Let me share a story with you. I used to be in the same boat as you. Hiring good employees was as much a mystery to me as it probably is to you. If the person looked good, was enthusiastic, and showed some interest, they got hired. And you would have a hard time counting my mistakes. One in particular I want to share with you.
Someone was silly enough to promote me to my first management job. The department needed to hire an administrative assistant. I did all the typical things. Ran the typical ad (titled “Administrative Assistant”) in the Sunday classified ads. Interviewed about 20 candidates throughout the week. Finally, it was Friday afternoon and I had one more interview to go and the desperation was mounting.
This final person walked into my office and announced that she wanted the job and that I would be smart to give her the job. Having been beat into submission all week and liking aggressive people, I threw up my hands and said, “You’re hired!” And boy was that a decision that will go down in infamy. If ever there was a walking nightmare, it was now working for me.
I know I am not the first person to have made that mistake. We have all hired someone out of desperation at some point. And, if you are like me, you probably regret some of those desperate decisions. Hiring people has to stop being a necessary evil and start being a key strategic part of managing your business.
Hiring mistakes can kill your company. All the motivation, all the coaching, all the training, all the total quality management and all the reengineering in the world can’t make up for a hiring mistake. You simply can’t overcome it or train your way out of it. Yet, while business experts agree on the importance of quality employees, not too many managers are very good at making the right hiring decision.
Just think of the positive impact on your business . . . and more importantly, your peace of mind (how many walking nightmares are you dealing with?) when you lower your number of hiring mistakes.
Every time you hire someone who is not good, the entire organization suffers. Bad hires not only create customer ill will, but they effect the people who must work with them and manage them. Bad employees create stress and disruption in the entire company. Morale is lowered, productivity decreases, and absenteeism increases. And, your life gets miserable.
What causes most bad hires? Ignorance. No one has ever shown you how to do it. You are probably using a haphazard approach based on rumors, myths and some form of trial and error. And you are probably basing your decisions on vague, indefinable factors such as chemistry, gut-feel and guesswork.
You need to have a mission if you are going to hire winners. Think of it as your guiding principle. The mission is to have the right person in the right job at the right time doing the right things. Take a minute, close your eyes and just imagine how nice life would be. Feels like success doesn’t it?
The person you hire is going to have to achieve on-the-job success (satisfying your business needs). Just what is on-the-job success? Success on a job is a critical concept that changes from company to company . . . from industry to industry . . . from department to department . . . and even from one year to the next. How you define it, and predict it will determine if you end up hiring winners?
The purpose of any selection process is to predict whether the person you hire will be successful on the job.
Successful employees do the right things – they deliver results in a particular position. But doing the right things is not enough – they also have to do those things the right way. So if you clearly understand “what” the person has to do and “how” they have to do it, you have a template for the successful employee.
The Best Predictor of Success
Your entire focus in the interview should be to answer one question: “How is this person going to handle the tasks and situations of my job?” A great way to get your answer is to focus on past behavior. According to social scientists, past behavior predicts future behavior 88 percent of the time. People are creatures of habit. People act and react to specific situations exactly the way they have done in the past.
Find out how the person handled similar situations on previous jobs if you want to predict how a candidate is going to handle the tasks and situations of your job (to have on-the-job success),
Here is a 7-step process we have taught our Selecting Winners clients:
7 Steps To Hiring Success
- Have a Process
- Know What You Are Looking For
- Develop a Recruitment Mentality
- Prepare Effective Questions
- Maintain Control of the Interview
- Evaluate Against the Profile
- Sell Your Job the Right Way at the Right Time
Sell Your Job The Right Way
“Why should I work for you?” This is a question that every good candidate has in the back of their mind. And, you better have an answer! Good candidates always have choices. How is your job and company going to stand out from the crowd as the employer of choice?
Develop a list of compelling reasons if you are going to convince a candidate they should work for your organization.. A good first step is to talk to your existing employees and find out why they are working for you.
Also, it is important to sell your job at the right time – which is at the end of the interview. There are two reasons to wait until the end to sell. First, you want to make certain this is a good candidate. There is no sense in selling someone who isn’t going to get the job.
Second, you have the highest probability of packaging your job in a way to close them after you know something about the person,. It is really difficult to sell to someone you don’t know anything about.
I hope this has given you a number of ideas about how to recruit and hire the best employees. As always, your comments are welcome.