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.

The “You’re Not Qualified” Approach

Hire Me Sign

Listen to the Hiring Tip Here

Now this is probably more of a “trick” than an approach, but I read about this being used in a job interview and I can see how it could be effective.

Let’s set the scene.

You have someone in front of you that you believe IS qualified for the position. After you finish your interview, you sit back in your chair, sigh, and say, “Well, Alice, I do appreciate you taking the time to come in today, but it appears you are very unqualified for this position.”

And then you say nothing and wait for Alice to respond.

If Alice buckles and simply agrees, well, you’ve detected a lack of confidence on her part.

But she may protest and say, “With all due respect, I believe I’m more than qualified for the position.”

At which point, of course, you smile broadly and tell her you agree and that you were just kidding.

Yes, it’s a bit on the mean side, but you’ll definitely gain an insight into how confident your applicant is.

What if Alice frowns and says, “thank you for your time. I guess I’ll get going.”

Well, you’ve got two choices there. If you really like the candidate and the hit on her confidence didn’t bother you, you could blurt out that you were just kidding.

However, if her level of confidence was a deciding factor, then of course move on to your next applicant.

If you do hire Alice, she may think you’re a bit of an oddball for running an interview in that way, but hey, it’s your interview and it’s up to you to find out as much as you can about future performance.

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.

Projects Instead of Résumés?

Burning Resumes!

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In listening to a podcast recently, I heard of an interesting approach to hiring.

Instead of concentrating on the person’s résumé, ask for the projects that she’s completed.

Of course you do need to look at the résumé to see where your applicant has worked, for how long and what their skills are. And résumés can tell you other things about your candidate that you often want to know.

We can all agree a résumé is important and it can tell us a great deal. So, what’s the deal with asking about projects? What can that tell us?

Well, first of all, it puts an emphasis on production. And when I say production, I don’t mean being busy or doing things.

Production to me has a very specific meaning. It means completing some activity that results in an item or service that is exchangeable with someone else.

Obviously a manufactured car is a product. And so is a manufactured steering wheel for that car. A repaired flat tire is also a completed activity that is exchangeable. A visit to the dentist can result in a cavity filled and the patient—who was in pain and now is free of that pain—gladly pays for this completed service.

Production of course also occurs internally within a business. The receptionist in a friendly and competent manner gets a new person through signing in, filling out fully the necessary forms and moving the person onto the next step. That’s production for the receptionist.

It is also production when the customer service rep at Arnold’s Carpet Cleaning fully handles the customer’s concerns and the customer is happy to continue being a customer. It’s even higher quality production when the customer tells others how great their service was at Arnold’s Carpet Cleaning.

So where is this all going? Well, a project is a concentrated effort to pull off a certain quantity and quality of production.

It could be a one-man project or it could be a project involving many people with different skills.

Virtually every project has a specific purpose to produce something of value. Valuable internally to the business or valuable externally where the business receives some form of exchange.

If your candidate can tell you about different projects that 1) he worked on and 2) more importantly, he completed, you’ll likely find out a good deal about him.

Ask him to describe the purpose of the project, what his role was, how long it took, how did the project generate an exchange, these kinds of things. Was he happy with the outcome? Would he have done something differently if he were in charge?

Going back to the podcast I mentioned in the beginning, the speaker thought that projects should replace résumés in the hiring process.

I wouldn’t go that far. I would simply say add this area of discovery to résumés, and you’ll get a broader picture of how your candidate will perform.

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.

Would She Give Away 300 Loaves of Bread?

Loaves of Bread

Listen to the Hiring Tip Here

I can’t recall the name of the bakery, but from what I understand, they make fabulous bread.

This bakery was hired to provide the bread for a wedding party of 300 people. Something happened and the bread did not arrive. It wasn’t the end of the world, but it was a disappointment to the folks in charge of the wedding.

They reported it to the person manning the phone at the bakery. This individual was not the owner nor was he someone in a management position. But he did understand that the bakery had not made their delivery to this wedding and that he needed to do something about it.

What did he do? Well, the subject of this tip does kind of give it away.

He shipped one loaf of bread to each of the 300 wedding attendees. And he did this without consulting management.

So, if you’ve been following these tips for any length of time, you know what comes next.

Tell the above story to your applicant and ask her if she would do the same.

Your applicant may think that you love the idea that the person acted independently to ship out a loaf of bread to 300 people.

Or she may think that was an outrageous thing to do without consulting with someone higher up, maybe even the boss.

Either way, your applicant’s answer and her further explanation is a nice insight into how she thinks and might act down the road.

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.