Hiring the right employees is key to ensuring your business runs smoothly and successfully. Likely if you’ve reach the point of sitting down face-to-face with an applicant, you have a good indication of their experience. What’s most important at this point is to find out if they’re a good fit or are destined to be the proverbial square peg trying to cram into the round hole.
One Size DOES NOT Fit All
It goes without saying that personalities must be compatible. Never hire an otherwise perfect candidate assuming that they’ll change or that you can mold them into shape. You can usually feel the vibe right away — trust it.
Anytime you add to your staff, it impacts the dynamic of the group. That’s why it’s important to learn about the person behind the talent. You can’t teach attitude, says Jim Schell, coauthor of “Small Business for Dummies.”
Hiring the right person from the start, experts agree, is the single best way to reduce employee turnover. Skills are important, sure, but rather than simply judging the best applicant based on a checklist, a more effective approach is to also focus on whether or not they are a good fit within your company culture.
An applicant might be a whiz at the cash register, but do they mesh with your style and approach to business? Do they have a solid work ethic; are they accepting of your way of doing things; and are they somebody who you will enjoy working alongside?.
“The biggest problem with most small businesses is that end up hiring people for the job rather than team members who want to be part of a journey,” says business coach Jim Munro.
“Character is such a huge part, and customer service is key,” concurs Wanda Black, of Munson’s Emporium, in Belton, Texas.
“Most of the time, it’s important to hire people that are clueless, so that their opinions are less biased, and their willingness to learn is on point,” Wanda adds. “We’ve had employees that treated customers arrogantly, and that is not what we are about.”
The best way to get to know a person is by having a conversation. But don’t make the mistake of talking too much during the interview — the goal is to find out about the person you’re looking to hire. So don’t be afraid to ask difficult questions and let them answer.
Come straight out with specific questions that relate to past experiences and future expectations — don’t bother with the pseudo-psychological brain teasers like “If you were a super hero what power would you want to have?” Even if the answer is, ‘I’d have super customer service skill because I want to help people,” the truth is that all they really want to have x-ray vision so they can see people naked.
Even if everything’s clicking, it’s a good idea to establish a trial period before you make things permanent. A person can be qualified, but for one reason or another things just don’t jell. Ninety days is good timeline which will give you a good idea of work ethic, professionalism and temperament. The best customer service comes from passion and commitment — it can’t be faked.