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.


What Was Your Greatest Achievement?

Achievement

Listen to the Hiring Tip Here

Here’s an interesting question to ask an applicant:

“Alice, what was your greatest achievement at each of your last three jobs?”

I recommend you take notes on this one. Write down what the job was and the achievement for each.

Keep your antenna up for the two key pronouns: “I” and “we.” If Alice uses “we” more often than “I” — that’s a good sign that Alice respects the value of teamwork.

You can pursue this line of questioning a bit further with this:

“Alice, if we asked your previous supervisors about each of these achievements, what would he or she tell us?”

After an answer to that question, which should have three answers—one for each job—then ask the following:

“Would it be okay with you if we called each of these individuals to verify this?”

When you ask this last question, keep a close eye on Alice’s reaction. If she is uncomfortable with her answer, that’s not a good indicator. If she says “Yes” with confidence, this will mean one of two things:

1) She was prepared for the question and is doing her best to be convincing.

2) She really is confident that each person will give a stellar report of her.

Yes, I realize it’s a bit cynical on my part to question the candidate’s sincerity on this, but I have a strong view on this:

Making good hiring decisions is vital to the health of every business. If it means asking a few tough follow-up questions to ensure we get the real scoop, so be it.



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.


A New Spin on Checking References

Hiring the Right People

Listen to the Hiring Tip Here

Well, maybe it’s not a new spin, but it’s an approach that more businesses are taking now.

When you review a candidate’s résumé, you’ll see the different companies she’s worked for and the different positions she’s held.

A good number of us will call a few of those companies and get some feedback from one or more of the following:

  • The owner of the company if it’s a fairly small business
  • The person’s supervisor or manager at the previous company
  • Someone in Human Resources who may or may not provide very much information

But there’s another option here.

Interview a few of your candidates previous co-workers.

This could be a fertile area for information.

How do you locate the names of previous co-workers? There are several ways to go about this:

  • You could ask the candidate directly. This, however, might only get you a few close friends of the candidate who may give a glowing report despite the actual scene
  • You could ask the candidate’s previous supervisor or manager if he wouldn’t mind giving you a couple of names of co-workers so that you could ask a couple of questions
  • You could ask someone in HR
  • And you could ask the owner

However you manage it, you’ll likely have a few people to call.

How should this interview go?

You could start off with: “Hello Alice, a co-worker of yours, John Magillacutty is applying for a job here at Acme Enterprises. Would you mind answering a couple of questions about him?”

I would think more times than not, Alice will be willing to speak with you.

Here are few possible questions to ask:

“What were your observations of John’s performance?

“What was your least favorite thing about working with John?

“What do you feel is John’s best attribute?”

If your candidate needs hard skills, e.g. computer programming or transmission repair, you could ask specific questions about their skills.

Yes, it’s possible you might run into a co-worker here and there who might have sour grapes regarding your candidate and that can taint what they tell you.

But it’s all data for you to take in and evaluate.

You may get some very compelling insights from these interviews. On the positive side and on the negative side. Either way, you’re doing more due diligence and that can’t hurt.



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 SHOW You How

hiring the right people

Listen to the Hiring Tip Here

I wrote an earlier hiring tip that recommended you ask very specific questions so that you can get an idea of how someone would handle different situations.

In two other tips, I suggested you take your applicant for a tour and the benefits of having your prospect “audition” for the job.

Last but not least, Devora Lindeman, an attorney specializing in employment law, wrote a hiring tip to answer the question:

Do I Pay for a “Working Interview?”

If you haven’t read those tips yet, I recommend giving them a read.

Now I’d like to make another suggestion that will help you understand your applicant’s potential.

It’s one thing to ask your prospect how he or she would handle a particular situation.

It’s another to have them SHOW you how they would do this.

Here’s an example:

Alice is applying for the Office Manager position. You could ask Alice to tell you how she would handle an employee who consistently criticizes other employees

or…

You could ask Alice to show you right there on the spot how she would do that.

