Hiring Great Employees

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Hiring employees is a lot like dating – you have to invest the time in finding the right person or you spend valuable time trying to “fix” the relationship before you eventually “break up” when it doesn’t work out. Without a good interview process, you may have to (metaphorically) kiss a lot of frogs before you find a Prince (or Princess) Charming!

What Makes an Employee Great?

While job skills and previous experience are important, there are four key areas that determine success for any position.

  1. Time management: ability to prioritize, multitask, manage deadlines, work independently
  2. Problem-solving skills: ability to take initiative, analytical skills, innovative and creative thinking, adaptability and flexibility, resilience
  3. Communication skills: ability to speak clearly so that people can understand, good writing skills, good grammar, polite behavior
  4. Conflict Management: ability to resolve issues with customers and co-workers

What Should I Ask Job Applicants?

During the interview process, business owners should ask for information that will help determine how well the applicant will perform on the job. Here are some examples that can be adapted for any workplace.

  • How do you prioritize your work?
  • Tell me about a time when a project under your direction was late and how you dealt with this.
  • Describe a situation where you were asked to do something you had never done before. How would you get started?
  • Tell me about a time that you had to deal with an angry customer, either on the phone or in person.
  • Describe a conflict that you have had at work and how you resolved it.

These are all open-ended questions that require the applicant to give more than a one-word answer and provide insight into what type of employee this person would be if hired.

How do I find a SWAN among ugly ducklings?

In this case, the ugly ducklings are all the applicants who aren’t a good fit for the job or the organization. The SWAN formula helps business owners select the right people to become a part of their business. SWAN is an acronym for:

  • Smart – the applicant asks questions that demonstrate a passion for the employer’s business and the required job skills
  • Works hard – the applicant demonstrates willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done right
  • Ambitious – the applicant is committed to doing their best in this job, not focused on future opportunities
  • Nice – the applicant is positive, cheerful, easy to get along with, supportive of others, has beliefs in alignment with company values

What are ‘Red Flags’ during the interview process?

“Red flags” are warning signs about an applicant. Business owners should be leery of hiring:

  • Applicants who need a job, ANY job
  • Applicants who don’t have reasonable explanations for gaps in work history
  • Applicants who don’t know anything about the employer’s company
  • Applicants who don’t take responsibility for their actions

Just like dating, the hiring process is about finding someone who, hopefully, will become a partner in a long-term relationship. Hiring the wrong person can be a disaster, involving coaching and counseling, performance improvement plans, poor workplace morale, and then starting the hiring process all over again.  Carefully interviewing and selecting the right person for the job is a valuable investment in workplace success.

An HR professional can help you with all of your human resources needs.

From hiring the right employees, running background checks, creating employee handbooks that include anti-harassment policies and procedures, and so much more, Next Level Solutions can work with you to provide the services that you need to run your business.

For more information about our accounting and human resource services, contact Next Level Solutions at info@nextlevelsol.net or (225) 330-8347.