When All Else Fails…

perplexed business owner

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I read a quote today from Kevin Ryan, the CEO of Double-Click, a successful online company:

“I used to think business was 50 percent having the right people. Now I think it’s 80 percent. The best way to be productive is to have a great team. So I spend more time than most CEOs on human resources.”

Kevin is making a point that many CEOs and business owners overlook in today’s hectic and competitive business word.

Getting THE RIGHT PEOPLE into the key positions in your company may very well accomplish more for your bottom line than any other single action.

Yes, you need to consider marketing, sales, accounting, legal. You need customer service and you need to deliver a good enough product or service so that customers return and ideally refer others to you.

I realize I’m preaching to the choir here. You wouldn’t be reading this tip if you weren’t interested in improving the quality of your hires.

But I do have a purpose in mind here.

How do you really view hiring for your company?

Is it (just) one of those necessary parts of doing business?

Or is it an absolutely vital component to achieving your business goals.

Is it something you give adequate time and attention to?

Or do you have a burning desire to find the right people and you’ll do whatever it takes to locate them?

We’ve all had wins and losses when it comes to hiring. Sometimes those losses accumulate and cause us to be less committed to finding the right people.

We may go through the motions. We may ask all of the right questions in the interview. We may use testing to further determine their capabilities.

In the end, though, when you’ve got the right people, isn’t life in the fast lane SO MUCH easier?

Well, no need to answer that out loud. Of course, you could click here to send me a fast reply on Twitter.

Okay, let’s wrap this up. This tip was written to remind you of what’s at stake when a position needs to be filled.

So, when all else fails, gather up every ounce of resolve you’ve got and get the right person.



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.


Are You Doing Just One Interview?

hiring the right person

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You’ve done a bit of pre-screening with Alice, and now you’re ready to sit down and do your key interview with her.

During the interview, you’re going to dig in some on Alice’s résumé.

You’re going to ask her a variety of questions that you hope will give you an idea of how she will perform.

You’ve also administered our three tests: The Personnel Potential Analysis Test, the IQ Test and the Aptitude Test. And she’s tested out pretty well.

So, you’ve got enough information to make a decision, right?

Well, you certainly may.

But I have a few questions I’d like to ask you here:

How certain are you that she’s going to do the job that you expect her to do?

Do you have any doubts about how she’s going to get along with your existing staff?

Will she fit in with your company culture?

Basically I’m asking you if you’re really certain you’ve got the right person.

Because if you have any lingering doubts, NOW is the time to do something about them, not several weeks or months down the road.

So, if you’re not quite there with a solid decision, do a second interview with Alice. And a third if necessary.

Have a trusted staff member do the second interview with Alice and get a different perspective on her. After that interview, share notes with your trusted staff member and see what new information has come up.

Yes, I realize that you can be incredibly thorough in every facet of the hiring process and still hire someone who doesn’t work out.

And I also realize some of us just need to get someone in there as soon as possible, that the unfilled position is causing all kinds of problems. Or the position is currently held by someone who is bringing more harm than benefit to the company.

I do understand that sometimes speed is of the essence.

My basic statement here is this:

If the position is important, then it’s important to take the time to get it right. If that means doing multiple interviews, then so be it.

How many times have you hired the wrong person and spent all kinds of time dealing with that plus going through the process again of finding the right person?

No need to answer that.



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.


Give Them An Audition!

On air sign

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I discussed this idea in another tip, but I’d like to go into more depth here.

One of the biggest challenges we have in hiring new staff is just not being sure “what we see is what we’re going to get.”

The résumé can tell us a good deal about someone and the interview process can tell us more.

While sometimes the résumé is padded, we do get good data from a résumé.

And the interview does give us a better understanding of the applicant. If you make use of the many hiring tips I’ve provided, your interview will gain you excellent insights into your applicant.

By the way, I’ve taken 65 of my best tips, updated them and published a Hiring Tips Book over at Amazon. I think you’ll appreciate having all of these in one place.

