How Long Do You Plan On Sticking Around?

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That’s an interesting question to ask an applicant and a simple wording would be:

“Sarah, if we hired you, how long do you plan on sticking around?”

Sarah’s answer should deliver an insight into her potential longevity with you.

If her answer doesn’t give you a good sense of commitment, that’s worth knowing ahead of time.

But that also begs the question, being asked more and more these days:

How long should a new employee commit to the company?

One could answer that question philosophically, or one could simply find out directly from the applicant.

And the interesting flip side to the question “how long do you plan on sticking around” is:

“Sarah, under what circumstances would you leave?”

Again, a fairly direct question.

If Sarah’s answer touches on things that were done “to her” at her previous jobs, that’s not the height of responsibility.

But she may also mention not feeling “sufficiently challenged” or she may be candid and project another job offer that she couldn’t turn down.

When you ask these two questions:

How long do you plan on sticking around?

and

Under what circumstances would you leave?

You could cut through some of the potentially canned (or prepared) responses and gain some good insights into your applicant.



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.


Getting Off to a Good Start

new hires

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I was at Monster’s web site and saw a few questions you could ask applicants on the subject of “getting started.”

What do you see yourself accomplishing in the first 30 days here?

How would you go about quickly establishing your credibility with our team?

If hired, describe your strategy for the first 90 days.

How long would it take for you to make a significant contribution here?

For your “serious” positions, I like these questions. They are asking your applicant to stretch a bit and look into their possible future with your company.

Some applicants have quite a bit visualized as a potential member of your team and they will likely give you solid answers to all of the above.

What if you’re hiring a stock clerk or a waitress, would you still want to ask these questions?

My answer is a simple: “Absolutely!”

Asking every applicant how they believe they can bring value to your company only grants dignity to them, to the available position and to your company.

So there you go. Find out what your bright-eyed prospects would do to get out of the starting gate and you’ll likely gain some welcome insights.



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.


Let’s See What You Can Do!

Hiring Show and Tell
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This tip is similar to an earlier one, but I wanted to give it a different spin here.

Let’s give your applicant a very specific assignment and have him carry it out as part of the hiring interview.

A few examples:

Have a customer service candidate review how customers are handled from pre-sale all the way through to fulfillment and follow-up and have the candidate write up how this could be improved.

If someone is applying for the collections position, do a bit of role playing. Have the candidate go down the list and attempt to collect the amounts from you.

Sales is another great position for role playing. Describe a few different selling scenarios and have the candidate take you from start to finish of the sales process.

For some of these, you could even include a time element, say 30 or 60 minutes.

A smiling candidate with a well-rounded résumé is a good start. A candidate who performs right in front of you will take you considerably closer to hiring 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.


How Much Homework Are They Willing To Do?

Homework

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Before someone comes in for an interview, let’s see how much “homework” they’re willing to do.

The first thing would be to is ask them to look over your company’s web site.

If your company sells a product, ask the person to come to the interview with some ideas on how to sell the product. Whether you’re hiring for a sales position or not, you simply want to know if they’re willing to dig in a little at your web site and show a bit of creativity.

If your company provides a service, you could ask the applicant to look over your site and suggest a couple of ways the service could be improved.

I heard of an author who was looking for someone to market her book, so she asked applicants to come to the interview with their ideas on how her book could be better marketed.

You could even ask your applicants to look over your company’s web site and make a couple of suggestions on how the web site itself could be improved.

Regardless of the position you need filling, asking your applicants to do a bit of homework is a great way to see them in action and to see how much they care about their first contact with you.



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.


Always Be Hiring

Always Hiring

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I discussed this in an earlier tip, but it’s worth another look.

Do you ever meet people that you think would be a great fit for your company?

If that happens, what do you do?

Well, no need to answer that last question because I have a great suggestion. And it’s very simple.

Keep a record of that person.

I am a big fan of the program Evernote. It’s a free service that lets you keep all kinds of records. You can write notes in a record. You can record an audio note in a record. You can save web pages in Evernote. You can save selections of a web page. You can save images, videos, etc.

It is a very capable program. And, as I said it’s free. They do have a paid version, but that’s only needed if you’re saving a huge number of records every month.

There is a Windows version, a Mac version and an App for the various smart phones and tablets.

You’d think this tip was a big commercial for Evernote, but let me get back to the subject of the tip.

Whenever you meet someone or hear of someone that you think might be a good asset for your company, make a record.

Include as much information as possible: name, phone, location, email address and any social media outlets they use: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

In addition to the above, record any observations you may have. If you heard about this person from someone else, indicate who that was and what their observations were.

When the day comes, you can return to these records and you may find someone you considered a pearl six months ago who is willing to come by and interview with you.

Another time to “always be hiring” are the times when you actually are hiring. That isn’t a play on words, I do have something in mind here. And it may be a bit arduous, but I’ll put it out there for you to consider.

Let’s say you’re hiring for position X and, after going through your hiring process with a number of people, you find and hire your ideal candidate.

That’s that, right?

Well, here’s the suggestion: interview the remaining candidates.

Establish a good relationship with each one in the hiring interview(s) and keep a record of each one for future positions.

Yes, that’s considerably more work, but I wanted to provide the suggestion as a way to build up your pool of future resources.

Well, there you have it. If you’re “always hiring” and keeping decent records of potential employees for down the road, you’ll likely find this makes hiring easier and easier as time goes along.



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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