Are Your Company’s Values Meaningful?

Everyone brings their own set of personal values into a company, whether it’s when to pay bills, if and when to respect authority or follow rules, or even what’s an acceptable time to arrive at work or an event. Some employees’ values will naturally fit into your organization’s culture, while other employees won’t align with your written business practices and unwritten business expectations. (Qualified core value assessments can reduce selection errors so you hire the right people with values that match your organization. [ ])

The purpose of having a written set of company values is to get everyone on the same page in order to create a workable structure for open communication, clarity of expectations and ethics, respect, trust, and so on. For values to have a positive influence, all employees and managers within an organization need to feel free to voice their concerns and learn how to interact without fear of retribution. Creating meaningful workplace values contributes to reducing turnover, increasing sustainable profits, and building a positive business reputation, since everyone is working from the same set of company principles.

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

Easily Infuse Objectivity Early In Your Hiring System

Did you know that requesting applicants to email or mail you resumes is outdated? Or that over 50 percent of resumes stretch the truth? Yet many companies rely solely on this data to select candidates for interviews—a poor selection practice. By doing so, they shortchange the goal of collecting good objective, valid, and reliable data in order to net truly qualified applicants.

Your hiring system speaks volumes: it’s the first impression many have of your business. Failure to utilize current technology has savvy job seekers questioning if you are a leader—or could be—in your industry. Failure to follow-up and communicate applicant status frustrates many. Top performers wish to work with winning bosses and companies that respect their time and efforts.

Using a well-designed applicant tracking system (ATS) is cost effective and allows you to post job ads and showcase your company, products, and services. It attracts qualified candidates, operates without paper, and helps you vet applicants, saving hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars. When strategically planned and followed, an ATS infuses objectivity into your hiring system early on.

Time-saving keys for ATS:

1) Require that an application form be completed. It minimizes truth-stretching (e.g., inaccurate job titles, job duties, company names, dates of employment, and titles).

2) Incorporate pre-screen questions and core value assessments to ensure objective, valid, and reliable data is used to select candidates for the next steps while weeding out unqualified ones.

3) Automatically thank applicants and make it easier to communicate with them. It’s critical to remember your applicants are future clients, vendors, suppliers, and decision-makers for awarding contracts. You want them to have a positive impression of your company. (Read Hire Amazing Employees, Second Edition for further time-saving ideas, available at

All ATSs are not all created equal. Factors to consider when choosing your ATS (taken from Hire Amazing Employees):

  • User-friendly sites can be reached within one or two clicks from the social media site or the job posting. Busy professionals need to be enticed the moment they read your online ad; most will not return—even if they have the best of intentions to do so. Make it easy for them to apply and for you to receive their information in order to infuse objectivity in your decision-making process.
  • Is there a fee for posting your openings on the ATS site?
  • What is the cost for setup and maintenance of the site?
  • Can the application form, job posting, and other pertinent information be customized?
  • Will it notify interested applicants of future positions? (That’s a great way to keep your candidate pool filled.)
  • Do your job openings easily post to job boards?
  • Can you collect EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) information? Tracking may be required if you have any government contracts (or if you are a subcontractor).
  • Is there a human verification process to reduce spam? This process prevents hackers from completing your application form and blasting resumes to you.
  • Is it easy to communicate with candidates inside the system and generate automated notifications (e.g., completion of application, request for interviews, etc.)?

©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013 All Rights Reserved

Want an award-winning ATS to attract amazing employees to your company? Click here

Jeannette Seibly has been hiring amazing employees for over 34 years. She delivers straight talk with immediate results to business owners and executives of $1MM to $30MM enterprises, achieving dynamic results. You may contact her at to discuss your hiring challenges. Get her newest book, Hire Amazing Employees, Second Edition: Improve Your Profits (and Your Work Life)! It includes templates for interviews and reference checking.


Small Employer Hiring

Small businesses are the backbone of the economy, and on average employ 1 to 10 employees. Many of these business owners have previously worked in corporations, and falsely believe they don’t need a systematic way of hiring due to their smaller size. While they may be right about not needing a formal hiring policy like a larger company, cutting corners and using subjective tools and practices will not protect them from litigation. The sad fact is that a small employer is more likely to make a hiring mistake for multiple reasons, mostly due to lack of experience in hiring. They are under the mistaken belief they can coach and motivate anyone for success. Their lack of awareness simply creates sleepless nights and unnecessary expense of hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars!

The biggest challenge? One bad hire can literally force a small enterprise to close its doors due to theft of money, data and proprietary information. Or, they incorrectly reason it won’t cost them anything to hire a straight commission salesperson, if that person is unable to sell. They don’t calculate the cost to their reputation nor the excessive marketing costs with no positive ROI. One small business owner suffered through theft of proprietary information. It cost him dearly. Instead of seeking better ways to hire people, he simply recreated the mistake by solely relying upon his gut.