“Alice, let’s say I’m an employee that always seems to be criticizing other employees. I never have a good word to say about anyone. I even make nasty comments about the boss from time to time. I’ll be that employee and I’d like you to show me how you’d deal with that.”

And then let Alice show you how she would handle that very interesting situation.

Here’s another example:

Bob is applying for the Collections position. It could go like this:

“Bob, I’ve got this outstanding bill here for Mary Smith. It’s well over 90 days overdue. I’m going to be Mary and I’d like to drill a phone session in which you call me and discuss my bill with me.”

And now we see how Bob would deal with that.

The examples, as you can imagine, are limitless. The key here is to have your applicant SHOW you how he or she would handle something.

The more you observe how your prospect will do things, the more likely you’ll make the right hiring decision.



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.


Are You Doing Just One Interview?

hiring the right person

Listen to the Hiring Tip Here

You’ve done a bit of pre-screening with Alice, and now you’re ready to sit down and do your key interview with her.

During the interview, you’re going to dig in some on Alice’s résumé.

You’re going to ask her a variety of questions that you hope will give you an idea of how she will perform.

You’ve also administered our three tests: The Personnel Potential Analysis Test, the IQ Test and the Aptitude Test. And she’s tested out pretty well.

So, you’ve got enough information to make a decision, right?

Well, you certainly may.

But I have a few questions I’d like to ask you here:

How certain are you that she’s going to do the job that you expect her to do?

Do you have any doubts about how she’s going to get along with your existing staff?

Will she fit in with your company culture?

Basically I’m asking you if you’re really certain you’ve got the right person.

Because if you have any lingering doubts, NOW is the time to do something about them, not several weeks or months down the road.

So, if you’re not quite there with a solid decision, do a second interview with Alice. And a third if necessary.

Have a trusted staff member do the second interview with Alice and get a different perspective on her. After that interview, share notes with your trusted staff member and see what new information has come up.

Yes, I realize that you can be incredibly thorough in every facet of the hiring process and still hire someone who doesn’t work out.

And I also realize some of us just need to get someone in there as soon as possible, that the unfilled position is causing all kinds of problems. Or the position is currently held by someone who is bringing more harm than benefit to the company.

I do understand that sometimes speed is of the essence.

My basic statement here is this:

If the position is important, then it’s important to take the time to get it right. If that means doing multiple interviews, then so be it.

How many times have you hired the wrong person and spent all kinds of time dealing with that plus going through the process again of finding the right person?

No need to answer that.



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.


Confidence With a Healthy Dose of Humility

Confident Staff

Listen to the Hiring Tip Here

When a hard fought football game is over and the winning coach is interviewed, what do we want to hear?

Do we want to hear the coach go on and on about how great his team is, how smart the coaching staff is, and that we just might be watching a team of destiny?

Or would we prefer to hear something along these lines:

“Well, we came here well-prepared and we were confident we could win this game. But I’ve got to give it to the (other team), they fought hard and the game was up for grabs at the end. I’m proud that my guys hung in there and pulled it out.”

When a skilled and confident employee takes too much (or all) of the credit for accomplishing something that was a team effort, we know what happens. The other employees feel slighted. This might mean nothing, and everybody just moves on. But it also may have an effect on their willingness to work with this supremely confident individual who lacks humility.

Yes, we want very confident staff. In every way, confidence is a positive quality. But confidence without any humility can rub people the wrong way. The effect it has on other staff may not be visible. You just see an overall lessening of production in a particular area, without knowing the direct cause of the lowered production.

By all means, look for confidence in the interview. But also keep a close eye out for a bit of humility. If your applicant uses the word “I” without ever using the word “we” that could be a signal. Of course, it does depend on the type of questions you’re asking.

Here’s the key takeaway from this tip: if you’re keen on your applicant having a bit of humility to go along with all of that confidence, you’ll notice it in the interview.

I think it’s worth looking for.



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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