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.


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

Get a copy of our new Hiring Tips book at Amazon.

Customer Loyalty or Company Loyalty?

Hiring Interview

Listen to the Hiring Tip Here

This is an interesting area to look into.

Let’s set the stage:

“Alice, you’re selling perfume (shoes, business cards, etc.) for us and we have a very straightforward refund policy: no refunds given after 15 days.

“You’ve got a pretty upset customer in front of you who has come in 25 days after the purchase wanting her money back.

“What do you do in this situation, Alice? Do you refund the customer her money or do you ensure company policy is followed?

Alice tells you she either holds the line on the company policy or goes ahead and gives the customer a refund.

If she gives the refund and violated company policy, what do we know about Alice? Do we like the fact that she thought on her feet and didn’t let a “rule” get in the way of unselfish service to the public? Or are we disappointed that she gave in to the customer’s demands and cost the company money that should not have been returned?

The flip side is Alice held the line and the customer is not given a refund. Are we proud of Alice for following company policy to the letter or do we wish she had more foresight about possible consequences. Not only do we likely lose future business from this customer, but using Yelp or other review sites, this upset customer could influence others not to step foot in the store.

What’s right and what’s wrong here is up to you. But it’s a nice insight into your applicant to know how they would handle this kind of thing.

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

Get a copy of our new Hiring Tips book at Amazon.

The Demanding Manager

Demanding Manager

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Most, if not all of us, have had the experience of working with a manager that was very demanding.

Let’s find out how our applicant handled this.

“Fred, tell me about a demanding manager that you worked with and how you dealt with it.”

If Fred mentions an instance of this but doesn’t go into any great detail, you may need to nudge it along some.

“I understand, Fred. Well, tell me a bit more how this manager was demanding. I’m not trying to get you to complain about an earlier work situation, I’m just interested in this kind of a work scenario.”

Fred will likely give more details and once you’re satisfied you’ve got a good picture of this manager, then ask Fred how he handled this.

Perhaps Fred’s manager was more than just demanding. Maybe he was also rude and disrespectful.

Did Fred just do whatever was needed of him and do so without any challenge or opposition? Or did Fred ask to sit down with his manager to discuss their relationship?

Did Fred appreciate having a good deal demanded of him or did Fred feel it was over the top? And what did he consider was “over the top?”

At some point Fred may ask you, “Are you asking me about my earlier experiences with demanding managers because that’s what I should expect here?”

You gotta love that question if Fred asks it.

Some of us are very tough on our staff, demanding they produce at very high levels. Some handle their staff with a light touch and believe they’ll get tremendous contributions using that approach.

Either way, finding out how your applicant dealt with a demanding manager could give you a good insight into how he may perform for you.

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

Get a copy of our new Hiring Tips book at Amazon.

The “We’d Like to Keep You Here” Interview

Applicant with parachute

Listen to the Hiring Tip Here

We’re all familiar with the hiring interview, the one that convinces us to hire Fred. His résumé and test scores were great, his previous employers spoke highly of him and the interview went exceptionally well.

After Fred’s been with you for six months, you realize he’s everything you thought he’d be when you first hired him. He not only performs at a very high level, he gets things done ahead of time and inspires the staff around him. You breath a huge sigh of relief knowing that Fred is a fabulous fit for your company.

Now it’s time for another interview. Let’s simply call this the “We’d Like to Keep You Here” interview.

You might have this three months after you’ve hired Fred or nine months in. When you conduct this interview is up to you. But, I’d recommend doing this before you sense Fred might be looking elsewhere.

You want to find out where Fred is at in relation to his job, his coworkers and the company itself.

Of course you may not want to start this interview off by telling Fred the name we coined here for the interview.

And maybe you find out what you need to know without conducting a formal interview. You could take Fred out to lunch and in that informal environment find out what you need to know.

So, what do you need to know? Here are a few items to cover:

What do you enjoy about working with us?

What do you find challenging?

What do you like the least about your job?

Are there any co-workers you are having difficulty with?

What would you like to see improved or changed here?

Are you thinking about going elsewhere and if so, I’m prepared to quadruple your pay right now!

Well, scratch that last one.

Here’s the thing. Some of us have great staff that just hang in there with us forever and a year. And sometimes a gem of an employee has an itch to move on.

If Fred has that itch, you may not be able to do anything to keep him with you, but if you’re pro-active, you just may.

The questions above are a starting point in this. You want Fred to know you appreciate him and you appreciate his input. Not just on the day-to-day things, but also for the long view.

Sometimes it can be little, irritating things that cause our Fred to move on. And Fred may consider it unprofessional to make these things known.

Or maybe Fred has an idea that he thinks would be incredible for the company but doesn’t want to be presumptuous and keeps it to himself.

But you’re going to be pro-active, right? You’re going to find out what’s on Fred’s mind: good, bad and indifferent. And with that information, you’ll figure out what to do.

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

Get a copy of our new Hiring Tips book at Amazon.

If I Called Your Boss Right Now, What Would He Tell Me?

employer on phone

Listen to the Hiring Tip Here

It’s an interesting situation.

Fred is applying for a job with you. You want to know how Fred performed at his previous job(s) so you contact his previous employer(s).

What do you find out?

Well, some employers are more than willing to tell you about Fred, how productive he was, how he got along with other employees, etc.

Other employers will tell you next to nothing, fearing some kind of legal action if they say the wrong thing.

But we’re not necessarily calling anyone right now. We simply want to know what Fred believes his previous employer would say.

When you ask Fred the question, he may think that you fully intend to call his previous boss. So Fred may give you a good idea of just what his previous boss may say.

Then again, Fred’s idea of how he performed at his previous job may differ greatly from how his employer viewed his performance.

Either way, it can be a good question to ask.

When Fred answers, dig to find out more and to find out why his boss felt a particular way about your applicant.

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

Get a copy of our new Hiring Tips book at Amazon.

How Long Do You Want To Work Here?

The Hiring Interview

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When someone applies for a fairly important position with you, do you want that person to be with you for many years?

Are you looking to hire that perfect or close to perfect individual that will grow with your company and 10, 15 years later is part of your “family,” someone you can completely rely upon?

Well, this is a great purpose to have for a new hire.

Of course we know that person is a real gem and may not show up tomorrow applying for a position with you.

And there’s another side to this coin.

What if the applicant just wants to work with your company for a year or two to be gainfully employed and acquire valuable experience?

Are you willing to consider this individual?

If you are, I recommend you discuss it as soon as possible in the interview. Not everyone comes to the hiring interview with long range goals in mind. In today’s economy and workplace a greater percentage of applicants likely do not.

If your applicant views his career with short term goals in mind, talk it through and, if you like everything else, you may have a great hire.

And who knows? Fifteen years later, your new staff member may still be with you…a tremendous asset and contributor.

At the very least, if the two of you have an understanding of how long you intend to be together, that can have a very positive effect right from the start.

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

Get a copy of our new Hiring Tips book at Amazon.