Hiring Done The Right Way
There is a lot of talk about hiring and how difficult it is to find good people. Everyone agrees that it is important to have the right people in the right seats to boost team productivity and, ultimately, profit. Because when the right people are in the right seats, the team is happy. And the happiness of the team reflects in their actions and behaviors during interactions with customers. Happy employees lead to happy customers. So, how can you find these good people? The answer is – through hiring the right way. In my professional background as a recruiter, I have come across many hiring stories. Unfortunately, some of them did not have a happy ending for the employer such as this one:
The owners of a business with 85 employees had to operate a sales office with six inside salespeople. The sales team’s job was to make cold calls and handle walk-in customer traffic to generate as much sales as possible. With the overall operation of the business, it became too much for the business owners to properly supervise the sales team, and they decided they needed a sales manager. Soon, they announced to the staff that a sales manager was hired. Expectations were high, and the business owners looked forward to seeing increased revenue. Unfortunately, the new sales manager did not live up to their expectations. He did not know how to set sales goals, how to motivate and lead the sales team or how to create a sales plan. He ignored any sales coaching and continued doing things his way. The sales team became discouraged, some resigned, and morale tanked. Callers and walk-in customers were dissatisfied with the ways and processes the sales team treated them and handled their inquiries, and soon, sales resulted in a steady decline. The owners ended up replacing the sales manager. Under the new sales manager, sales started to increase again.
I asked the business owners how they had come to their hiring decision with the first sales manager. It turned out that he was referred by a friend of theirs. Since it was a referral, they did not think conducting a background check or qualifying his prior sales experience was necessary. Also, they liked his personality and appearance in the job interview, and they needed someone quickly for the position.
They made a costly hiring mistake! Not only had the owners lost a lot of revenue due to the angry customers taking their business to the competition, but the replacement cost for the manager including the time to rehire and train the new manager had a price ticket of thousands of dollars, which could have been prevented if the owners had followed these key hiring rules:
Patience. Hiring right takes time. There needs to be a hiring plan and process. The plan should include a timeline, a designated hiring supervisor who conducts the interviews, a job-specific test for the candidates, and a tracking log to keep up with applicants’ names and status during the process. After a first interview, there could be a group interview with other supervisors, whose opinions help with the hiring decision.
Hiring Skills. Make sure the designated hiring supervisor has good hiring skills. Knowledge about the position to be filled, the kind of interview questions and how to ask questions of the job candidate, and the interpretation of body language as well as communication skills and personal appearance are core components of good hiring skills.
Testing. Put the job candidates to the test. If you need a salesperson and the candidates say they have sales experience, engage them in a role play with you and have them sell you one of your own products. See how they do with it and if you would like to buy something from them. You could ask a marketing manager candidate to look at the products on your website and create a marketing flier, advertising your products. See what their flier looks like. You could engage a customer service rep candidate in a role play with you where you pretend to be an angry customer. See how they handle the situation. There are many creative ways to come up with ideas for candidate testing. It could be a fun topic to collaborate with your team and come up with different tests for all positions in your company.
Background Checks. Once you make the hiring decision and are ready to extend the job offer, conduct a criminal and/or credit background check. Doing an overall internet search about a candidate is not enough! All your new hires should undergo a criminal background check, and new hires for management positions and positions that involve monetary transactions should undergo an additional credit background check. If you rehire past employees after more than one year, conduct a background check. People First offers comprehensive background checks with a 24-hour turnaround time at an affordable rate. Background checks are very important for making good hiring decisions. Background checks are a must! The true story about the first sales manager above requires an additional comment at this point: The business owners learned later that the sales manager had a felony charge for assault with a deadly weapon on his record. A background check would have revealed this information.
Hiring Right. Hiring done the right way is indeed time-consuming and well worth the time for all the reasons described in this article. If you need help with any of the hiring components or even the whole hiring package from creating and posting the job ad, to screening resumes and interviewing applicants, People First has experienced recruiting professionals who are ready to help you with your hiring needs.
Marlies McKie is the Recruiting Manager at People First Inc.