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.

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.

On A Scale of 1 – 10

Pulled Hair in 2nd Grade

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I love asking people to rank things on a scale of 1 – 10.

For instance, I may ask my daughter, “Honey, on a scale of 1 – 10, how much do you want to see a movie this weekend?”

Or I may ask an associate, “On a scale of 1 – 10, how strong is your interest in this new project?”

In the case of my daughter, she may say “5” and then I know it’s not super important. Her “5” tells me that it’s somewhat important but if she says “9 or 10” then, of course, I know her feelings are very strong on seeing a movie.

With my business associate, having his answer fall somewhere on this scale instantly tells me where his interest is with the new project. I could ask him to go into great detail how he feels about the project, or he could just give me a number.

Now, you may feel this is an overly simplified approach to understanding where people are at, but I disagree.

With this graduated scale, I get a very quick sense where someone stands on a subject. Any subject. A ‘2’ is considerably different than an ‘8’ and, for me, each one of these numbers gives me a pretty clear statement of how the person feels.

So how could this be applied to the hiring interview?

Well, here are some examples of how you could use it:

“Fred, I have two questions for you:

“On a scale of 1 – 10, how important to you is working with us here, this company? And…

“On a scale of 1 – 10, how important to you is having the paycheck we would provide?”

You could ask Fred these two questions back-to-back so that he could consider the answer to both and then reply.

Another example:

“Sally, on a scale of 1 – 10, what is your view of a long term position here? Let’s define ’10’ as you’re interested in establishing yourself here for a number of years and ‘1’ as you’d jump ship in a few weeks if a potentially better offer came along.”

One more example:

“Alan, on a scale of 1 – 10, how important is it for you to believe in what our company produces and represents?”

1 – 10.

It’s a graduated scale.

Some of your prospects may give you a number that they feel you want to hear. But that’s true of any question in the hiring interview.

Then there will be those who give you a number that is their genuine view of things.

And that, my friend, is a nice dose of insight into your candidate.



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

Did The Prospect Really Say That?

Way Too Nervous

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While watching a bit of news on TV the other day, a short segment was done for job hunters. The theme of the segment was: “what not to say in the interview.”

Let’s take a look at a few of these:

“I’m really nervous.”

This short and honest statement could produce two very different responses for the employer.

The first is we do like it when our candidates are candid and you don’t get more candid than “I’m really nervous.”

On the other side of that of course is we also want to see confident and capable candidates. If they’re nervous in the interview, what’s going to happen when the workplace throws a few curves at them.

Here’s the next one:

“Let’s talk money.”

Again, I can see two possible reactions on the employer side. Some of us might like this bold approach but some of us might be offended by such a direct statement in a hiring interview.

This next one should not produce any ambiguous feelings:

“My last employer was really horrible.”

Ouch. Complaining this overtly about a previous employer is not likely to produce warm and fuzzy feelings for the new employer. One wonders if the candidate is a bit of a grumbler and will make the same statement a few months down the road about us?

This last one is an interesting one:

“Well, what can your company do for me?” Or worded slightly differently, “Why should I come to work for you?’

Personally, I like a bit of humility with my candidates. Yes, I want them honest, confident, and capable. But if they add a dash of humility to those qualities, that goes a long way with me.

Candidates will at times make statements in the hiring interview that give you a quick insight into their personality. If one of these statements takes you back, you have two choices:

1) Get the candidate to explain more thoroughly what’s behind the statement and hopefully that resolves it for you.

or

2) Red flag the comment and treat it with due concern.



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

Is the Prospect a Better Fit Somewhere Else?

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What if your candidate isn’t a good fit for you but would be a great asset for another company?

What if you knew of a specific company where this would apply?

Taking this one step further, what if this specific company was your competition?

Should you make the effort to refer this candidate? Should you contact the other company and let them know about this prospect?

I would say: yes and yes.

And yes, even with your competition!

Here’s a concept many of us are familiar with:

“What goes around, comes around.”

You’re obviously doing a good deed for the candidate. And you’re potentially helping out another company by making this referral.

And maybe this company sends someone your way down the road.

All things considered, it doesn’t matter if they do or not.

Helping out in this way is a good thing all on its own and will likely add a bit more pep to your step.



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

The Problems and Solutions Interview

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Let’s say you’re hiring someone for the Office Manager position. What are some of the routine problems for this position?

Gather together a list of at least three of these and then ask your applicant how she would solve them.

For example:

“Sally, as Office Manager, you encounter an employee who has recently been leaving a bit early and getting in a bit late. How would you handle this?”

With Sally’s answer, probe a bit further on this.

Would Sally pass on this information to the company owner? How vigorously would Sally follow up to ensure this employee is adhering to the company schedule? You could even ask Sally if there are certain employees—let’s say, the top producers—who would have the freedom not to abide by the company schedule.

Moving on to another subject:

“Sally, if the owner of the company asked you to do something that is perhaps a bit unethical, what would be your response to that?”

Again, ask Sally additional questions to acquire a deeper insight into her thinking.

As a last example:

“Sally, you’ve been working here for a year or so and you discover the company is in serious trouble. What do you believe your approach would be in this situation? Would you be tweaking your résumé and looking for other job opportunities, or would you be intent on helping the company pull out of it?”

This last question presents an interesting challenge as Sally might simply give you the answer you’re looking for. Pay close attention to Sally’s mannerisms as she answers this as they will likely present you with clues to what she really believes.

There are of course many questions you could ask, and I recommend you have a list of them prepared for each position at your company.

Then, when a position comes open, you can grab your list and wade right in.



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