Employer Beware!

The economy is slowing improving. Companies are hiring again. The current challenge is finding qualified workers to hire. If we recruit those we perceive to be top performers from our vendors, suppliers or competitors, we must beware of believing they will be natural fits for our organization. Too often, it does not work out that way! 

The biggest reason? A top performer in one company does not naturally become a top performer elsewhere. When we focus on attracting them to work for us, often we will fail to follow our own strategic hiring system. And when we recruit them to resolve an issue within our company today, we are disregarding the future impact on continued relationships with our suppliers/vendors (e.g., trust between the two businesses, willingness to provide preferred price concessions, etc.). Making these exceptions to our hiring practices, just because we know/respect them or their previous employer only adds error on top of error.

Hiring from your vendors and suppliers. You may not contractually be able to hire these subcontractors or employees, depending upon the Non-Compete laws in your state. Or, if they have handled the transition with their current employer poorly, there may be cause for litigation. Having a conversation with your vendor/supplier is advisable to reduce disruption to your business and theirs. Conduct due diligence, just as you would with any other potential hire (e.g. reference checks, employment verifications, background checks, etc.). Remember, if you fail to follow your own hiring policy, or worse, do not use one, you may be hiring someone else’s problem.

Change in Working Dynamics. Just because the person worked well as a consultant, temp, or account executive doesn’t mean s/he will complete the job with the same commitment now that s/he is your employee. Unfortunately, the dynamic of the relationship has changed. Before you were the client; now you are the boss. As a boss, you may treat outside people differently than you treat your own employees. Also, the newly hired person may have a negative attitude towards authority that was controlled since you were not his/her boss. A similar dynamic may become evident with co-workers. The newly hired person may have disliked or not respected those who have now become his/her new co-workers. These concerns can no longer be ignored for the sake of completing a project since this person is now part of your workforce.

Hiring from your competitors. They may look good on paper. However, do they possess the thinking style, core behaviors and occupational interests that fit into your culture? The grass is greener syndrome can negatively impact those employees jumping ship simply looking for more money, different job duties, etc. Again! Follow a strategic and sustainable hiring system regardless of who the job candidate is or how well you may know her/him. Job fit is essential! You will always do better with more objective data than without it (e.g., use of core value assessments, job fit technology and skills testing).

©Jeannette Seibly, 2011

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NOW is the time – keep key employees!


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The economy is getting better. Do you realize your top talent most likely has “feelers” out to see what other opportunities may be available? As a smaller employer this can have a detrimental effect on your bottom line. As we go from an employer market (more available people than jobs) to an employee market (more jobs than qualified employees), NOW is the time to review and update your strategies for hiring and/or retaining that top talent!

Identify top talent. Use scientifically validated assessments to hire, coach and motivate them. If you use “performance matching” you will also be able to find others who are top performers who might be hiding out internally or externally. This process prevents you from falling for verbally astute people who can talk themselves into the job, but have no real interest or talent to perform well. It saves you from hiring someone who may have an amazing portfolio or strong experience, but would never truly fit within your company culture.

Involve top personnel. Engage top performers with memberships and participation in community and trade association meetings or activities. Encourage them to serve on community and trade association boards. This is a great opportunity for these strong employees to learn additional leadership skills and become known. It also promotes your company in a positive light.

Establish compelling goals. One goal may be to obtain a degree or MBA. Another goal may be to place strongest employees on projects that will build their skills and awareness of leading edge issues. Make them team leaders responsible for resolving ongoing internal issues. The key is to have them learn how to work with and through others to achieve results! Or assign them projects to manage and deliver results on-time and within budget. Let them know you expect unprecedented results.

Give useful feedback. Using a validated 360-degree tool can help personnel understand their strengths and weaknesses from others’ perspectives. The key is to keep the questions focused on the talents each person possesses. A good tool will also provide additional training and coaching information for employees to use in leadership skills development. Remember to follow-up in six months to determine areas for continued improvement and to acknowledge successes.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2011

Want to hire top talent? They are more astute than ever before, and are screening potential employers even as you are screening them! Get on the winning track. Hiring Amazing Employees, an eBook, is now available!   http://smarthiringmadeeasy.wordpress.com/book-hiring-amazing-employees/

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Hiring Former Employees

Employees who have left your organization may be the best candidates to provide the help and insight needed to take it to the next level today. Whether or not they helped build your organization or were great producers, they may bring new experiences to give you a fresh competitive edge. How well they fit your corporate culture now depends as much upon their attitude and willingness to leave the past behind, as their ability to get real about the current way the company operates.

