3 Questions to Successful Hiring
Though the uptick in the economy is small, it signals enough new business for some companies to consider hiring in 2013.
If that’s your goal, it’s not too early to begin the process. You probably have a job description. Most likely you know who is going to train the new hire, where they will sit, which computer will be theirs and what training you’ll provide. You may have an account with Career Builder or Monster or maybe you advertise openings on LinkedIn. Perhaps you post openings internally and encourage employee referrals.
Have you created your interview questions? Employee fit is crucial. Do you know the 3 simple questions that can boost your success in hiring?
If you’re not a recruiter, interviewing candidates who probably have been on more interviews than you’ve ever conducted, can be difficult. Also, some candidates just interview better than they perform on the job. John Younger, CEO of Accolo, a cloud recruiting solutions provider, feels he’s found a way to ‘cut to the chase’ by asking 3 questions.
Start with the first job in the candidates work history. Don’t ask for details or explanations. Ask these three questions for each position listed. Move quickly and take detailed notes.
1. How did you learn about the job?
2. Why did you want the job?
3. Why did you leave the job?
Here’s Younger’s logic:
How did you learn about the job? Job fairs, job boards, online listings is how most people find their first few jobs. Everyone has to start somewhere. No warning bell here. However, a candidate who finds each successive job in the same manner should be viewed as waving a red flag. They may not yet have figured out what they want to do beyond getting a job, any job. Without a focus of what they want to do and where they would like to do it, your job will do until something better comes along. If by job three or four they haven’t been approached to join someone they previously worked for or with—the red flag keeps waving. This person hasn’t built relationships and therefore hasn’t developed the level of trust that would let someone believe in them enough to go out of their way to recommend them to their management or a valued client.
Why did you want the job? Interviewees should avoid catch phrases like, ‘great opportunity’ ‘love to learn new industries’ or ‘time for a career move.’ The employee you want to hire isn’t looking for a special title or huge comp package. They want the job because they enjoy what they do, they value the work being done and they appreciate the workplace environment. They know what kind of environment suits them, makes them strive to achieve more. They want to be motivated and challenged and that is what they are seeking in a career.
Why did you leave the job? You will get as many reasons as there are people. Better opportunity, more money, closer to home, work-life balance to name a few. If an employee has left many jobs because the employer expected too much, or their boss was difficult, or they didn’t mesh with co-workers that red flag should be wildly flapping. Don’t break rhythm with your questions; keep asking in the same order for each job and you’ll see a pattern emerging. Gather all your information in a non-judgmental manner.
According to Younger, it’s a quick way to get to the core of someone’s sense of teamwork and responsibility. Younger says, “Some people never take ownership and always see problems as someone else’s problems. If candidates have consistently had problems with their bosses and co-workers—they’ll have issues with you and your employees.
Are these three questions foolproof? Hardly not; we’re dealing with people. They can help you avoid ‘choice by charisma.’ When we interview someone we immediately like, we have a tendency to maximize their positives and minimize or even ignore their weaknesses. Similarly, if we dislike someone or have are ambivalent about them, we maximize their shortcomings and marginalize their accomplishments.
These ‘gut reactions’ are split second impressions that should be considered in the event of a tie but not as the entire basis for a hiring decision.
What Scares You the Most?
Let's agree that hairy spiders, venomous snakes, small spaces, really high places and clown faces are a given. Okay, maybe my given.
What about business scares you? For years, employers told me their biggest fear was hiring the wrong person. That wrong hire could lead to headaches and pettiness at best and damaged customer relations and lost revenues at worst. After that the process to develop a paper trail to get rid of them without repercussions. And finally, the painful decision to begin a new search. That's what employers used to say.
Now, according to an online survey by Diversi Corp called The Business Sounding Board, fears about a wrong hire moved into the number 4 spot.
What is the number one fear of small business owners today?
17% of respondents named lack of revenue or sales.
11% named lack of adequate financing.
6% named healthcare costs and employee benefits.
4% named lack of qualified employees/candidates.
2% named lack of equity capital.
Small business owners have always kept a watchful eye on the bottom line. And small businesses always worried about slow cash flow and difficult collections. Those worries centered on getting paid and getting paid in a timely manner.
These last few years have moved us from collecting the cash to creating the revenues. So we hunker down and hold our cash close...we keep pursuing sales...we spend thriftily...we look for value...we look within ourselves and to trusted colleagues for the answers.
If your resource pool isn't as deep as you need for this economy, if you need advice, direction or solid referrals for any area of your company, from marketing to equity partners, or if you're short on colleagues because it's just you, consider contacting SCORE.
SCORE is a nationwide, non-profit organization dedicated to helping the owners of existing and start-up businesses assure that their businesses grown and prosper. They offer one-on-one mentoring at no cost and provide a variety of Workshops and Webinars on topics of timely interest. This is mentoring your money can't buy!
