s a bit of an arbitrary number — three or five or really any other number — but the idea here is to get Robert to ask away. And giving him a specified number of questions should help.

Why are we making this request — or some might say, this demand — on Robert?

Well, what Robert asks could be very revealing.

It could tell us how much homework Robert did on your company. Did he do a superficial study or did he really dig in?

It could tell us how willing Robert is to be candid right up front. If he asks about the contents of your vending machine, that’s not quite the same as asking if you feel your company is fulfilling its purpose in the community.

Robert’s questions might also tell you how long Robert envisions being a part of your company.

One of the key reasons, if not the key reason, for the hiring interview is to gain real insights into your applicant.

How many times have you interviewed someone and felt you had a good grasp on how they were going to work out…and then a short time down the road, this person was no longer with you?

Well, asking your applicant to turn the tables on you could be one good way of gaining these important insights.

Let’s just give the applicant a nice push to ask away.



To see how our employee test can help you bring better people on board watch this three minute video.



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


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