The key? Do your due diligence. Be clear as to why you want them to return. Some former top performers may no longer fit the company, unable to effectively work within new structures that evolved during their absence. 

Broaden a myopic perception. Even though you think you know them well, use qualified validated assessment tools to help determine current job fit. Provide the same strategic interview process as you do for lesser-known candidates. Just because they were top performers within your company in the past does not necessarily mean they will be able to perform at that same level now. Listen to their cheerleaders from within the company, but be shy about relying 100% on their insights. Too often current employees simply want someone who is known. They think it will be easier to maintain the status quo. But this perspective can backfire and limit the returning employee’s ability to resolve issues or move the company forward.

Prepare the past employee. Many returning employees fail to understand change is inevitable. They return with the same perceptions they held when they left – both good and bad – of the company, products, employees, services, etc. Inevitably, standard operating procedures have changed, written or not. This can impede the person from getting quickly on track. Remember, they are not wearing the same learning hat as a new employee with no prior experience. Set them up for success. It’s critical they participate in an employee orientation program. Ensure they are working with a colleague who can help them navigate new systems that may not be readily apparent. 

©Jeannette Seibly, 2011 

Hiring new employees? Past employees?  Get on the right track. “Hiring Amazing Employees,” an eBook, is now available!

Onboarding Dilemma – The Boss!

As bosses, we get excited when we’ve finally filled a position. We feel our job is done. It’s up to them to be successful. Sink or swim. The problem? Even the best of hires can struggle to acclimate to a new environment without the help and support of their boss. 

Onboarding is an extension of the hiring and selection process, which can help ensure a person’s success. A well designed system provides the new hire with an informal and formal approach to learn about their job responsibilities, how to navigate the company culture, and how to interact effectively with their new co-workers, management and customers. While formal programs are easy to put together, it’s the informal ones, which are often the deciding factor, that are challenging. Bosses need to provide proper mentoring (and coaching) options for success. Failure to do so usually means career derailment for both of them.

Hire the right person first time around. No system or boss can fix a person who does not fit the job. Use a hiring and selection system that includes scientifically validated assessment tools. These objective tools take the mystery out of why some people are natural fits for their job responsibilities. It calibrates true willingness to acquire interpersonal, technical, mechanical, enterprising, sales and/or the financial savvy required. These same tools indicate why a new hire may need additional training that you may – or may not – have planned on providing!

Manage the Honeymoon Period. Typically all new hires have an initial period when everything goes well. Then they hit the proverbial wall. The honeymoon’s over.  As the boss, you must coach them through the issue(s). Set them up for success by providing specific written results that are expected to be achieved within the first couple of weeks.  Outline success indicators to show they are on track. Expand intended results for their first quarter on the job, six months, and one year.  Use of a 360-degree tool can also provide additional insights.

Start this Onboarding process on day one of the job. Reiterate what you’ve already said in the hiring interview. New hires may have forgotten key information, or find that their perception wasn’t what you intended. NOW, is the time to get on the same page!

Listen and Learn.  The key to successful onboarding is for new hires to listen more than talk! It’s important they learn from different people and ask the same questions of other employees, co-workers, and management. Don’t forget to include vendors and suppliers. The new hire should not offer opinions during this process, but rather, privately offer recommendations to you at first. This will provide you both an opportunity to learn from one another. As the boss, you can help them successfully navigate the corporate structure and learn how to work with and through others to develop successful solutions and relationships within your organization.

Pay particular attention if they seem to believe they already understand how to effectively use your company systems. Just because it worked somewhere else doesn’t mean it will work the same way here. Be sure to check in daily for the first couple of weeks to ensure positive progress is being made. Then, if all is going well, extend check-in’s to once a week.

Provide a mentor or coach. This is a great way to help new people ask questions that can be held in confidence. These same questions, asked of co-workers could inadvertently sabotage the new hire’s success.  Be vigilant with   new hires who repeatedly find convenient excuses for not meeting with their mentor (or coach). Watch for problems brewing, before they become major issues. Understand new employees can sabotage themselves by not incorporating suggestions or relying upon their experiences and idealistic ideas of how things “should” work. This limited, often erroneous perspective, can get in the way of their success within your company. As their boss, schedule time to have “come down to reality” conversations. Remember, you are their key to success, or career derailment.

