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Hired it the Hard Way!
by Jim M. Allen

One of the toughest jobs for any business owner or manager is the job of hiring new employees. To the untrained or inexperienced manager who's thrust into the role of interviewing potential new employees it can be a stressful time, especially if their department is in desperate need of the missing employee.

Adding to the stress and complexity of the hiring process is the fact that the entire process is a costly one, regardless of the job title or nature of the work. Hiring the wrong employee for a position can multiply those costs exponentially. And, right or wrong, every hire is a direct reflection on the person who did the hiring... you.

My first civilian job after 13 years in the military was managing a television studio. Among my duties was the hiring of necessary television studio crews for a national broadcasting network. In fact, one of my first duties was to fill 3 empty positions in my department. The military prepared me for many things, but not the process of hiring new employee, but I learned fast.

I also learned the hard way how to hire people. And the hard way is an expensive way... I filled all three positions soon after joining the company. I re-filled each of those positions just a few months later because my none of my original hires worked out. In between, I learned a few important lessons:

THIS HURTS ME MORE THAN IT HURTS YOU

The hiring process can be just as stressful for the employer as it is for the (potential) employees, particularly if you're not prepared for it. Create a hiring process that works for everyone and minimizes the stress.

I KNOW WHAT I KNOW

You've got to be willing to admit what you don't know... and get answers from those who do. If you've never conducted interviews, aren't familiar with what questions can/cannot be asked, or just need help, tell someone!

OH LOOK, HE GRADUATED CUM LAUDE FROM YALE, HARVARD, & MIT

Resumes are not helpful. Studies indicate that 2/3 of all resumes contain fabrications and misrepresentations about a person's work history. Resumes are nothing more than screening tools. Lower your expectations about what you'll find in that pile of resumes: 90% are not even going to meet your minimum requirements.

SO TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF

The interviews are what counts. Interview everyone yourself (and more than once)! It's fine to let Human Resources conduct a portion of the interviews or to have a group that interviews potential job candidates, but anybody who will be working for you should be interviewed by you. You are the best judge of whether or not an interviewee will fit into your department.

AND DON'T FORGET THE FOOTNOTES

As many as 75% of employers do not check references. Wow! BIG mistake.

Don't hire anyone until you've spoken to at least 4 personal references. Don't get written references, speak to them. People will generally provide a bit more information if you speak to them in person. Realize that many companies shy away from providing references, but for those who do, the question to ask is "Would you hire this person again?"

TIE UP YOUR CAMEL

Trust your instincts. Then get a second opinion.

If a candidate strikes you as being the perfect person for the job trust that feeling, but let somebody else interview them as well. That second opinion may help you see a major fault that you were overlooking. Likewise, if you get the sense that something's just not right, trust that, too. Every time I ignored even the slightest little sense that something was wrong I found myself having to fill that position again within weeks.

Remember: the quality of the new hire will always be considered a reflection of the person who did the hiring and will directly impact on the bottom-line success of your business. Increasing your knowledge of job hiring processes, interviewing, etc. helps your bottom line as well. _____

Jim Allen is a professional life coach, speaker, and writer. Get more great ideas in you email every week by subscribing to Jim's weekly newsletter, THE BIG IDEA, by sending a blank email to: mailto:Subscribe@CoachJim.com (2001 Jim Allen & CoachJim.com ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)

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