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. Look for the audio player and click the “play” button on the right. 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!

Hiring the Salesperson, Part Six

Car Salesperson

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

iTunes

In the previous Hiring the Salesperson tips, we covered preparation, motivation, prospecting, sales technique and closing.

In this tip, let’s discuss the salesperson who has sold something very different from what you’re selling.

Your candidate, Frank, has been selling cars for several years now and he’s gotten quite good at it. Does this mean Frank can sell other products besides cars?

Let’s find out.

“Frank, in speaking with your previous employer, it seems you’ve been quite successful at selling cars. As you know, the product we provide here is printed materials. Business cards, stationery, printed newsletters…that type of thing. Do you feel you’ll be able to switch gears and sell our products?”

“Of course,” Frank responds. “Selling is selling. If you can sell one thing, you can sell anything.”

“Well, actually Frank, that’s not what we’ve discovered here. In the last few years, a good number of salespeople have worked for us. Some of them have found it very difficult to sell our products. For one reason, a sale of our printed products does not produce as high of a commission as the sale of a car does.

“In other words, a great deal of printing has to be sold to make the same kind of commission one would get from selling just one car. Our salespeople will have to spend considerable time staying in touch with prospective clients. A lot of follow-up work is needed. It’s a very different operating basis than selling cars.

“What are your thoughts on this, Frank?”

And of course let Frank give you his answer.

“You’ll likely need to learn a completely different selling approach and technique here, Frank. Are you willing to do so?”

Watch Frank closely when he answers these questions.

If Frank winces a bit, then it’s possible he may be resistant to learning a new sales technique and he may also be resistant to having to work longer and harder to secure a sale.

His answers may say one thing, but his demeanor may tell you something different.

One of the key skills to the hiring interview is the ability to “read” your candidate. Is he telling you what you want to hear or is his ever-so-slight frown telling you he’s not so sure.

And maybe it’s not a frown, but a very perceptible pause when answering your question. As if he is considering his response instead of just giving it.

The salesperson who truly has no concerns about selling anything will have no problems with learning a new sales approach. He will not flinch if more work is needed to accomplish a sale.

Granted, your prospective salesperson might need to do “some math” to determine if he’ll make an adequate commission selling your products.

But the math is one thing. His attitude and belief in himself as a salesperson is quite another.

Keep a close eye on his responses and it will serve you well in making your decision.

Information in this post and on this site should not be construed as legal advice.

“Never Miss a Good Chance to Shut Up!”

7cf621a5-e4ae-4654-bfe5-039521671ce3

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

iTunes

“Never miss a good chance to shut up” is attributed to Will Rogers. Quoting from what looks like the official Will Rogers web site:

“Will Rogers was an Oklahoma Indian, a cowboy, an entertainer, a movie and Broadway star, a writer, a speaker, a comedian, a philosopher, and a world figure.”

He was born in 1879 and life at that time was likely a bit more “in-your-face,” but I believe the quote can also be applied to those giving hiring interviews.

How many times have you found yourself going on and on about your company and its purpose? Have you ever spent too much time talking about people who held the position previously who just didn’t pan out?

Yes, you want to make known what your company does and yes, you want to be clear about the importance of the position being offered.

But the hiring interview is an opportunity to find out about your prospect. The more time spent listening to your prospect, the more likely you’ll come out of the interview knowing whether to hire her or not.

You ask your candidate how she would handle a particular duty and before the person has finished telling you, you cut her off so you can tell her what you think is the best way to deal with it.

Your prospect is telling you about her previous training for the position and before she finishes, you jump in and say, “you do realize you’ll need to do some new training for our company, right?”

Sometimes you have to apply a bit of discipline to yourself during the hiring interview. And that discipline is simply not missing the chance to simply shut up!

Well, maybe I’d word it:

“Never miss a chance to be a better listener.” – Tweet this

And if you do become a better listener, you’ll find yourself making better hiring decisions.

Information in this post and on this site should not be construed as legal advice.

You’re Not Hiring The Résumé!

resume

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

iTunes

Of course this is something you know, but how often do we see a fabulous résumé and then omit doing a thorough interview as we believe we’ve got the right person?

Or worse, we conduct a hiring interview with the intention of ensuring this person gets hired. In other words, not just omitting to ask enough probing questions, we overlook a little something here and perhaps a not-so-little something there.

Again, the résumé is everything we want it to be. Even more. The person has more experience than anyone we’ve worked with at the position; the level of training is greater than required; fabulous recommendations; the list goes on and on.

So, I repeat:

You’re Not Hiring The Résumé!

Honestly, how often have we found ourselves captivated by a superb résumé, and then we find ourselves taking whatever steps necessary that end up in…

Hiring THAT résumé.

We must also determine if the person has the other important attributes. A great résumé with a not-so-great attitude or even a bad attitude will often end up being a problem for you.

Okay, I’ve made the point. I won’t pound it any further. Keep in mind you’re hiring someone in the flesh regardless of what it says on paper.

Information in this post and on this site should not be construed as legal advice.

Take Him For a Tour!

shutterstock_98943815

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

iTunes

Let’s say you’re hiring an Office Manager.

Fred has shown up for his interview and has Office Manager experience.

How do we know how experienced Fred is?

Well, we can take Fred for a tour of the office. Here’s how it could go:

You take Fred to the reception area and you say:

“Fred, we’ve received a few complaints in the last couple of weeks about the receptionist. How would you address this?”

Ideally you would not say this so the receptionist could hear you, unless you have indeed had those complaints and you’d like to see how Fred would handle this.

Fred then either tells you how he’d handle this or gets right in there and talks to the receptionist to sort things out.

Moving along, you head over to billing. You tell Fred:

“Billing revenues have been down for three weeks running, Fred. How would you handle this?”

And Fred tells you what he’d do.

The next stop on the tour is a room that has maybe 2 or 3 people in it. The room itself is somewhat disorganized. Perhaps a bit dirty. It’s just not an ideal work environment. It’s not super obvious, but it wouldn’t take a keen eye to see this.

You say:

“Fred, what do you notice about this room that is not optimum?”

And Fred responds. Hopefully for Fred, he’s able to see what is out of place or not optimum.

As I am sure you can imagine, there are quite a few ways you can employ this idea.

Taking the candidate for this type of tour will give you insights that you would not get with a routine interview.

Use it well!

Information in this post and on this site should not be construed as legal advice.

What Did You Do When You Didn’t Know What to Do?

Plastered Employee

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

iTunes

Most people have a pretty good idea of what’s expected of them. They’ve had some training for their position and ideally some apprenticing.

This tip could even include those who have had considerable training, for example health care professionals or software programmers.

The question is, “What did you do when you didn’t know what to do?”

The applicant may ask for clarification and you could say:

“When you ran into something that wasn’t covered in your training materials, how did you handle that?”

If you’re dealing with someone who is highly trained, you’re looking to see if the person sought out the information from respected sources or asked someone who was conveniently available or perhaps just “winged it.”

If your applicant is applying for a position for which there isn’t a great deal of training and who held this type of position before, what was this person’s usual method of handling these kinds of situations?

Did they ask someone next to them?

Did they ask their supervisor?

Did they ask the boss?

Did they decide on their own what was likely the best approach and then put that into action?

Of course there are many different types of situations a person encounters in a work day, and each situation can have a different approach.

Some of us will always ask someone else; some of us will always improvise on our own. And of course many of us will be somewhere in between.

It can be helpful to you to know if your applicant has a chosen method of dealing with these situations.

Information in this post and on this site should not be construed as legal advice.