Tips For Best Hiring Practices - Are you hiring the right people?
Greetings to all. My new course on Udemy.com, "The Key To Customer Service," is doing very well. It is part of my new business tutorial series. This is what brings me to the topic for this blog post. I am presenting working on my next course in the series, "Tips For Best Hiring Practices." Many topics and more you will read in this post will be taught in greater detail in this course.
Hiring can be a nightmare. However, it doesn't have to be. Many of the problems with hiring are due to poor hiring practices. The hiring process is also different for a sole proprietor versus a store manager who works for a corporation. Many corporations have strict hiring practices and have a human resources (HR) department that sets the guides and often does the pre-screening. However, a store owner may not have these resources available. Regardless of how your hiring is done, basic principles should be followed. Hiring falls into three basic steps.
Identifying your hiring problems,
Identifying your needs,
Placing the right ad,
The interview process.
The selection process.
Anything more than these is creating more work for yourself. So let's break them down.
IDENTIFYING YOUR HIRING PROBLEMS:
The most significant problem most businesses face is the high turnover of staff. If you have a high staff turnover, you MUST identify why and fix it. In many cases, you did not inform the successful candidate of the full scope of the job you hired them to do. When they start working for you, they find out the job is more than what they were told. High turnover of staff is costly. It costs money to train people. It also takes time to recoup that investment. When you have a high turnover, in almost every case, you lose money.
After retiring from the fire service, I worked many years in corporate management and sat on a hiring committee. Our company had a high turnover rate. This turnover rate was high because, like most employers, they describe the best parts of the job they are hiring for and leave out the downsides. Unfortunately, every job has its downsides. Therefore, you must determine your mistakes during your hiring process. This speaks to identifying your hiring problems.
For you to choose the best candidate and give each candidate a fair representation of the job they are applying for, they need to know everything about it, for example. This job has great benefits. (WHAT ARE THEY?) We have regular break and lunch schedules. (HOW MANY AND HOW LONG?) We pay well. (HOW MUCH?) We have periodic employee evaluations. (WHEN AND HOW MUCH?) Overtime is available. (IS IT MANDATORY?) We have a flexible work schedule. (WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY FLEXIBLE?)
The interviewer makes the job sound like the perfect dream job but leaves out vital information. Most candidates for a position are reluctant to ask too many questions and often forget the questions they want to ask at the end of the interview. Now they get hired, and when they start, they find out everything you did;t tell them about the job.
These questions and issues will vary depending on the type of work, for example. For example, in the commercial ambulance business, almost no employer tells someone during an interview that they can be held as long as they need them at the end of their shift. So now, when that employee who is supposed to get out at 4 pm is held and doesn't leave until 6, 7, or even 8 pm, in a short time, they quit.
Or when overtime is available for the weekend, someone is told they MUST work. It is mandatory. After this happens a few times, they quit. Where was the problem here? The problem was the new hire was NEVER told these things during the interview. Therefore, they think this is NOT what they signed up for.
These are just a couple of examples. In my course, I will be discussing many other types.
IDENTIFYING YOUR NEEDS:
What are the needs of your business? What position are you hiring for? Do you need experienced staff members, or can someone be trained? Functions such as cashier, you can qualify for. However, a position such as sales staff may require someone with sales experience. One of your needs is more of a need for your experience as an interviewer. That is the ability to be transparent. Some shops are union, meaning there is a bargaining unit. Therefore, the bargaining unit contract sets the payscales and raises structure, and more.
As an employer, when you are short-staffed, you may hire anyone to have a body in the building. By doing this, you are NOT offering your customers the best customer service experience and are causing more work for others. Both lead to a failed venture for all. Additionally, in an environment not governed by a union, are you paying a competitive pay rate compared to your competitors for an experienced individual?
Think about that. How long will you keep an employee with experience n your business if they can go to work flipping burgers for more money? Yes, they may take the job because they cannot find another, but you will lose them as soon as they find something else. All of this leads to high turnover. Longevity in employment should be your goal. You want people who will stay and grow with the company.
PLACING THE AD:
This is where it counts.
