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Did you know that requesting applicants to email or mail you resumes is outdated?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 BizSavvyHire.com.)

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 JLSeibly@SeibCo.com to discuss your hiring challenges. Get her newest book, Hire Amazing Employees, Second Edition: Improve Your Profits (and Your Work Life)! http://BizSavvyHire.com It includes templates for interviews and reference checking.

 

Are you hiring happy employees?

Google the phrase “happy employees” and you will find statistics that show many employees don’t like their jobs, their bosses, their company, or their work requirements. The bottom line? They are not a good fit for their job. Unhappy employees become bored or overwhelmed, start complaining, and don’t do the work as it needs to be done. They expect you, the boss, to fix what’s wrong with the job, the company, their customers, their coworkers, and everything else they view as difficult! They don’t understand that from your perspective it’s their job to provide solutions to these problems and be open to training to enhance their skills—which is why you hired them in the first place! Remember, high proficiency in job skills will not necessarily mean good job fit!

Using qualified assessment tools will help avoid a bad fit and create happier workers (aka top performers)!

Top performers are employees who truly fit their jobs. They help create a positive work environment, reduce communication issues, increase job satisfaction and loyalty, and ensure customers keep coming back.  As a boss, you will find that they are effortless to coach, train, and manage.

Using more objective data provided in a qualified pre-employment assessment will eliminate the time and money spent trying (usually unsuccessfully) to “fix” them. An attempt at “fixing” usually leaves them, and you, unhappy!

High-quality “job fit” assessment products predict success in a specific job and have been thoroughly researched and validated. They can provide reliable and relevant information that is non-discriminatory. (Be sure to review the technical manual of any assessment you wish to use for pre-hire purposes and Department of Labor guidelines to determine which tools are qualified pre-employment assessments. Do not rely solely upon a product letter stating its virtues.) Used as directed, they work! Everyone is happier!

©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

Mark your calendars for March 13, 2013. Hire Amazing Employees, Second Edition: Improve Your Profits (and Your Work Life)!  will be available for purchase.

Jeannette Seibly delivers straight talk with immediate results to business owners and executives of $1MM to $30MM enterprises, creating dynamic results. You may contact her at JLSeibly@SeibCo.com for an initial free consultation.

Hiring Refresher for Busy Bosses

http://ow.ly/d6yi1

  • Did the last hiring mistake zap you?
  • Still spending sleepless nights, over-thinking how to fix it?
  • Customers complaining about the quality and timeliness of deliverables?

You may need a refresher on hiring and selecting the right top performer.

As busy bosses, we do not hire often. When we do, it becomes very time consuming. We hope to find a quality candidate like the one who just left, or avoid hiring a similar problem to the one we fired.

This is a short 30-minute refresher on “secrets” to shorten up the selection process and ensure  hiring the right person. The first time!

  • How to use ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) effectively to weed out less desirable candidates.
  • What is a legally qualified assessment? What makes them different than the 3,000 published ones on the market?
  • Completing a full due diligence now saves countless hours and money later.

Join us on Thursday, September 13, 2012 @ 9 a.m. MDT (11 a.m. edt/8 a.m. PDT)

Registration takes only a minute and will save you many sleepless nights!

Infuse consistency, reliability and validity into your hiring process! Register today! http://ow.ly/d6yi1

About our presenter:

Jeannette Seibly has been successfully assisting her clients to hire the right person, the first time, for over 20 years. With over 33 years of human resource, business management experience working with companies ranging from $100K to $100MM, and reducing countless turnover and poor hiring selections, Seibly has saved companies 100’s of thousands of dollars. She’s the noted author of “Hiring Amazing Employees” (BizSavvyHire.com), “It’s Time to Brag!” (TimeToBrag.com), and over a hundred articles on hiring and being a biz-savvy executive and business owner. She’s already at work on the 2nd edition of “Hiring Amazing Employees.” (BizSavvyHire.com for current copy).    Register today! http://ow.ly/d6yi1

Got Sales Smarts?

While many companies are busy blaming the economy for their reduction in sales, smart companies are reassessing their sales teams and focusing their money and attention on top performers. Why? They often sell more – exponentially – than others. 

For the past decade, many products and services were sold to non-discriminating buyers.  Sales people did not need to learn the art of selling to make sales. Buyers often bought without first validating the functionality, legality, integration or longevity of their purchase.  (Think electronics, mortgages, bank loans, lease-options, etc.) They relied upon the sales person to tell them what they wanted to hear. Now, limited budgets are spawning much more selective consumers.

