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.

Enjoy!



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



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


You Are Hiring Them, Not Their Skills

You are of course looking for skilled individuals to fill skilled positions.

You want people who know what they’re supposed to do, who are attentive to the details of what is needed and wanted, who know how to problem solve situations as they come up, and who can and do produce a valuable product.

That product could be a professionally delivered dental procedure.

It could be a properly sold prospect.

An overdue bill collected.

These are things that get produced in a business that require skill.

If you could hire a highly skilled person and not spend (lose) time training them, that’s ideal, right?

It is.

But you are always hiring a person, not a set of skills. I realize that may sound a bit flaky, but have you ever had an employee who was great at what he did, but was also rough on the other employees? Who caused upsets from time to time with customers? Who didn’t respect their supervisor (or the boss)?

And you often thought about what life would be like WITHOUT this person there? Would things go smoother? Would productivity overall be improved or was this person’s contributions to the bottom line so vital that he just had to be there?

And did you enjoy the stress of trying to figure this out?

I think you know what I mean.

Ideally you have the best of both worlds. You have a highly skilled employee who not only gets along with everyone, they bring out the best of those around him.

When you’re in the hiring process and you sense the person with great skills ALSO may bring a negative influence to your team, take a pause. Can you hang in there and keep looking for that more ideal individual? If you can, you may save yourself a ton of heartache and difficulty down the road.

I realize this is not always an easy call to make. Sometimes the position just needs filling. I’m just looking to add a bit of perspective that may help you with these decisions.



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



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


If They Can’t Follow Instructions, Get Them A Clipboard

clipboard

Listen to the Hiring Tip Here

Yes, I realize that’s a pretty strong statement: “If they can’t follow instructions” — but we do encounter people who are weak in this area.

The ability to follow instructions is a key ability to look for when hiring. This ability covers written and verbal instructions. And, for a shameless plug, our Aptitude Test will give you an excellent idea of this ability — one way or the other — prior to making your hiring decision.

But, what if their Aptitude test score is low and you like just about everything else about your applicant? Is a low Aptitude test score a deal breaker?

Perhaps a better question is, how many times have you pulled strands of hair out of your head because someone just couldn’t or wouldn’t follow instructions?

I have a simple recommendation for you: if you want to hire someone who is weak with following instructions, get them a clipboard.

Yes, a clipboard. When you have something you want this person to do and do exactly as you wish, write it down and put it on their clipboard.

If you ask Bob to close up the store at 8PM, change the thermostat to 70 degrees and open the store at 9AM to let Mrs. Jones in to pick up her watch, write these things down for Bob.

If you don’t, and Mrs. Jones is upset that the store opened at 10AM instead of 9, Bob can’t come back to you and say, “well, you said 10AM.” You can reply, “okay, Bob, get your clipboard.” He does and sure enough, it says 9AM on the clipboard.

I realize this is somewhat of a rough way to get things done, but if you like someone for a number of other qualities, this is one way to reduce the fallout from a weak ability to follow instructions.

After awhile, Bob may get familiar enough with his duties that this shortcoming will be less and less of an issue.

There are two other things you can and should do with new staff:

Give them written materials concerning their position and have them study these materials.

Drill them on these materials and their duties and ensure they gain some proficiency. The more drilling, the better.

We all know that the ability to follow instructions is a key ability. If it’s low in someone you want to keep on board, this tip should help.



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



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


Is It Possible to Hire Within?

Listen to the Hiring Tip Here

Didn’t mean to sound cryptic there, but sometimes the position you want filled can be filled by someone who is already with you.

Instead of looking far and wide for an Office Manager, perhaps Alice, who handles the front desk, could do a bang up job.

This will likely mean additional training for Alice, but she is very familiar with your operation, knows the staff and likely has a good grasp on your customer base.

The value connected to the familiarity that Alice would bring to the Office Manager position cannot be understated.

Yes, you could find a skilled, well-trained Office Manager to come in and get rolling. And yes, that person brings a good skill set. But they do not bring familiarity.

