Hiring Decisions

In a recent post, Sara Fitts writes on the hiring process and offers seven tips to follow.

"Know why you need the position you are filling." 

This is an excellent time to review all of your personnel needs.  Just because you’re replacing someone doesn’t mean that the new person has to have exactly the same duties.  Could a new person take some of the load off your shoulders?  Are there some skills that your company is lacking that you might find in a new hire?

"Identify 5-10 characteristics that you must have in the person you hire for this position."

This could be the most important point of all.  Product knowledge can be learned.  Procedures can be learned.  But, personality is pretty much a given. 

There’s an old saying, "You can’t fix stupid."  You also can’t change who a person is.  If a new hire’s personality clashes with everyone else’s, you will have an unhappy, unproductive workplace.  You, and your team, spend a lot of time at work.  When you make your list, be sure you include things like enthusiasm, energy, sense of humor, or any other personal qualities that will make sure your new team member fits in.   You, your new hire, and your current staff will be happier and more productive if you do.

"Write the job description-and list every detail involved."

There’s a time and a place for surprises, but after you’ve hired someone is no time to find out that they can’t (or won’t) do something that you just assumed was part of the deal.  If it’s in writing, and if it’s discussed up front, then there won’t be any misunderstandings later.

"Post the vacancy broadly enough to get a good sample of talent." 

The local classified section isn’t the only place to find good people anymore.  If fact, it may be the worst place to find people.  Internet job sites are a good place to look.  Also, don’t forget your customers, your friends, and your business associates.  The vast majority of job openings are filled without ever placing an ad.

"Interview all candidates in the same day if possible." 

This one may not be possible, but it is easier to compare applicants if there’s not a big gap in your interviewing process.  No matter how long the process takes, make a lot of notes. 

"Make your hiring decision as if your life depended on it-because the wrong person in the position can make your life miserable"

This one goes without saying.

"Evaluate performance on a regular basis."

You should be able to tell fairly quickly if the new person is working out.  Do yourself, and the new hire, a favor and cut your losses if things aren’t working out.  If it turns out to be a good fit, review often to catch little problems before they turn into major issues.


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