For employers concerned about finding good employees there is a wonderful resource available. It is the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC). This is a portable, evidence-based credential that measures essential workplace skills and is a reliable predictor of workplace success.
Visit (http://www.act.org/certificate/) to get more information or you can contact Barb Tartaglione (Dupage Workforce Board) at 630-955-2082.
Wait.... think "outside" the box, right?
So, what's wrong with the inside of the box?
If the box doesn't come with social media; if your box doesn't have a fan page, a LinkedIn profile or if the box cannot Tweet, well, you have to get outside of it and...
And what, exactly?
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke commented that the economy is still sluggish. Is it sluggish inside the box? Would moving your efforts outside the box improve the economy or at least your business?
What's outside the box? Can you bring things from inside the box with you? Things like customer visits (the in-person kind) or handwritten notes or phone calls or printed collateral (we used to call them handouts or leave-behinds).
If you're a small business owner, the hype and stampede to leave that box behind appears daily in the forms of emails promoting seminars, webinars and skypeinars (I made that up).
There is no end to the advice from coaches, marketing coaches, business coaches, sales coaches, personal coaches, career coaches, transition coaches, and balance coaches (life balance not aerobics).
Anyone under forty years old tells me I need all the Social Media I can generate, that I need it all, but who or what comes first? Do I learn to tweet before I friend someone? Whom do I ask to link to my professional network?
We know we must keep moving, keep evolving or we'll get left behind in the dust of archaic practices and equipment. While packing up to move my office two months ago I found a Dictaphone machine still in the original box, an IBM Selectric typewriter with several font balls and a check writer (manual crank) next to the typewriter.Even the local thrift store doesn't want them!
We've learned to embrace technology. Our now-obsolete cell phones have morphed into "androids" (though they sure don't look like R2D2 or C3PO). Most every job on the planet involves computers in one way or another. E-book sales have surpassed those of printed books. So now, we have a fan page (please go there and like us) and we have a profile on LinkedIn. We have not ventured into the world of Utube--too scary!
Just about the time I became moderately adept at email marketing through Constant Contact, my coach (you guess which kind) told me Tweeting and communicating via FB is replacing emails as the preferred method of communication.
So small business owners, managers and supervisors: are we all the way out of the box? One leg over or maybe just peaking out?
While I am embracing Social (living in an organized community, not solitary) Media (method by which information is conveyed to the general public), I'm going to call you from my land line, maybe invite you for a coffee or stop by and drop off a brochure. Just for old times.
Any one out there remember this land line?
What encourages loyalty, promotes enthusiasm, reaffirms commitment and results in employee engagement?
You can't give raises? You can't offer more benefits? You can't approve promotions?
You're not alone.
Most companies now are not in the position to do any of the above but loyal, hard-working employees are hard to find. It is in every company's best interest to retain and motivate their current employees.
How then can you position yourself to hang on to the top notch employees - your stars? As the economy recovers, business owners will turn to their employees to meet the much needed and longed for growth. As they position their businesses to recover the last thing business owners want is to discover that their work force has been rifled and poached, lured away by a promise of more.
Conversational wisdom, concurs that most often, the best employee is the one who is employed. Are your employees vulnerable?
Employers can take several steps to keep employees from leaving; even when a competitor offers a higher salary.
Recognition drives performance and retains employees. Several surveys complied between 2007 and 2009 revealed that 70% of employees who work at companies that have recognition programs said they still planned to be there in a year whereas only 24.7% employees who work at companies that didn't have recognition programs said they thought they'd still be there in a year.
People need to feel appreciated, valued and recognized for their contributions to the success of the organization. On a daily basis people need meaning to their lives and where do they spend most of their lives? The issue is to let employees know that the work they do is valued and appreciated. Let them know that they are important to the company's growth and success.
When employees perceive they are not appreciated they either look elsewhere for their "just desserts" or they continue at your company without energy or enthusiasm.
Recognition is inexpensive and extremely effective. Recognizing staff doesn't always need to involve money. Sincere and genuine thanks in the form of awards, products & services discounts, length of service awards, awards for excellence, birthday & anniversary celebrations and notices don't require a large outlay of cash.
Whatever you choose to do, make it known throughout the company. A personal "thanks, we couldn't have done it without you" is wonderful but a public recognition energizes the recipient and motivates everyone else to get some of that recognition for themselves!
Sit down for 30 minutes and brain storm all the low cost ways you can recognize your staff; pizza day when a department hits their numbers, traveling trophies awarded each week to the CSR who handled the most calls, the telemarketer who set the most appointments, a cook off (complete with gag medals) between sales and accounting, end of the quarter cookies for the accounting department, quarterly raffle for special parking place for the quarter, a spa massage or a housecleaning coupon.
Remember that most service providers could be willing to discount their services to you or even offer a no cost sample of their work for the opportunity to promote their business to your employees.
'Way to Go' if your company already has programs in place. If you don't now might be a good time to put recognition in the budget and in your mindset. This is the little bit of prevention that is worth the pound of cure.