Successful sales people first learn how to deal with a buyer’s first impression, and effectively handle fear of new products or services. They understand how to work with busy people who rely upon yesterday’s experiences and overlook the value of today’s new products or services.

These top performers sell up to six times more than average sales people who do not incorporate objective data into their repertoire to facilitate the buyer’s decision making process. 

What does it take to sell more?

First and foremost: Get real about who is a top performer. We hire for job skills and fire for poor job fit. Many sales executives and business owners still rely upon their gut and other antiquated methods for determining one’s ability to sell their product or service.  Unfortunately, they falsely believe that a person’s verbal ability to talk the talk will ensure sales ability. As a result, they miss out on hiring top performers who could have made the difference between an adequate bottom line and a great financial outcome.

Use scientifically qualified assessment products and it will make all the difference in hiring the right person who can sell. You cannot fix and change someone who does not possess the right job fit skills for your sales requirements. Thinking style accounts for over 50% of a person’s success; core behaviors (can they close?) and occupational interests (do they possess up-to-date info?) round out the other 50%.

Another falsehood: We believe that high energy type people make better sales people. This myth can create many problems. 

  1. High energy is not just “younger employees”
  2. This type person can actually deter potential buyers, particularly in a long sales cycle or in developing a long-term relationship
  3. This belief is discriminatory and focuses on personality issues that statistically don’t make a difference!

Focus on sales results.  Traditionally, poor sales people have relied upon brochures, websites, credentials or social network data to sell their products or services. For many products and services, this didn’t work then, and certainly does not work now, even with the increase in web-based purchases. Buyers have become more selective, and rely upon their “relationship” with their sales rep. 

Pay attention to your sales team’s communication style. 

  • Will the person listen to the buyer’s needs and provide value-add solutions?
  • Can they quantify the product or service details vs. their competition?
  • Will they close the sale? Can they up-sell and cross-sell to address future needs?

Additional communications basics that are often missed:

  • Say please and thank you – still works. 
  • Learn proper email etiquette – it’s not hard.
  • Follow-up and follow-through — still required to get and keep customers.
  • Greet someone with the proper handshake — makes a difference.
  • Talk voice-to-voice — still required for many purchases.
  • Pronounce people’s names correctly — it’s still a must!

Do it now. Objectively assess your sales team’s ability to sell. Focus your attention and money on your top performers. Train those who have the potential, based upon the right job fit. Sales will naturally – and exponentially – escalate. 

©Jeannette Seibly, 2010

What is your capacity? Planning & Growth

What is your capacity to handle new clients without reducing what you deliver? The focus of small business owners everywhere tends to be the same: Making money, paying bills–not building systems and people, not planning capacity.

As entrepreneurs, we usually believe we can handle an increase in sales volume. It’s what we seek, it’s the holy grail of growth—right? Unfortunately, unplanned rapid growth can send any business to an early grave. Often, only after the fact of rapid growth do we discover we didn’t have systems and people to meet our growing needs.  Customers have little patience for trial and error. Waiting until necessity drives development of systems and people, we miss the opportunity to proactively increase capacity.  Ultimately, we damage profitability, and our reputation. So, how do we dodge the bullet?

Hire the Right People. Hiring the best can be a slow process. We must answer three questions:”Can they do the job?” (capacity); “How will they do the job?” (behavior); and, “Will they do the job?” (occupational interest—is this what they want to do?) All three questions must also be context-specific: “Can they do this job here?” If the questions are asked properly and answered clearly, the probability of hiring someone who fits the job increases. Research confirms it: people who fit their jobs produce more, stay longer, and create happier, more profitable workplaces!

Clarify strengths and weaknesses. When your capacity doesn’t change much, employees stagnate!  Those who might have handled new challenges have left for new opportunities, usually with your competition.  Current employees may have effectively departed while still on your payroll—a problem Harvard Business School calls “presenteeism.” A clear view of each of each employee’s “true” interests is critical. Remember, it’s an ongoing process: A wise entrepreneur once said, “When you think you have it all handled, you’ve set yourself up for failure.” Our working systems are often created by employees for their own convenience, not necessarily for your customers. Worse, we rarely know what our systems really are, and employees modify them continuously.

Customers have their own, private opinions about your business. Ask them questions, directly and indirectly:  What works for you, our customer? What do we do that does not work?  Allow them to clarify. What do they need from you? What else would they like from you?