Gather objective information. The more objective information you can gather up-front, the less likely you are to interview and select the wrong person. Most interviewers make their decision within the first five minutes of an interview, but spend the next thirty or sixty minutes asking questions that make no difference in changing their minds. Instead, use a structured interview format focused on experience, education and job skills. Have candidates take a skills test to determine true proficiency. Often overlooked is asking about any special requirements. Never assume they read the job posting simply because they applied for the job (e.g., if travel is involved, ask if they are available to travel and how often).

Qualified assessments. Many small employers need to broaden their perspective of what is a qualified assessment. If you’re relying upon non-qualified assessment results, its pay now or pay later in loss of clients or the employee’s unwillingness to do the required activities. Insist upon reviewing the Technical Manual for any assessment you wish to use; do not rely upon a letter from the vendor telling you it meets all federal, state and local laws. Select qualified tools in accordance with the Department of Labor Testing and Assessment 2007 guidelines (for a copy contact: If you have developed one on your own, spend the millions of dollars required to ensure the validity and reliability coefficients comply with EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity), DOL (Department of Labor) and various other requirements.

Training. Since most small business owners don’t hire often, they may overlook current employment laws. Set up a written strategic hiring process and have it reviewed by legal counsel. Review it each time you hire. Take time to learn best interview practices, how to correctly use assessments and skill testing and when to conduct background checks and drug screens (states laws vary). The basic rule of thumb is stay focused on the job responsibilities along with the applicant’s ability to successfully achieve intended results.

All jobs are important! One business owner didn’t feel the receptionist position was an important job in his company. He didn’t understand it’s the client’s first impression, and often a long-lasting one! He spent 5 minutes talking with each candidate and then selected the first one he liked. He went through three employees within a month. He not only lost several clients, one top employee left in protest of his hiring practices.

Hiring Amazing Employees, 2nd Edition, is coming soon! I’ll share more information during this upcoming month.

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2012  All Rights Reserved

Top 3 Hiring Myths for 2012

Companies are hiring again! The challenge? Despite all the tools available to help companies hire right the first time, hiring managers continue to rely upon traditional hiring practices or “flavor of the month” hiring gimmicks. Unfortunately, it costs employers thousands of dollars when hiring the wrong person for just a couple of hours! And, can cost millions of dollars when someone is unwilling or incapable of doing the job and the company loses a valuable client or top employee.

These are not new myths.  No formal scientific study was conducted. They are simply ones that have withstood the test of time during the past several decades.

Myth #1: It’s cheaper to re-invent the wheel. Many companies falsely believe they can invent their own tools to attract employees due to numerous social media sites. Yet, sole reliance on your own efforts will reduce your ability to attract qualified applicants. Designing your own applicant tracking system can cost 10x to 1000x more money than selecting a top-rated one with the features you need, like SEO (search engine optimization).  Keep in mind: Applicants will review the top three listings on page 1, skim pages 2 and 3, and not look at any other pages.  While some may argue they don’t want a lot of candidates, picking candidates from a small pool normally means settling for less than the job requires. A well-designed system will provide better applicants for less cost, and allow you to focus your efforts on the best, most likely to succeed candidates.

Myth #2: The perfect candidate exists. Perfection is an illusion. Looking for five “must have” qualities without good decision making tools is a waste of time. Currently, many of us spend less than 6 seconds skimming a resume (or searching for confidential key words); decide “yes or no” within the first 4.3 minutes of an interview; and overlook reference and background checks. How good can our decision-making process be? Top talent will bypass potential employers, if those businesses are unable to understand and follow their own selection system, or use inappropriate tools. Remember, these candidates may be your future clients, vendors and/or suppliers!

Myth #3: I’ll know the person when I meet him/her. Really? Too often we hear, “I can tell the character of a person by looking into the whites of their eyes!” Seriously? If the person does not speak the “hot buttons,” they will not be considered. Many candidates today are well-trained to tell you what you want to hear! It will not make them the right person to achieve the results required to grow your company or keep current clients. Use of qualified assessments (per Department of Labor guidelines) will reduce hiring candidates that simply don’t fit the job, or simply cannot or will not do the job! Review the Technical Manual to ensure proper use.

For additional information on how to hire right the first time:

For a copy of Testing and Assessment: An Employer’s Guide to Good Practices, U.S. Department of Labor contact

Jeannette Seibly is an international business advisor and executive consultant for privately-held companies with revenues of $1MM up to $30MM. She has created million-dollar results for 25 companies, and 3 millionaires!

©Jeannette L. Seibly 2012