3 "Musts" to Hire Right

January 26, 2012

No matter what, the world has changed forever when it comes to hiring. You just don’t need as many people as you did.

This is not new. It’s been happening for a long time as technology and efficiency allowed businesses to be “leaner” although not necessarily “meaner”.

In a recent interview on NPR’s Morning Edition, David Wessel, the economics editor at The Wall Street Journal, told Renee Montagne that factories get 40 percent more output today, compared to what they got 10 years ago.

Just look at the chart. It reflects this. You’ll see that job income has been going down as a portion of GDP. We’re not paying less; we’re paying less people.

You still want the best, right? You probably feel you have even less time to ensure to find the people you want, right? Then there are three “musts” to hire right and in less time whether they are entry level or higher and no matter the job skill requirements.

Those three musts are:

  1. Know the job you want done.
  2. Know the candidate has the desire to listen.
  3. Know the candidate has the willingness to follow directions.

Number one is Job descriptions. They are even more necessary than they used to be. They make sure you and the candidate know what’s the job.

Are yours up to date? What was true a year ago in terms of job responsibilities is probably not true now. The best way to check is have each supervisor and manager write down what the employees that they are responsible for do. Then get each employee to write down what they really do. In my experience, there is always a big disconnect. Decide whose right and adjust the job descriptions to match.

The other two “musts” are tied to attitude. If someone has the right attitude, they will want to listen to you and others. They will demonstrate they aren’t a “loose cannon” and your company can count on them to pay attention to the direction of the business before trying to go a different way. Innovation is important but only if it’s relevant to company goals.

You can easily test both of these: ask the candidate to complete a simple task by a certain day and time. If they do it right and on time, you have a measurement of their willingness and desire for the job. They have the right attitude.

What this means for those responsible for hiring is that attitude should trump skill in the first rounds. If you weed out those who don’t comply (for whatever reason), you will only have left those who really care about the job. This saves time and money that might be spent on candidates who will wash out at the end or worse yet, after you hire them. What you see now is what you will get later.

What are your experiences either as the person doing the hiring or as the candidate?

Topics: Featured, Management, Blog Posts, Labor & Employment, Human Resources

Jan Triplett

Business Success Center

Jan Triplett, Ph.D. is the CEO of the Business Success Center (BSC), a City of Austin certified green business, that provides sales and financial growth strategies, planning, and implementation. She is also a professor in Business and Professional Skills for the online MBA program at Mary Baldwin University. Triplett is a national and international speaker, author of A Networker’s Guide to Success and co-author of Thinking Big, Staying Small and Easy to be Green. She published The Networker ” magazine for over ten years and moderated KUT radio’s nationally syndicated program, “The Next 200 Years”. She was co-creator of the award-winning “City Management Academy” and the “Owners MBA” and co-founded the Entrepreneurs’ Association Hatchery incubator and accelerator. She is a small business activist. She served as a White House Conference on Small Business and Congressional Summit delegate, served on the Mayor’s Task Force on International Infrastructure, initiated the Northcross IBIZ District and recommended portions of Austin’s Big Box Ordinance. She was a founder of the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Texas and the Greater Austin International Coalition. The SBA honored her as Texas’ Small Business Advocate. She has also earned her CBTAC and Director credentials. Her company received a Small Business Administration (SBA) five-star national award and the Austin Business Journal named it a top 20 management consulting firm.
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