Your Westchester County NY business had to cut staff earlier this year and now find that you need to add employees. Now it is to hire again. How will you find the most qualified? Would it be referral or advertise the opening. While a referral is normally a good source, that alone should not be the deciding factor. You will want a person who meets the qualifications, and you will want to know whether that person can achieve results.
Jim Collin’s in his book “Good to Great” explains his research on how good companies become great companies. Collins surveyed companies and found that their greatness was not due to a special sauce or a great product but rather because of the people in the organization. It all starts with high quality, high performing employees. Collins refers to this as getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.
Many businesses find that selecting and hiring of the right employee is a daunting task. Some people just hire anyone who applies, or at best, they may ask a few quick questions before making an offer. Hiring the wrong person can be costly but hiring high performing employees will result in helping your organization meet its goals and will promote your brand to your customers.
Before accepting an application or advertising you should have a clear description of duties for the prospective new hire. Know exactly what you need. What are the duties required? What behaviors are required such as ability to work well with others? What are the physical requirements such as lifting or working in the outdoors, or traveling? What is the desired experience level? And what reasoning ability is required?
Now that you have spelled out what you require, you should also spell out why a person would want to work for your company. List all the benefits and opportunities that you offer. You may think that you are a small business and don’t have much to offer. Consider these things: flexible schedules, broader job responsibilities, a family feel, an entrepreneurial culture, or the chance to learn new skills as the company grows. Obviously, structuring a competitive compensation package is critical.
Prior to interviewing develop a strategy for interviewing candidates. Write down some questions. Use open ended questions that get the candidate to talk and become more relaxed with you. You want to try to understand how the candidate will behave as an employee. The best way to predict that is to find out how he or she handled situations in the past. We do this by asking “behavior based” questions. These behavior-based questions will help you predict how a candidate will act as your employee. For example, if you want to learn about how well he or she would work with others you might ask this question. “Tell me about a time when you were asked to work with a group of people on a project. How did you contribute to the result? How did the group work as a team?” Your candidate will need to think and give a descriptive answer about his or her ability to contribute to a team.
Assessment tools are excellent, and I highly recommend them. Assessment tools such as “DISC” and “Values” are used in the selection process to learn about a candidate’s behavioral style and motivational style.
Here is the bottom line. Your employees are key to success. Hire right and hire smart. Select the best and then engage them and motivate them to do their best.
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