Thursday, April 16, 2009

Four Steps To Hiring The Right Employees!

"No business can grow faster than it can find, hire, train and keep quality employees." Even though business growth is all about generating sales, the real success in keeping customers coming back is the ability to provide a consistent product - time after time. And no matter how good your marketing team is, if you don't have the right staff delivering your product to your customers, you will never grow at the rate you desire.

Real success in business depends on two things: great systems to provide consistency and motivated good employees to run those systems.

Below are four steps to help you increase the likelihood of hiring the best employees that both match the job description as well as be motivated and committed to your vision.

1. Create a Job Description / Positional Contract - Before you go out and hire someone - know what you want and what they are going to do. This should include, but is not limited to, a list of roles and goals for the position, how you are going measure success, and how they are going to be compensated.

Writing a job description is a difficult task. And it is the most often over looked step in the process. However it is also one of the most important. Take some time and commit to doing this step properly. The ground work you do in this step alone can be the difference between long term success and / or failure of you r new hire.

2. Generate a list of perspective candidate employees - Make this list as big as possible by advertising every way you can: Newspapers, Craigslist, job sites, etc. Also, don't be afraid of other non-traditional perspective employee gathering options including: asking your suppliers, your distributors, your employees, colleagues, and even trade associations. Get the word out every way you can. The key here is to make sure you give yourself as many options as you get to choose from. And in today's market, that should be easy.

3. Conduct a Three Stage Interview Process:

- First Interview - One of the biggest problems with employees is commitment. In order to gain commitment right from the onset of the process, make the beginning step in your "interview process" all about allowing them to choose you first. This means starting with a group interview / presentation.

Schedule all of your perspective employees to come in at one time (or if the group is too big for one session, schedule multiple sessions). This presentation is all about the company and the job being offered.

Truth is, this is much less an interview than presentation. It is where the perspective employee learns about the business and decides whether or not they feel they are match for your company. Not only do you tell them about the job, but also about the company - explaining the culture, your mission, vision, and commitments. Invite the applicant to ask the questions - promoting the idea that this is where they decide if they want to be part of your business

At the end of this presentation, give all the applicants an opportunity to schedule their second interview - if and only if, they feel that they are a match for you business.

- Second Interview - The second interview is a complete role reversal. Where as the first interview was the chance for them to learn about you, the second is where you learn about them.

This is your traditional interview where you conduct your question / answer interview finding out what you need to know about them, in order to hire them. It is where you ask everything that you want to know about them, their background and their future desires.

It is not however, where they get to ask any questions back - that stage is past. They should have already made a choice in their mind whether or not they are interested in joining and committing to your business.

*** It is at the end of the second interview that you should conduct your reference / background checks, validate applicant's information, and even conduct personality checks as you might see fit. This gives you an opportunity eliminate the bad hires / non-motivated applicants before you invest in this often quite costly stage of hiring.

- Third Interview - The third interview is all about the hire. Where you ask any final / follow-up questions. It is in this "interview that the compensation negotiations take place as well as the formal job offer is made.

4. Train, Indoctrinate, Train, Orient and Train Some More. Now that you have the best employee(s) for the job, it's no time to let down your guard. Now that you have hired your perfect match, it's time to orient your new employee into the culture properly.

You should have a process that walks the new employee not only through the training they need to do the job, but they also need to become acclimated as effectively as possible to the business culure itself.

Bottom line, there is no easy answer. And no hiring system can / will eliminate the chance of making a mistake. But with a system, you will reduce the likelihood of making a mistake that you may regret for weeks or months to come.

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