A question I’m frequently asked is, “Where do you find good people?” Though one may think all the good ones are taken, that’s not always the case. Circumstances sometime lead very talented people to seek new opportunities, but the real question is: Can you tell the good ones from the not-so-good ones?
There are a lot of people who are almost professional interviewees. They have a resume that looks impeccable and always interview well. But, for some reason they’ve had eight jobs in the last four years.
That’s generally a not a good sign.
Granted even older, more skilled workers are changing jobs more in today’s economy that even 10 years ago, someone who “job hops” is not where you should invest your time. I heard a saying once, “Hire hard, manage easy or hire easy and manage hard.”
Think about that. You can take the easy way out during the hiring process and just throw a warm body out there and you are going to spend an inordinate amount of time training, managing and potentially retraining and following behind that person. On the other hand, if you keep your standards high and work harder during the hiring process–you’re much more likely to have an easier job managing that person.
There are several very good personality assessment tests out there and if you’re not using one, I would suggest it. However, here are three things I would recommend any client do when hiring a new person:
1. Check references-I am continually surprised at how many people don’t bother to check references. ALWAYS check. Even if the other party requires a request in writing for legal reasons, do it.
2. Analyze what questions they ask-How interested where they in the company? The potential for the future? The projected career path? Or, did they just want to know what time on Friday the checks are ready?
3. Give them a task and see how it’s performed-Test them on a task or job they’ll be performing and see how well they do. My oldest daughter just graduated from college with a degree in Graphic Design. Her first interview required her to design a sign and a business card from scratch using only her imagination and the software available. She got the job.
BONUS TIP: When calling references–DO NOT just take the phone number off the application. Look up the number yourself. I have heard of (never personally seen) cases where an applicant will list a family member’s number as their former employer and instruct them on how to answer the phone. If they say they worked at ABC Company, look up ABC company in the phone book or online to get the phone number.