Vague employment ads will only bring you a slew of unqualified candidates. Your ad and job description should be accurate. If no experience is required, that is fine; however, if expertise or specific knowledge is required, state that. Experience required or knowledge in (XYZ) is required. This thins out the herd, and only those who qualify based on your requirements will apply. You might not interview as many people, but you will be interviewing people that are possible candidates for the job.
Many employers post the pay scale, and others do not. For non-union positions, I used to put "pay commensurate with experience." This allows you to pay someone according to their experience and the value they bring. However, this can be challenging in a corporate world where the company sets the starting pay rates. However, that is something you need to work around.
NEVER DOUBT that employees don't talk. They do, and they eventually know what one another is making. You can't or should not pay someone the same rate with little to no experience as you are paying someone with a wealth of experience and knowledge. By doing this, you cause detention amongst your workers, and you will eventually lose some, again leading to high turnover. Paying people a rate commensurate with their experience and knowledge gives someone with less experience and expertise a goal to work towards. This also needs to be mentioned upfront during an interview.
Your employment ad is your selling point. Sell it properly.
Another effective method of advertising for a position that may be available is to have an employee referral program. Offer a bonus to any employee who recommends someone for an available position and gets hired. I worked for a company that had that program, and it was very successful. The only caveat was the new employee had to stay for at least three months before the bonus was issued to the referring employee. Certainly, you can structure that any way you choose.
THE INTERVIEW PROCESS:
Many corporations have an interview committee of more than two people—usually three. Even if your HR department pre-screens the applicants, the interview committee has multiple viewpoints on a candidate. After all interviews, the team can collaborate and choose the best candidate. This system seems to work the best. However, when the store manager is the only person doing the interview, it becomes a skewed process because the standards of only one person judge a potential candidate. This is not a successful way to interview. The store manager should have another person they trust on their management team e part of this process.
I stated earlier. Transparency is paramount. Tell the candidate everything that will be expected of them. Allow them to be able to make an informed decision. In addition, give them multiple opportunities during the interview to ask questions along the way. As I stated, many people that interview for a position forget the questions they want to ask because they do not want to interrupt the person conducting the interview. During each interview stage, ALWAYS ask if there are any questions when covering different parts of a job. It would be best if you also kept in mind the essential thing that matters to anyone interviewing for the position you advertised for is HOW MUCH IT PAYS, HOW OFTEN THEY GET INCREASES, AND WHAT THEIR INCREASE IS BASED ON.
Increases should be based on merit, which means individual performance. No one wants to get the same increase that is working hard and going the extra mile as someone slacking. Unfortunately, in a bargaining unit contract, everyone receives the same amount. However, those employees usually police themselves.
The job market has changed a great deal since the pandemic. We need to look at things differently. Work-life balance has become an essential factor for many. A company that promotes a healthy work-life balance will retain its employees longer—one last note. Every interview should be conducted the same for each job position. Ask the same questions. This solves the problem of discrimination when everyone is interviewed equally.
THE SELECTION PROCESS:
This is what it all boils down to—choosing who is best qualified. I cannot tell you how to do that. However, I can tell you it varies based on your needs. NOT your agenda or preferences.
That is why it is better to have input from another person who also was part of the interview process. EQUAL OPPORTUNITY WITHOUT DISCRIMINATION is not only the law but also paramount. Many interviewers keep a checklist of things they cover in an interview for each candidate. Some employers have a potential candidate sign it at the end of the interview. It seems like a foolish thing to do. However, in a hiring dispute, that can be the difference between winning or losing a lawsuit.
The selection process is the final and most difficult stage of the hiring process. Making a choice can be challenging when one or more candidates you interviewed are qualified. Sometimes you have to go with your gut feeling. This is why having more than one person is essential in this process. It is another viewpoint. That person may have picked up on something you did not. It is easy to miss something when interviewing multiple candidates.
My new course will cover all things and more in greater detail. However, this provides you with the essential elements. Elements that you can use to evaluate what you are doing now. None of us are perfect. We can all improve. We improve by learning from our mistakes and listening to others who have made those same mistakes. Methods that others have experimented with and, through their learning process, found the ways that worked and did not. Thank you.
Be safe, stay well, and focus on being happy. And remember to always:
Live with an open mind,
Live with an open heart,
Live your best life.
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