 

©Jeannette Seibly, 2010

Job Fit Essentials

It’s a blessing when employees (and bosses) enjoy great-fit jobs. Because they fit, these people make significant contributions to the success of the organization. They experience very high levels of job satisfaction and loyalty. There is a synergy of ideas and working relationships that excel beyond the norm. Sales increase. Customers experience higher satisfaction working with the company.

What is the primary reason we don’t naturally find these valued employees? We rely upon traditional methods and then rationalize hiring failures as “not our fault.” We accept mistakes as part of the norm. We fail to create and follow a hiring and selection system that provides sustainable results. The fact is, a business is often better off leaving an “empty seat” rather than randomly filling the position with someone not suited to the job.

Hire the right person. We are often snookered by verbally adept candidates. We fall into this trap when someone has the ability to sell themselves, whether they possess true interest or the capability to do the job well or not. Studies show, poor job fit produces unhappy workers. Those who are unhappy in their work create miscommunication, make more mistakes, fail to focus on critical elements, and blame others for their inability to produce required results. They are overly focused on things that don’t matter rather than job performance.

Understand the Financial Impact. Hiring people who do not fit your job requirements and your company’s culture will cost you time and money. They may even irrevocably damage your reputation. The wrong person can actually increase your business and product liability.  Unfortunately, there is no line item on your financial statement about this costly process. But if you analyze the true expenses, tangible and intangible, you’ll be shocked and dismayed by these hidden costs. (Contact JLSeibly@gmail.com for the Cost Hiring Calculator)  Use this data as cost justification to build a legal, cost effective system.

Select the right tools. Develop a selection process built upon gathering reliable, valid, relevant information. This can be a challenge since we consider using scientifically designed assessments as costly, and not as important as our gut feelings. The added falsehood is that we believe we can coach, train and motivate anyone to do anything.

Select assessment tools that meet DOL guidelines, and provide information regarding how well their mental engine, their ability to drive the engine, and their interest in doing so, fit within your company, for this specific job. (SEE http://SmartHiringMadeEasy.wordpress.com)

Train the interviewers. Regrettably, poorly trained interviewers will rely upon their intuition and perceptions, and will hear what they want to hear. They don’t catch or ignore conflicting signals. They miss the fact that job candidates say all the right things, and make the right type of promises. Use a structured interview process to discern candidates’ depth of job skill. Implement qualified and scientific assessments that contain interview questions. These behaviorally based questions provide a structure to ascertain reliable job fit.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2010

Warren Buffet had it right:

“In looking for someone to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. But the most important is integrity, because if they don’t have that, the other two qualities, intelligence and energy, are going to kill you.”

He went on to summarize his lesson: “When you hire someone to run your business, you are entrusting him or her with the piggy bank. If these people are smart and hardworking, they are going to make you a lot of money, but it they aren’t honest, they will find lots of clever ways to make all your money theirs.”

Consider these facts:

In retail: Employee theft is estimated to be responsible for 47% of store inventory shrinkage.That ‘s over 17 billion dollars per year! Employee dishonesty is the greatest single threat to profitability at the store level.

It’s not all money and goods: A recent national survey found that 59 percent of employees who quit or were laid off or terminated in the last 12 months admitted to stealing company data, and 67 percent admitted to using their former employer’s confidential information to find a new job.

Banks and Credit Unions: The banking industry reports losses of over one billion dollars annually because of employee theft, greater than the amount taken in bank robberies many times over.

Lots of ways to do it: Faking on-the-job injuries for compensation, taking merchandise, stealing small sums of cash, forging or destroying receipts, shipping and billing scams, putting fictitious employees on payroll, and falsifying expense records.

Across business types: Security experts predict that up to 30 percent of the nation’s workers will steal at some time in their career. Difficult economic times, lack of salary increases and the threats of downsizing and cutbacks make it even more tempting for employees to help themselves.

This threatens your existence!  It is not unusual for a small business to be bankrupted by one employee’s theft . The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners reports that small businesses suffered a median loss of $100,000!

You just won’t know: On average, it takes 18 months for an employer to catch an employee who is stealing.

How can you protect your business?

As devastating as these possible losses are, two simple and inexpensive processes, inserted in your hiring system, can dramatically reduce the possibility that you will experience them:

Perform background checks before you hire. While background checking is far from flawless, it’s a valuable tool to learn about past problems and possible risks–and it doesn’t cost much!

Use an honesty-integrity assessment. A valid, predictive honesty-integrity assessment will help you avoid hiring someone likely to cause you this kind of problem–again, it doesn’t cost much!

