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: JLSeibly@SeibCo.com. 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

Avoid Costly Hiring Blunders

Many business owners and executives often find hiring a painful process. A challenge they hate. As a result, they rely heavily on the interview as a major decisive factor, which only provides hiring success a shocking 14% of the time! Sadly, this creates costly hiring blunders. They often forget to include other equally important indicators in their hiring decision process. The goal of any hiring system? Collect enough of the right information to make solid decisions.

Applicant Tracking System can help you attract great candidates and simultaneously provide factual details of their past employment, education and skills. Select a tracking system that is user friendly and can be reached within one or two clicks from social media sites or other venues. The beauty of these systems is you capture their attention now and have them complete the application form at the same time. Remember this important distinction: a resume is a marketing tool, but an application is a legal document that requires actual dates of employment, salary and titles, to name but a few of the facts provided, that all help you make better-informed decisions.

Qualified Assessments allow us to see the whole person. Nearly 90% of a candidate’s true self is frequently camouflaged by resumes which selectively depict a person’s education, skills and job experience. That true self is often further camouflaged by the strength of an interviewer’s skills. Avoid these pitfalls by selecting assessment tools that meet the Department of Labor’s guidelines. This is important because you want to be sure the quality of the results actually reflects the job fit of the person you are interviewing, for both the present and the future. Remember, we often hire for perceived job skills and in the end, fire for a poor job fit.

Full Due Diligence requires conducting background checks, real reference checks and collection of other pertinent information. Be sure to have more than one final candidate.When you only have one candidate, you are more likely to rationalize why it won’t make a difference, many times to the detriment of the enterprise. Too often employers select only one and after it’s too late, find out something they hadn’t discovered earlier. The bottom line is … you can pay now to conduct a proper assessment process, or pay later in loss of business, increase in litigation or theft of data, money or proprietary information if you’ve hired the wrong person. You decide.

Join us on Thursday, September 13 @ 9:00 a.m. MDT (11 a.m. EDT/8 a.m. PDT): Hiring Refresher for Busy Bosses http://wp.me/pN8WG-97  Find out more about how to effectively use the above-mentioned tools to make better informed hiring decisions.

 “Hiring Amazing Employees” eBook is available at http://BizSavvyHire.com

©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2012

 

Avoid Costly Hiring Blunders

Many business owners and executives often find hiring a painful process. A challenge they hate. As a result, they rely heavily on the interview as a major decisive factor, which only provides hiring success a shocking 14% of the time! Sadly, this creates costly hiring blunders. They often forget to include other equally important indicators in their hiring decision process. The goal of any hiring system? Collect enough of the right information to make solid decisions.

Applicant Tracking System can help you attract great candidates and simultaneously provide factual details of their past employment, education and skills. Select a tracking system that is user friendly and can be reached within one or two clicks from social media sites or other venues. The beauty of these systems is you capture their attention now and have them complete the application form at the same time. Remember this important distinction: a resume is a marketing tool, but an application is a legal document that requires actual dates of employment, salary and titles, to name but a few of the facts provided, that all help you make better-informed decisions.

Qualified Assessments allow us to see the whole person. Nearly 90% of a candidate’s true self is frequently camouflaged by resumes which selectively depict a person’s education, skills and job experience. That true self is often further camouflaged by the strength of an interviewer’s skills. Avoid these pitfalls by selecting assessment tools that meet the Department of Labor’s guidelines. This is important because you want to be sure the quality of the results actually reflects the job fit of the person you are interviewing, for both the present and the future. Remember, we often hire for perceived job skills and in the end, fire for a poor job fit.

Full Due Diligence requires conducting background checks, real reference checks and collection of other pertinent information. Be sure to have more than one final candidate.When you only have one candidate, you are more likely to rationalize why it won’t make a difference, many times to the detriment of the enterprise. Too often employers select only one and after it’s too late, find out something they hadn’t discovered earlier. The bottom line is … you can pay now to conduct a proper assessment process, or pay later in loss of business, increase in litigation or theft of data, money or proprietary information if you’ve hired the wrong person. You decide.

Join us on Thursday, September 13 @ 9:00 a.m. MDT (11 a.m. EDT/8 a.m. PDT): Hiring Refresher for Busy Bosses http://wp.me/pN8WG-97  Find out more about how to effectively use the above-mentioned tools to make better informed hiring decisions.

 “Hiring Amazing Employees” eBook is available at http://BizSavvyHire.com

©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2012

 

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

Focused on the Wrong Things to Hire the Right Person?

