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!



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

Hiring Tips From the Folks at Google #3

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This is the last in a three part series regarding hiring advice given by two former Google execs.

So, let’s get right to it.

Do hire people who are well rounded, with unique interests and talents.

Don’t hire people who live only to work.

I think “unique interests and talents” may be a stretch for some of us. If candidate A is very trainable and has a great attitude, then unique interests and talents may not be essential.

And the person who lives only to work? If our applicant is young and wishes to put everything into his work for a good chunk of time, who are we to argue?

Very long term, yes let’s get someone more well rounded.

Do hire people who are ethical and who communicate openly.

Don’t hire people who are political and manipulative.

This one is a serious no brainer. The more ethical your employee is, the more willing he is to communicate, the better results you’re going to see from Day One.

And of course you do not want employees who are going to manipulate their way around the workplace and into better positions.

Do hire only when you’ve found a great candidate.

Don’t settle for anything less.

We discussed this to some degree in the last tip. Google, with its incredibly deep pockets, can hang in there for the great candidate.

The rest of us? Maybe yes, but sometimes we’ve got to pull the trigger on people that are not ideal because, well, someone’s got to stock the shelves and somebody’s got to answer the phones.

It’s interesting to see how these former Google execs view the hiring process. Some of their advice is spot on and some needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

Either way, good hiring to you!



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

Hiring Tips From the Folks at Google #2

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This is second in a series of three tips, in which we discuss hiring advice given by former Google execs.

Here’s the first set:

Do hire people who are enthusiastic, self-motivated, and passionate.

Don’t hire people who just want a job.”

Good advice, but it begs the question: can every position at your company be filled with an enthusiastic, self-motivated and passionate individual? How self-motivated does the fellow stocking the shelves need to be? Does he need to be passionate about those items he’s taking from a box and placing on a shelf?

I’m not trying to be sarcastic here. It’s a decent question. Especially when many business owners tell me that a large number of applicants are NOT very motivated at all, with many of them just needing a job.

My advice is to hold out for the best qualities for every position at your company. That’s not always practical, but you certainly won’t get what you want if you don’t, well, want it enough.

Let’s move on to the next hiring advice from the folks at Google:

Do hire people who inspire and work well with others.

Don’t hire people who prefer to work alone.”

You definitely want to hire people who work well with others. You could have a very skilled individual who continually rubs the other staff the wrong way. Eventually you find yourself in a “juggling act” of whether his adverse effects on the workplace outweigh his positive contributions.

Someone prefers to work alone? Well, that’s not the most social characteristic, but maybe she’s a phenomenal producer and, if allowed to work on her own, will give you what you need and maybe then some.

But, generally speaking, I’d be concerned about someone who doesn’t want to work with others.

And finally:

Do hire people who will grow with your team and with the company.

Don’t hire people with narrow skill sets or interests.”

This last tip deals with a problem I see coming up more and more these days. New hires that only want the job for a short spell. Maybe 6 months. Maybe 2-3 years. But no long term ambitions and no compelling interest to “grow” with the company.

Again, do your best to hold out for someone who does have a long term view of his employment with you.

All in all, hiring can be a tough proposition. You want the very best, but you’re not sure the very best are going to show up. You’re not sure you can even afford to bring on the very best if they do apply.

So, there’s going to be compromise. As the weeks and months move along, I would recommend steering that compromise more and more towards getting the best.

Keep your eye on the mountain!



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

Hiring Tips from the Folks at Google #1

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Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google, and Jonathan Rosenberg, a former Senior Vice President at Google, teamed up to write “How Google Works.”

In this book are nine sets of “dos” and “don’ts” when making hiring decisions.

Let’s look at the first three “dos” and “don’ts” with a bit of commentary from yours truly:

“Do hire people who are smarter and more knowledgeable than you are.

“Don’t hire people you can’t learn from or be challenged by.”

Now that’s an interesting bit of advice. Would you be afraid of being surrounded by people who are smarter than you?

Would you prefer to have employees you could simply give orders and directions to and have them follow them?

If that’s the case, maybe you take this one slowly but surely and hire one person who will challenge you. You may find that sufficiently invigorating that you’ll hire another and another like that!

Okay, moving on to the next set of  “dos” and “don’ts”:

“Do hire people who will add value to the product and our culture.

“Don’t hire people who won’t contribute well to both.”

How could you know if the person siting in front of you will add value to your product and culture?

Well, one simple way is to ask point blank, “Fred, you know what we do here, how could you add to the product itself and to our culture?”