Develop accountability and responsibility in your employees, managers and yourself.   Simply having feedback is one thing, acting productively on it is another—and acting is harder!  Measure skills in your managers, and plan to improve them. Make sure everyone realizes it’s an ongoing process: “Perfection is a direction, not a place.” Handle problem employees now! If you have an employee unable to do the job, be fair and let them go.  Hire slowly, fire quickly.

One manager put it very well: “The most expensive employee time I have is the interval between when I realize they have to go, and when I actually make it happen.” An effective manager must concentrate on, and measure, results.  ”Working hard” is a valuable part of the systems producing your total results, but is rarely sufficient. Focus on these fundamentals of business, and you will soon see new opportunities for growth in your business, based on planned increases in your capacity!

Copyright © Jeannette L. Seibly and John W. Howard, 2004-2010

Jeannette Seibly, Principal of SeibCo, LLC takes your company to the next level by creating leaders, success and results. Whether it be generating your next million, making a strategic difference or resolving people issues, SeibCo, LLC is your partner in causing unprecedented results and impacting your bottomline.

John W. Howard, Ph.D., owner of Performance Resources, Inc. helps businesses of all sizes increase their profits by reducing their people costs. His clients hire better, fire less, manage better, and keep their top performers. 

Do your clients think you are inaccessible?

Ridiculous you say?  Hhhmmm…

  • Does it take several phone calls to get in touch with you? 
  • Does it take longer than 24 to 48 hours to respond to your voice mail messages or emails?
  • Do you normally use the excuses “I’m too busy.” OR “I don’t have the time?”
  • If so, you probably do not know this Law of poor customer service:
    The longer it takes for you to return a call or respond to an email, the more the issue will grow exponentially larger.

 Try this instead:

Treat your phone and email with reverence. Phone messages and email messages from clients and prospective clients are the life blood of your business. Prompt responses are a good opportunity to enhance the value you provide to your clients. It’s also a great way to up-sell and cross-sell any additional products and services that they may need, but do not realize you offer.

All clients are important. Rank ordering clients as to whom you will contact based upon revenues will work only until you lose the BIG client. Then, you’ll need to re-group and try to re-capture smaller clients who found excellent customer service with your competition while you focused on the BIG client.

Keep meetings. Continually canceling, not being prepared, and not taking responsibility for ensuring the client feels valued are good excuses for your clients to seek out other vendors. It’s easier and less expensive to keep good clients, then to go and find new ones.

Blitz them with customer service. We falsely assume, with devastating results, that everyone knows how to be a good representative of the company. Train all employees to be on the same page, and work together for the benefit of the client. Contact me for details … it will save you many clients! JLSeibly@gmail.com

©Jeannette Seibly, 2010

Confidence vs. Bravado

Strong leaders recognize that their self-belief starts from within. They are responsible for their actions and words.  They develop a natural and positive self expression, a genuine confidence that is not false bravado.  They meet challenges by sharing their ideas and solutions without blame, judgment or criticism.  Others are comfortable following their lead, and wish to follow the leader’s example of developing a clear compass for achieving great results.

1)Leaders make mistakes. When they do, they quickly apologize and don’t nitpick the facts. Then, they simply follow through and deliver the newly negotiated agreement on time.

2)Experience is the key to understanding. Everyone has thoughts, opinions and feelings about a situation or person — normally a reflection of their unconscious biases. Conscious recognition and experience require taking responsibility of one’s own perception, and developing compassion for others. Compassion does not imply agreement, but it does develop the depth of soul needed in a true leader.

3)Leaders are able to work with a wide variety of people and situations by relying upon their strengths, and managing their own weaknesses. Leaders who stay focused on the human and material sides of a project are able to elicit the best in others.  They are developing breadth in their own skills and the skills of others at the same time. Their success is repeatable.  They enjoy celebrating their successes, and the outstanding results of others.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2010

Does perfectionism get in the way of results?

Perfectionism is a relative term depending upon your viewpoint. Innovative types don’t like to follow the rules. They view others as perfectionists when they ask too many questions or are unable to see the potential success of the venture in the same way they see it. Conversely, the “dot every I and cross every T” type of person looks at others as being irresponsible and unable to plan appropriately — not perfect enough in their thought processes. They simply squash any ideas that don’t match their stringent point of view.