Getting back to this tip, we find out all too often—a month or so down the line—that the person we interviewed is not the same person who is now working for us. Or he quit. Or we needed to let him go.

In other words, the résumé and the interview process did not get the job done for us.

Here’s a very, very strong recommendation:

Have your applicant audition for the job!

Find some task that would demonstrate competence (for the position you’re hiring) and have your applicant perform that task.

How much of a task should this be?

That’s up to you. Maybe something that takes a few hours. Or maybe something that would take a couple of days.

With regards to paying for this task, see our Hiring and the Law Tip: Do I Pay for a “Working Interview”?

The right task is capable of telling you very quickly just how competent the person is.

You could also employ this on a broader basis. If you have ten people applying for the job, you could ask all ten of them to perform a task and send you the results. In this case, the task could be on a smaller scale, but even this approach will give you data that you might never get in an interview.

It can be costly to hire the wrong person. Costly in terms of time and money. Getting an audition from your applicant could save you a ton of both!



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.


Count the Number of Times She Said…

Woman counting

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Here is an interesting approach to the hiring interview.

Ask the applicant a series of questions about how he handled certain tasks at his previous jobs and how he might handle specific tasks with your company.

Questions along the lines of:

In what ways did you help out fellow employees?

How did you sort out conflicts with other employees?

What were the three key things you did to assist the company in achieving its goals?

How would you assist our company to prosper?

Which questions you ask is not that crucial.

The point here is to add up all of the times the applicant said “I” and all of the times he said “we.”

Did the applicant go on and on using the word “I” or did he get a few “we’s” in there? Did he use the “we” word a good number of times?

This approach could give you a quick clue as to how team-oriented your applicant is.

Does he only think in terms what he is capable of doing or does he believe that considerably more can be accomplished with an emphasis on team work.

It’s good to hear what he thinks of himself and his skills. That’s why he’s in front of you being interviewed. But it’s also nice to hear a few “we’s” from time to time.



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.


“Hire Slow, Fire Fast”

Hire Thorough

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You’ve probably heard the classic hiring mantra: “Hire Slow, Fire Fast.”

Let’s look at the pros and cons of this.

Hiring slow makes total sense when you’re taking the time to vet someone fully for an important position. I would almost say the length of time to invest should be in direct proportion to the importance of the position.

If the position has considerable impact on your bottom line, then the more thorough you should be.

That sounds sensible and almost not even worth stating, right?

But some people get a “gut feeling” about someone and regardless of how important the position is, they pull the trigger fairly quickly.

If I had a buck for every business owner that told me how much he regretted hiring someone because he “went with his gut” I’d own a couple of islands in the South Pacific. Well, at least one island.

I don’t have a problem with people getting a very quick sense of how well someone is going to perform. That’s exciting, actually. People have a very high capacity to know things.

But, and especially for important positions, it doesn’t hurt to find out as much as you can about somebody before you hire them. You can complement your ability to know people with good, quality data.

And that requires considerable interviewing, verifying résumés, background checks, testing, and throw in some more interviewing.

What about the not-so important positions? Can you hire fast for those?

Within reason. Again, do you want to bring someone on board who is going to be rough on your other staff or worse, rough on customers?

So, instead of “hire slow,” let’s go with:

“Hire thorough.”

In terms of “fire fast,” well, one thing I’d recommend is to read over what we have on termination and the law.

I’m a big believer in not letting someone overtly or covertly disrupt your scene. The covert character may not be so obvious—well that is what “covert” is, right—but this person is often doing more damage than the one who’s loud and obvious.

Sometimes this person is quite key to your business. Maybe your top salesperson. But I’ve learned something very interesting on this. Often the overall scene improves when you remove this person. Others are willing to pick up the slack, relieved to have a decent workplace again.

Getting rid of someone disrupting your workplace isn’t something you want to keep putting off. Especially if they’re using their talents as leverage against you making a move.

All in all, you want people who want to be there and want to be part of your team.



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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