Another way you could determine this—shameless plug alert—is to use our employee testing service. Our 200 question test will definitely let you know if your candidate is capable of this kind of contribution. And just as, if not more importantly, the test will let you know who will take steps to poison your culture. Yes, they are out there.

Here’s a link to watch our short video that explains our testing service: WhyTesting.com

And the last set of  “dos” and “don’ts”:

“Do hire people who will get things done.

“Don’t hire people who think only about problems.”

Probably the best way to determine this is to hire someone for a short stint with you. A conditional hire for a few days or a couple of weeks should give you an idea if your candidate is oriented towards getting things done or is a problem sponge.

I just made that up—problem sponge—but I bet you’ve had a few of those working for you before.

In the next two Hiring Tips we’ll take up the other  “dos” and “don’ts” from the folks at Google.



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

What Does Your Candidate Want to Be?

Beautiful thinking business woman isolated white background

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This reminds me of the age old question asked to someone much, much younger:

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Worded of course a bit differently, this type of question could be very productive in the hiring interview.

You’ve got Alice in front of you and it could go like this:

“Alice, what can you tell me about what we do here?”

Alice has done her homework and she gives a good report.

“That’s great, Alice. We appreciate people gaining a familiarity with us before they come to interview. And, as you know, the position that’s open at this time is Billings and Collections. How do you feel about this position?”

Alice asks for some clarification.

“Well, is the Billings and Collections position something you have a great deal of affinity for?”

Alice responds:

“Oh I understand the question now. Well, yes, I am trained for the position and I’ve held it successfully for six years.”

“Yes, Alice, that sounds great. But is it a position that you desire to hold for many more years to come?”

Alice doesn’t answer right away.

“Let me ask it another way. If you could hold any position here that you wanted, what would that be? If there were no considerations about training or even compensation, what would you want to be here?”

Alice thinks that over and finally says:

“Well, I’ve always wanted to be an Office Manager.”

And there you go. You found out what Alice would really like to be.

What does that mean to you right now, when the only open position is Billings and Collections?

Well, it gives you an idea of who just might be a good Office Manager candidate down the road. Especially if Alice does a very good job with the Billings and Collections position.

What someone wants to BE is no small matter. People will spend considerable personal energy to overcome a variety of challenges to achieve along this line.

You could even go so far as to ask Alice what position would she like to hold inside or outside of your company. You may not have such a position in your company, but it may be something Alice really aspires to.

What would you like to be?

A most interesting question to ask.

Be prepared for new and different insights into your candidates.



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

The Hiring Revolving Door

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This is going to be a self-promoting tip, but I believe a valuable one nonetheless.

Many of us are experiencing a revolving door when it comes to hiring new people. We read through the résumés, we conduct what we consider are reasonably thorough interviews and we may even check some references.

Then we hire Sally or Fred.

Sally quits in a few weeks and we have to let Fred go because he’s just not cutting it.

Both Sally and Fred seemed pretty good back when we were reading over their résumés and interviewing them. Now they don’t quite seem like the people we interviewed.

It happens.

For some of us, it happens a lot.

I have written and recorded in podcast form over 100 Hiring Tips. The vast majority of these tips focus on ways you can penetrate the “canned” or practiced responses and the polished résumé.

I spent this much time writing and recording these tips because of our company’s basic premise:

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

So, with that in mind, here comes the self-promotion.

If you are not using our testing service, you really need to. If you were using it in the past and haven’t for your last few hires, by all means use us.

How much does it cost you to hire and train someone only to find yourself doing that a second and a third time for the very same position?

How much does that cost?

You’ve got the cost of the time spent hiring Person A.

You’ve got the cost of the time spent training Person A.

You’ve got the cost of the time spent grooving Person A into your workplace.

And here comes two hidden costs:

The cost of whatever Person A did that adversely affected your customers and prospective customers.

And the cost of whatever Person A did that lowered the production of those around Person A.

There are many costs to hiring someone who is gone in a month or so.

When you really look at the costs involved in not hiring the right people, well, frankly our service is dirt cheap compared to that.

We can and will help you hire better staff.

If you haven’t used our testing service yet, go to WhyTesting.com. There’s a short video there explaining our testing service and a link to take a free test. We want you to see how accurate the test is and, with it being your test, well, you’ll know.

If you have used us in the past, give us a call at 888-600-6095 and we’ll make sure your customized link is dusted off and working.

We want you bringing better and better people on board. We know what that can do for you.



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