Combine these two tools to help protect yourself from mostly preventable business disasters!

To learn more about using background checking and honesty-integrity assessments in your hiring process:   Contact JLSeibly@gmail.com. We’ll show you the tools, explain the low costs and high benefits, show you real-life examples of how they work, and arrange a demonstration, if you like!

Written by John W. Howard, PhD

Sources of statistics

Contact us for further information:

  • For a brief description of all our systems and tools, click here.
  • For a flash demo of our simple and affordable online hiring and recruiting solution, click here.
  • For a flash demo of our online performance management system, click here.
  • For information on our simple, affordable online HRIS, click here.
  • Or, for more information and a custom solution for your business, call or email!

Which assessments = hiring success?

A business owner recently made a typical statement about whether or not a  candidate possessed the required core values for a job.  “I’ll simply ask her if she has integrity, work ethic, and reliability, and if she does drugs. Then, I won’t need to use an assessment!”

Huh?  Over 71% of people lie in their interviews and on their resumes. Why would this person be the exception?

Scientifically validated assessments have been a continuing debate for several decades. It can be difficult to discern from among offerings of over 3,000 publishers, which tools are available and to understand their inherit differences. The issue here is that thousands of test publishers do not go to the expense and trouble to validate and test for discriminatory impact. This shortfall is compounded by the hundreds of thousands of users who don’t follow assessment directions accurately. 

The following are key points to consider when selecting the right tools required to hire the right person.

Not all assessments are created equal. Using the wrong tool, or no tool at all, is like tossing the dice and hoping for the best. Some tools are incredibility accurate, while others are simply fun to use in a seminar type setting.  The problem is we often don’t understand the difference, and end up inappropriately choosing the fun ones for hiring purposes. Legally, you need to use the tool that has a window of predictive validity of more than several months.

One assessment can not address everything. There are different types of assessments; each validates specific areas:

  • Skills Tests – measure actual competency within a particular skill set
  • Core Values Assessments – gauge integrity, work ethic, reliability and attitude towards substance abuse. 
  • Job Fit Assessments – ascertain a candidate’s ability and commitment to get the job done in the manner you desire.

Passing one of these does not mean the applicant possesses everything else required to best fill the position. For example: although applicants have successfully completed skills and core values assessments, they may not have the interest, thinking style or core behavior to do the work.  The reality is, the candidates may not have the willingness to do a good job – although, they may have the skills.  Measuring these key factors is the purpose of job fit tools.

Assessments help you find and hire the qualified people. Using an interview process alone is only successful in one of eight hires! When you employ an objective process and hire the right person, it will make a significant difference in your own success, and your company’s bottom line. 

How do you find and select the right assessments?

Insist on having the Technical Manual. It will describe precisely how the assessment has been validated, and how it has been tested for discrimination. It will also provide further information about study size, validation and reliability processes – important determinants.  Predictive validity is the key!  Are the results valid for a few months or five years?  If the provider is unable or unwilling to provide a Technical Manual, move on to another provider.

Review key determinants.  The Department of Labor offers a publication on use and selection of assessment tools. They list 13 key determinants of whether an assessment is appropriate, and its proper use.  Contact me for a copy of this publication. JLSeibly@gmail.com

Still in doubt? Ask the provider for a copy of their attorney’s legal opinion.  Many sales people will tell you what you want to hear, not what you need to know. Get the company’s legal counsel to provide a written outline of how the tool works and how it can be used. Have your own attorney review for clarification.

Employers need to hire the right people the first time to turn their companies into profitable ventures. It makes good business sense to ensure successful hiring practices.  Contact me today to discuss how you can use scientifically validated assessments to improve your hiring success. JLSeibly@gmail.com

©Jeannette Seibly, 2010

Feeling Lucky When You Hire?

Wouldn’t you rather know for sure?

The resume says they’re “proficient’ in MS Office, and “expert” in your specific professional field…wouldn’t it be nice, for about what an hour of their time, to know before you hire?

Would you take several thousand dollars of your company’s money, and place it on the line with only a one in eight chance of winning?

Probably not.

But that’s exactly what you do every time you hire someone based on their resume and an interview … statistics show that you have only about a 1 in 8 chance of getting a good long-term employee with that conventional approach.

The solution: Test for skills before you hire!

We offer over 1,000 validated, job-specific skills tests, internet delivered and user friendly, with prices that start at  $25 and go down!

Click here for Lists of Skills & FAQs