Hiring the Best Employees

Hiring the Best Employees

Hiring the right employee can be a challenging process but hiring a bad employee could cost you. “When you add up missed sales opportunities, strained client and employee relations, potential legal issues, and resources to hire and train candidates, the cost can be considerable,” says CareerBuilder CEO Matt Ferguson. However, hiring the ideal team member will pay the business back tenfold. A good associate will build loyal repeat customers, keep a positive team morale and increase productivity and sales. In today’s marketplace hiring the right employee is more than critical it could mean the difference between a successful empire or a failed business venture. Small businesses cannot afford to lose money, time or customers from a bad employee. Let’s discuss some ways to find the best possible employees and allow the business to grow and succeed.

  1. First of all, is there an absolute need to hire?
    Ask yourself if filling a position will bring the business more profit than it will cost to hire and bring on a new employee. Would you be able to give an existing team member more responsibilities and a pay raise to perform the extra responsibilities? The team member will feel more valued and become even more loyal to you and the business. If this is not the case and you need an additional person to take on this role, then you need to place an ad.

  2. The Phone Call
    You’ve placed your ad and have received several applications. The next step should be a phone screening. You want to start by calling the applicants and seeing if it is worth the time to meet with them in person. Keep the conversation brief but listen to the tone in their voice. Are they polite and upbeat? Notice their mannerisms, if they are interrupting and cutting you short that would not be an ideal person to interview. A telltale sign of a potential good hire is if you are smiling while talking to them on the phone. The cheerful energy and well-mannered person will have you smiling and interested in hearing more.

  3. The First Interview
    Ask creative questions to get to the real information you are looking for. To help give you some examples I have three unique questions to share.
    • "What have you done professionally that you succeeded at, but isn't an experience you'd want to repeat?" This question will show you what the potential hire dislikes about work. Do they view themselves as too good for certain tasks? Were they unprepared or did not have proper time management? Or maybe it was a task that involved working with a group or a team. This question can be very telling.
    • "If I were to poll everyone you've worked with, what percent would not be a fan of yours? Then, if I were to interview these people, what words would they most frequently use to describe you?" Let’s face it, you cannot expect that everyone will get along perfectly. What you are looking for here is a lower percentage and you also want to listen for key words. You should be optimistic about words like “determined” or “passionate” and you should be cautious if they use words like “stubborn”.
    • "What's your definition of hard work?" This question will give you a good sense of what type of drive the person has. It is a good way to gauge what future potential they have.
  4. Finding their Personality
    You’ve placed your ad and have received several applications. The next step should be a phone screening. You want to start by calling the applicants and seeing if it is worth the time to meet with them in person. Keep the conversation brief but listen to the tone in their voice. Are they polite and upbeat? Notice their mannerisms, if they are interrupting and cutting you short that would not be an ideal person to interview. A telltale sign of a potential good hire is if you are smiling while talking to them on the phone. The cheerful energy and well-mannered person will have you smiling and interested in hearing more.

  5. Finally, Check Their Reference and Trust Your Gut
    Past supervisors are a great place to start. Ask pointed questions like, if you could go back and hire the candidate again would you? Also listen to the things they aren’t saying. Verify that the description on the candidates resume matches what the reference recalls. Often candidates will embellish their resumes. The way they behaved at their last position is likely how they will behave for you too. Finally, just go with your gut. If you have a good feeling about someone you are more likely to invest in them and give them the time and support to become a great team member. If you have a bad or uneasy feeling you will be looking at all the negatives over time.

Hiring is never an easy process and far from any business owner’s favorite thing to do but it has to be done. With these steps, we hope to help make the process that much easier and clearer when searching for the right fit. Stop hiring just anyone and start hiring the best employee for your business.