We are all perfectionists at some level! We love to make things harder than they are. We wait for the perfect time in our lives when the economy is good, life circumstances are stable. We wait to be working for the right company, with the right boss and co-workers. In the meantime, we postpone fulfilling our goals and dreams. People stop listening to our ideas. We are upset when others “take our ideas” and are successful!

Attitude The “perfect time” is an attitude. Fulfillment of any business venture or project requires that we focus and follow through. Declare goals. Write-down specific action steps. There is no perfect plan that will prevent inevitable challenges.  Many of us love to make systems harder than they are.  We, make working with others more difficult than it needs to be.  Hiring a coach will provide invaluable simple and strategic insights.

Integrity and ethical behaviors required.  Breakdowns are to be expected, regardless of the “perfect” plan design.  Short-cuts will normally get you in trouble in the long run. Ignoring key issues now may hurt your future reputation, financial solvency, and the ability to attract and retain top performers.  Instead of relying upon your own internal monologue of what is right or wrong, talk through challenges with your business mentor.  Use the opportunity to clarify your perspective and the required action needed to avoid further pitfalls.

Learn when to quickly move forward, and when to strategically wait.  Many people self-sabotage when the results don’t fit their “perfect” view of how they should look. Instead of dealing with the facts, they play spider-solitaire or spend a lot of time surfing the Internet. They blame their lack of focused action upon not having enough: information, time, money, or opportunities. Honor your plan, even if it seems like you’re taking baby-steps. You’ll get there!

Enjoy your achievements and the accomplishments of others, now.  Too often we excuse the importance of acknowledgement due to our ambivalent feelings about being in the spot-light, even for a moment. Appreciate others’ successes and accept their congratulatory wishes. Building upon success keeps you moving forward, and encourages the right people to work with you.

 ©Jeannette Seibly, 2010

Are your employees on the same page with you?

We inevitably get upset with people who are not doing things the way we would do them ourselves. We expect them to effectively learn after reading a manual or being shown once how to do something. Their lack of consistency loses us customers (both internally and externally). Rarely do we stop to see what is missing from our employees’ perspectives so that they could be on the same page with us. 

1)     Review your training, systems and procedures. What’s missing? The national reading average is 6th grade level. This reflects a person’s ability to adequately comprehend the material and put it to good use. Some people need to talk it out to ensure they understand. Some need to be shown how to do something more than once. Still others need to “try” it themselves first, and then ask for coaching to fill in the gaps.

2)     When hiring and coaching people, we don’t have fool-proof intuitive crystal balls. Use legally and scientifically validated job fit tools for hiring, coaching and managing. This helps us understand objectively why people fail to do work the way we would do it. And it creates an opportunity to provide guidance for skill development (ours and theirs).

3)     Set specific goals, and then manage the milestones to ensure the project and people are all moving forward. When people fail to deliver the necessary results, coach them by focusing on the task at hand. Sometimes you need to be very specific and other times you’ll need to help them understand the bigger picture. Trying to fix the person never works!

 (c)Jeannette Seibly, 2010

Is attracting top performers problematic?

Or, are you a top performer who is having trouble finding your next opportunity?   The first place to inspect about yourself and/or your company, is how you talk about your employees, customers, prospects, family members, neighbors and/or competition. While you may believe using colloquialisms, profanity, or slang sounds smart, entertaining, or knowledgeable, the reality is that it provides the opposite effect.

Clean up your labeling. Name-calling, regardless of your excuse, is harmful and hurtful. It sends a negative message to others, consciously or unconsciously, about your emotional intelligence. It actually will bolster business if you speak authentically about others in a positive manner, even when they’ve made a mistake.

People are a valuable resource. When you honor everyone (and your company’s Vision and Mission statements) regardless of gender, gender choices, racial, religious and/or ethical differences, you’ll be amazed by the difference it makes. Calling women and men, girls and boys, sounds demeaning after the age of 16. Pronounce people’s names correctly. Stay away using nicknames. Be sensitive to the fact that employees may be offended and uncomfortable telling you or others to stop. As a business owner or executive, you need to ensure all people are treated with respect. Harassment suits are costly.

Take charge of your own anger. Using anger as your excuse doesn’t work, since everyone deals with some level of anger due to life experiences. Get help to find a creative way to use the negative energy in a positive manner to help others. 

Take responsibility.  In your meetings, whether one-on-one or in groups, make sure that people are referred to respectfully. Ensure any name calling is stopped, immediately. Something said in jest can actually cost you a pricey lawsuit or a million dollar client!

(c)Jeannette Seibly, 2010