Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hire Smart to Start

After speaking to a customer service representative on the phone, I was reminded of one of my hiring tips. I know some of you reading this would love to be hiring right now and not shrinking your staff. But when hiring is back on your agenda, make certain you get the best possible employees. Here is my laundry list for hiring smart to start –

Hire the attitude. You can do that by the use of behavioral interviewing which I hope is pretty much the standard for your hiring practices. Ask questions to get at how this candidate will behave not just what they have done.
Pose specific customer situations and get their opinion on how they would handle it.

When you are down to the last few candidates, bring them in and have them observe the job. Give them real life experience of your specific job expectations. This will give other team members a chance to react to them. Use those team members in the final selection process. The more current team members are involved in hiring, better the chance that new employee will get on board faster.

Tell them the good, the bad and the ugly. Give the candidate the real story about working at your company. No surprises are a good thing and can minimize turnover. You don’t want a great new employee to have buyer’s remorse.

Do some of the interview on the phone. This is the hiring tip I referenced at the beginning of this. Most of your "customer facing" team members spend quite a bit of time on the phone. Test your candidate with a call to hear their “phone voice”.

When one on one you have the advantage of the entire package - the smile, eye contact, gestures and posture. Those can make a great difference in how this person is perceived. However none of that is available when on the phone. So call them, listen closely and think how that voice and tone would represent your organization. I find most companies do not practice this as a hiring technique. Use it and you will stand apart from your competitors.

Hiring is easy, getting the right person is not so easy. Take your time, involve others, get creative, use your gut and you might just “get lucky”..

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