Every boss, C-Suite and executive wants to hire the best person to achieve the best results. When the right candidate is selected, companies grow profitably. The major concern for employers during the selection process is fear – fear of hiring the wrong person. This is the hard reality: No one wants to hire someone who is a thief or can’t or simply won’t do the job. But instead of creating a process to collect the right data and make an informed decision, employers too often rely upon tiny fragments of information that are not factual or misconstrue observed behavior. When interviewers fail to follow a strategic selection processes, they are unable to sufficiently compare applicants to make the best decision (think, apples with apples).

Structured Interview: Many employers create questions that have nothing to do with the person’s actual ability to do the job. They focus on whether candidates like money, are loyal employees, want to work, are task or idea focused, etc. Savvy interviewees will tell you what you want to hear! Ask interview questions that are legal and focus on results the person has achieved. Determine the level of skill they actually possess currently, by drilling down into their responses (e.g., Tell me more. Which means?)

Assess Whole Person: Interviewers rely upon their perceptions to infer a person’s entire character. They dismiss a candidate because s/he didn’t bring a pen to the interview, or read a book or listens to music they don’t like. Traditionally we have relied upon 1/8th of the information readily available to evaluate a person’s job suitability: key words on resumes, interview savvy and reference checks. It’s time to access job fit – the 7/8th’s that is often overlooked. You can train the right person to develop needed skills.

Use qualified assessments to determine job fit. Review the Department of Labor guidelines and Technical Manual (each publisher should provide these) to determine appropriate use of any assessment. When choosing an assessment tool, do not solely rely upon a sales person’s knowledge or their attorney’s letter to determine if the tool can be used for pre-employment purposes.

Due Diligence: Use core value and job-fit assessments; background, credit and criminal checks; employment and school verifications; structured interview questions (including all the ones contained in assessment reports); and reference checks with previous employers. Follow your own system in its entirety. If your selection system and interview questions are constructed to obtain the right information and are used correctly, you will make an informed hiring decision.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2011

We Hire for Job Skills and Fire for Poor Job Fit

Many employers have taken note of Starbuck CEO Howard Schultz’s recent call for companies to create jobs and improve their own businesses. The problem is that hiring to create jobs does not necessarily improve businesses if antiquated hiring practices do not ensure good job fit!

There is a plethora of information on how to recruit, interview and hire the right person, from good strategic and sustainable business practices, to woo-woo. Many employers have relied upon traditional practices for too long. They still fail to understand the whole person they are hiring, not just the person’s alleged skill-set. If you continue to do what you’ve always done, you’ll be perpetually in the hiring-then-firing-trying-to-get-it-right loop.

Get started, now. It’s important to know your numbers. The costs of turnover, honeymoon period, and poor promotion or transfer choices can quickly off-set any tax credits. Numbers give credibility for the need to create a truly sustainable strategic hiring system. It’s important that everyone is committed to real results; it is too easy to be lured back into old habits.

Recruiting. An on-line application process will snag top talent faster than expecting them to snail-mail you a resume with cover letter. Cast a broad net to ensure you’re attracting the right candidates. Include a ten-question format to clarify their job skills, experience, education and career intentions. It will help you find those hidden gems. Do not get caught in the trap of relying solely upon key word searches or skimming applications and/or resumes. 

Interview. Train your hiring managers how to conduct legal and effective interviews. Design structured interview questions to determine a candidate’s actual skill set and experience. Do not rely upon the interview alone to make a good hiring decision. Beware. There are many well-trained interviewees who know how to tell you exactly what you want to hear.

Assessments. Use valid assessments that meet the Department of Labor requirements. They provide good, objective information that is not obtainable in interviews, or by reading a resume or application form. They provide insights into the candidate as a whole person. Use job match pattern technology to determine job fit. 

Background and Credit Checks. White collar crime is on the rise, especially since many companies do not prosecute for theft or other illegal activities. In addition to using background and credit checks, include a core value assessment as part of the on-line application process. This can help to eliminate potential hiring problems.

Employment Verification and References. Both are important to ensure all the information you’ve collected is indeed verified. Ask for professional references and call them to affirm the information submitted by the candidates. If you’ve done a careful job of collecting authentic information, there should be no surprises. 

While this may sound time consuming, documenting evidence to fire someone actually takes more time, money and energy than hiring the right person! Furthermore, the in/uh-oh/out scenario associated with this sort of turnover can sully your reputation. The right person in the right job actually helps you keep customers and grow your business, (think, make money). Having the right people also ensures you attract and keep other great employees too. Then you can truly be free to focus on improving and building your business.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2011

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

How do the top performers help profits grow exponentially? Hire the Best: Grow the Best Business  Join us 6/29/2011 https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/878372153

NOW is the time – keep key employees!

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/

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!

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