Well, despite it all, I do have to keep up on my ezine and sharing more business building tips! This week is about how to alleviate the pain we often find in our small businesses by eliminating the Band-Aid fixes. I have to confess that I am a terrible interviewer and it has cost me a lot over the years. When looking for interns, assistants (virtual or real), even contractors, I have a habit of basing my decision not on any profiling or assessment but instead on a warm fuzzy feeling. While this has worked in a couple of instances, overall it leaves me too often with really “nice” space fillers that don’t get the job done. Does anyone else relate to this? It can be a real challenge for those of us that are charismatic (yes, been told that a time or two) and those being interviewed get excited about our energy and vision and we get blinded by their enthusiasm. While I will always hire attitude over aptitude, sometimes that curve can be too steep and I wind up derailed shortly thereafter.
You know that warm body is better than nobody syndrome! But it isn’t true, because each time you hire someone even as a temporary patch job, a personnel Band-Aid as it were, you wind up in more pain than before when you have to rip that Band-Aid off and get a real cure to the challenge. Whether you are using temp agencies (often a real investment and not an option if you have a home office) elance.com, Craig’s list, VA university or the children of well meaning friends, you have some challenging territory to navigate. I have finally learned after talking with business colleagues who operate with more than 10 on staff that assessments can really be the answer to finding qualified personnel that truly fit your company. Whether you need just one or a handful doesn’t matter. Find an assessment company that will customize an assessment for your particular needs and pay either by the position or by the month for assessment completion by candidates and then review of the assessment. This can also get you out of the hot seat, as a poor fit, you can simply tell them the assessment indicated a poor fit.
Case in point, it never serves to describe your intern or assistant as “pretty, but.” Nice isn’t really enough a job qualification, is it? Go for reliable, takes initiative, works well with others (or works well autonomously, depending on situation), presentable, follows up, professional and well you can fill in the rest. Here are 7 SUREFIRE WAYS TO MAKE BETTER HIRES.
- Create your ideal candidate profile.
- Craft a clear and comprehensive job description, be realistic.
- Test for basic job skills (in my business reading a tape measure is critical and I used to consider it no-brainer, OOPS. Yes, I had an intern on board that said “all the little lines were confusing.”)
- Work with an assessment company.
- Pay attention to all manner of candidate communications from first to last, including follow up and thank you for the interview (if they don’t do it with you, they won’t do it with clients/customers)
- Establish a reasonable professional dress code. (If you have to train at this level, it isn’t worth it.)
- Be prepared to take the necessary time to find the right person first; the wrong ones will cost you more time and money than they are worth.
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