Serving as the hiring manager for a large group of stores in my state, I developed some simple strategies to hiring people that will stay with the company and perform. Those two things are the target of most anyone looking to hire employees. Are they going to return our investment when it comes to training and performance? Will they try to move forward in the company? All of these are questions that we ask ourselves while rummaging through the myriad resumes on our desk. These answers can be found if you look at the right information, and ask the right questions.
Finding the individual—Before you can ask a question, you have to have someone to ask. If you want to find high caliber people that are in your field, then you need to recruit. This takes some practice, and certainly some tact. The absolute best place to start is in your own field. Usually, if someone is a high performer in the field already, they will also produce results for you. That being said, recruit folks that are “in your circle of business”. Put the word out on the street, so to speak, that you are looking to hire the position you are trying to fill. The calls will start to come in. If you know someone in particular that you would be interested in, a simple phone call to request a meeting will suffice. When they come in, sit down and talk to them with zero formality. It will allow the person to relax, and ultimately consider your offer with a clear mind.
Another way to find the individual is to post an ad. In this ad, leave simple, clear instructions for the interested party to follow. If they do not follow the directions, then you know you do not want them. Do not waste your time with someone that can’t follow simple direction. This will weed out half of the people that reply. The other half, you will want to schedule an interview. Keep very good records of all the things of note, even with these initial phone calls. They may be important down the road.
The Interview–More mistakes are made during this process then any other. People try to formalize the procedure so much, that they lose the reason for the interview in the first place. When I conduct an interview, I want to learn about the individual’s wants and needs. I want to see if they can perform the functions I have available at a high level, and I want to see if they can be trained.
To this end, my interview process is a tryout for the position. The first thing I will have them do is the function I want to hire them for. I keep the mood light, and let them know that I just want to see what they have got. For example, let’s say that they are applying for a sales position. I will hand them my ink pen, and ask them to sell it to me. I am not looking for them to be so good that I get out my wallet, but I do get to see what kind of dynamic they have. I get to see the face they will show my customers. I also get to see what type of skills they may have. Do they understand the selling process? Can they handle being “put under the gun”?
When the interview is done, be sure to thank them for coming, and give them an answer. I am not saying you have to give them a yes/no answer, but I am saying you should give them an honest assessment. If you feel they are still going to be considered, say so. If you know they are not going to be in the running, for heaven’s sake tell them. This is one of the most maddening things I deal with. Managers that refuse to tell people they do not fit the position. While sometimes uncomfortable, it is a must. You do not want that person going out the door thinking he is being considered if you know he is not. It is simply evil to do so.
These tips should help you find that perfect person to fill the position you are looking to fill. Good Luck!