The question becomes: how quickly (and how effectively) could you train Alice to get up to “Office Manager speed” versus how quickly (and how effectively) could you get the new Office Manager comfortable and familiar with your day-to-day.

This tip has a very simple purpose.

When you’re looking to hire for a fairly skilled position, is there somebody already there who, with some training, could be quite good for you? If so, finding that person’s replacement is likely going to be easier.

And with hiring, it sometimes just takes looking inward a bit instead of outward.

Now that wasn’t too cryptic either, right?



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



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


Does Any Candidate Have Exactly The Right Skills?

The Right Person

Listen to the Hiring Tip Here

Well, that’s not really a fair question to ask.

You COULD run into people who are perfect in every way for your position.

And how often has that happened for you?

Taking a practical look at this, it’s likely you’re often involved in a juggling act with prospective employees:

  • You’ll have people in front of you with superb qualities coupled with mediocre qualities.
  • You’ll be running ads for weeks on end and interviewing until you’re blue in the face and you’ve got to get SOMEBODY in there.
  • You may get depressed that the right person just isn’t out there and conclude your local area has gone downhill when it comes to hiring quality staff.
  • You may want to email a picture of yourself to the American Oxford Dictionary so they can insert it next to the word “compromise” in their dictionary.

I’ve heard it all folks, and I do have a bit of advice here.

Hang in there. Actually, do more than hang in there. If you’ve got your mind made up that the right person isn’t out there or isn’t likely to come your way or if you’re veering in that direction, then

CHANGE YOUR MIND.

Yes, I know that sounds a bit patronizing. But I mean it. There is one thing all of us can do, and that’s change our mind.

Make a new decision (or rekindle an old decision):

Decide that a person with the right skills, the right personality and the right attitude is coming your way.

And decide that a few times, and when you feel a certain inertia or mental opposition kicking in when you make that decision, make the decision again. And again. Eventually the mental “stuff” will fade and eventually vanish.

I learned that last bit of information from the book, “The Creation of Human Ability” by L. Ron Hubbard.

Well, there you go. Hope you find this tip useful.



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



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


How Will They Perform in a Crisis?

Crisis

Listen to the Hiring Tip Here

The word crisis conjures up pictures of earthquakes or floods or an armed individual threatening one’s life.

And each of these are certainly possible while one is at work. But perhaps not likely and we hope not ever, but there are other types of crises that come to the workplace.

  • A crisis of economics. Perhaps the company is undergoing a very rough financial patch. A competitive company opened up across the street and many of your customers are ending up over there. The financial stress is palpable and employees are beginning to wonder how secure their job is.
  • A crisis in employee morale. Instead of cooperation ruling the day, employees are frequently arguing, frequently criticizing each other. This of course affects productivity and if it gets too rough, some of your best staff may decide to work elsewhere.
  • A crisis in public relations. Something occurred that brought bad press to the company. This is showing up with angry calls and angry visits to your front door. The event causing the bad press may not even have a legitimate source.

I’m sure you could come up with other examples of a crisis that might hit your company.

When these highly negative situations occur, the stress can be considerable. Management may take the brunt here, but you can be sure, employees will also be adversely affected.

How will your applicant hold up in these situations?

Let’s find out.

Ask your applicant:

“What is the most challenging, the most difficult situation you have encountered as an employee?”

After you hear what that is, ask how your applicant dealt with it.

Let’s see if the future can tell us anything:

“If a crisis occurred at work, how would you deal with it?”

We’ll likely find out two things with this question:

1) What your applicant considers is a crisis.

2) How they believe they would deal with it.

I realize talking about a crisis in the past or even in the future may not be the easiest thing for an applicant to discuss, but it may be worth considering this tip.

It may give you an insight into how prepared or courageous or considerate they are.

And of course, our motto is and always will be:

The more we know, the better.



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



If you have ever interviewed someone and later discovered a "different" person is working for you, check out our new book How To Hire The Right People.


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