OR? Are they? As business owners we continually hope for a perfect world where all employees have integrity, are loyal and fit perfectly into any role the company requires.
Unfortunately, it is not a perfect world. People are unique and bring with them varying experiences, backgrounds, education and other credentials. They also bring their own set of learning abilities, interests, and personalities!
Do we intentionally hire people who are not assets in our business? NO! Then how do they get hired?
We have relied on traditional hiring practices as a means of filling jobs with productive people that can cost upward to 5 times a person’s salary.
Did you know…
…63% of all hiring decisions are made in the first 4.3 minutes of an interview?
…Over 50% of all the resumes have false or misleading information on them?
…to determine technical competency and interpersonal skills, we rely on interview questions such as: “What book(s) have you read recently?” “What famous person would you like to go out to lunch with and why?”
…business owners spend more time purchasing a $35,000 piece of equipment than hiring someone at a salary level of $35,000?
How do we stop the insanity of continuing to use the same or similar counter-productive methods while expecting different results?
First and foremost, we need to get ourselves out of the way.
The problem is that we think we know enough. After all, we have worked hard and are successful. We believe anyone with enough drive and savvy can do what we do. Many of us, in our efforts to be fair, expend our energies on training or coaching people to change, to fit the job. We even try paying people more money to be productive and effective.
A better return on investment would be to discover smarter ways to screen, interview, assess, and make the right selection in the first place. We’ve used the excuse that we’re doing all we can do legally! However, there are a lot of gray areas in the hiring process that can legally work!
Second. When we are hiring people, we need to be clear as to our own strengths and weaknesses.
When we hire people to do marketing, sales, and/or servicing of our clients, there is a risk that they may form stronger relationships with our clients than out company has formed. Problems may occur when this employee leaves.
Be clear and specific about what you do best or dislike doing. Stay in contact with your clients and/or prospects in a manner that supports them and your employees while sending a message that you care. Having Non-Compete Agreements may help but too often they provide a false sense of security.
Third. Take the time to determine exactly what you need.
Be open to restructuring or creating a job that will support your vision and mission of the company. You may find people who have skills that can support your company, but they may not fit the traditional definition for the particular job you were looking to fill.
Fourth. Establish a consistent procedure, and then follow it regardless of the person!
The Director of Worldwide Security for a Fortune 500 company once said, “If the company has followed all their own written procedures, by the time final clearance for hiring is issued, there’s a .001 chance of finding out something that people didn’t already know!”
Many companies, in the hiring process, become attached to a person with whom they “connect.” They lose their perspective when they do not follow their own policies and want to solely follow their intuition.
When we follow a well-defined selection process, we discover more about the person and they learn about us. We are open to gathering more information by listening to others’ input (e.g., our employees, partners, customers, etc.). We realize that there are times when our sole instincts are not the best guide.
If she or he is the right person, they will appreciate the time you have invested in determining whether or not they fit the company and job. That starts the process of developing loyalty.
Fifth. Be professional.
Develop interview questions based on finding out “Can the person do the job?” “Will the person do the job?” “Does the person fit within this company?”
Focus on what experience, education and background they have. What skills can they bring that will resolve problems and issues we are experiencing in our company, industry, and/or profession? Will they support our style of business? Will they be: Team-focused? Highly competitive? Capable of going with the flow? Innovative? Able to follow well established procedures?
Conduct reference checks, employment verifications, background checks, and core-value testing as well as personality and job fit assessment to ensure that your perceptions of the candidate are realistic, not idealistic.
The bottom line question for our business to truly be successful with each employee: Is this truly the right person, in the right position, to create the right result for my business?
Fitting people into the right job reduces people-problems and provides businesses with people who are productive in jobs they love. It supports a profitable vision of “employees are our greatest assets.”
(c)Jeannette L. Seibly and John W. Howard, PhD, 2005
Jeannette L. Seibly, Principal of SeibCo, LLC specializes in straight talk with immediate results and has been particularly successful in coaching and training business owners, their executives and managers, to achieve unprecedented results. JLSeibly@gmail.com
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. firstname.lastname@example.org