How Will They Perform in a Crisis?

Crisis

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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.


Can They “Sift” Through Data?

employee thinking

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An enormous amount of data and information can overwhelm the work environment.

How does one deal with this information overload?

Well, the first and most important skill is understanding “degrees of importance.”

Clearly some things are more important than others. From a management perspective and from an employee perspective.

Filing the paperwork on the last sale is important but as important as the next customer standing there waiting to pay?

If a customer needs help but it’s clearly not in one’s job description to assist this customer, do we hope someone else will attend to the customer? Or do we stop, find out what’s needed and do what we can to help?

If a co-worker is complaining about a mutual supervisor, do we join in or do we insist the co-worker get with the supervisor to sort it out?

Importances.

And degrees of importance.

The last example about encountering a complaining co-worker may not sound like a point of importances, but it is. How important is it to have a harmonious work environment? How important is it to resolve upsets or issues with the correct individual? Or is it not that important because workplace complaints are just a part of workplace life, so no big deal.

Importances.

Degrees of importance.

So how do we determine this with the applicant?

One suggest would be to make a list of different situations your staff run into that require them to “sift through” data in order to make decisions.

You could present some of these hypothetical situations to the applicant and ask how they would deal with them OR you could ask the applicant how they handled these types of situations in the past.

You can start out with situations with obvious ideal outcomes and then present some that are not so obvious.

How your applicant “sifts” through data to make decisions is a good thing to know before making your hiring decision.



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.


Can They Prioritize?

Priorities

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I’m sure you know the meaning of prioritize, but I do like providing definitions.

“to put several things, problems, etc. in order of importance, so that you can deal with the most important ones first”

To be able to put things or problems in order of importance, one must know what their relative importances are.

Some employees will do what they are asked to do, what their manual says they should do and that’s that.

And that’s fine.

But that’s a baseline employee.

Bob has three tasks he needs to do. There’s only thirty minutes left in the work day. To do all three tasks is going to take an hour. What does he do?

He prioritizes.

He determines the order of importance of the three tasks and then takes care of them in that order.

What if the most important task will take up the entire thirty minutes and one of the other tasks is only a five minute task, but his supervisor urged him to get it done before he leaves?

What does Bob do?

Well, that’s part of prioritizing. He gets the five minute task done and then he pushes to get the thirty minute task done in twenty-five minutes, or he simply stays over five minutes to complete the task.

I realize this all sounds pretty simple, pretty straightforward. But we also know the ability to prioritize is not a strong suit for everyone.

The employee weak in this area will not do the five minute task and there likely will be some friction when he meets up with his supervisor the next day. Or this employee will do the five minute task, but leave the thirty minute task incomplete. This scenario may also see some friction the next day.

So, how can you determine if the person in front of you is good at prioritizing?

One way is to include this area of questioning when you speak to the applicant’s previous supervisors.

Another way is to compile a list of three, four of five tasks for the job in question and then ask the applicant to weigh them in order of importance.

You could have several of these lists put together.

It should not take a long time for the applicant to go through the tasks and give them an order of importance. If it does take awhile, not a great sign.

And your analysis of his sequence of importances will also be revealing.

An ability to prioritize is worth pursuing. Things will run smoother and be more productive.



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 Generous Is She?

generous employee

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Let’s look at two definitions of the word generous:

“Demonstrating a willingness to give more of oneself than is normally necessary or expected”

“Sympathetic in the way you deal with people; tending to see the good qualities in someone”

Two very interesting definitions.

The generous employee we’re considering here is not the employee who is willing to give away company resources. We’re not talking about Bob, the office manager, grabbing $50 from the cash drawer to help Alice with baby supplies.

We’re talking about a person who is generous with their own resources of time, money and effort.

How can we determine how generous someone is?

You could go about it this way:

“Allen, give me three examples of how you were generous at previous jobs.”

Observe how easily it is for Allen to come up with examples. If he comes up with them very easily, that’s a good sign. If it takes a bit of time, a bit of hemming and hawing, not the greatest sign.

Here’s another interesting approach:

“Allen, give me an instance at an earlier job where you wanted to be generous, but chose not to be.”

If you get a clear instance of this, find out why Allen decided not to be generous.

You’ll likely come up with your own methods of discovering how generous your applicant is.

I recommend doing so.

Generosity is a trait that can increase productivity and improve how smoothly things run.

Look for it when you can.

Encourage and reward it when you see it.



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.


Should We Stop Looking For Team Players?

Steve Jobs

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Jeff Altman, a recruiter for many years, shared this viewpoint in an article:

“Stop looking for team players. When you do, you announce that you don’t want people who can think and want people who are docile and obedient. You’re saying that Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, Michael Dell and a host of others should never apply to your firm.”

What do you think about that?

Do you think we should take “team player” out of the hiring equation?

Let’s look at this a bit.

If you’re looking for someone who will bring brilliant ideas to your company and you don’t care if he roughs up your current staff — then, well, have at it.

I imagine some of the greatest businessmen and women and some of the creative giants were difficult to get along with.

But may I emphasize the word: “some.”

Yes, some of the greatest leaders and creators in our world have been deficient in people skills.

Some.

I would say, however, that most of them have brought exceptional quality to both their creativity and leadership and to their ability to get along with others. We just don’t hear about them as much, do we?

If you get the idea that you can and should hire someone who is brilliant but is somewhat or even very abusive, then you’ve decided to be in a continual state of juggling his worth versus his harm to your company.

Here’s a very simple and direct question:

Is it possible you can find a brilliant individual, someone capable of bringing dramatic, positive change who also possesses that not-so-elusive ability to get along with others?

You can certainly answer that for yourself.

Here’s my answer:

Absolutely.

When you encounter a recommendation to undervalue qualities that you know are essential to your way of doing things, think twice and even a third time before you accept that advice.



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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