Jeb Molony

            This week’s post will be short because there is no exact answer to the question that has been posed all week by clients.  How do you know when a potential employee is a good fit for the company?  For most business owners finding quality talent which also syncs with the work techniques and attitudes of the other employees is an incredibly difficult task.  Many fortune 500 companies have begun using extensive personality profiling to place employees in the optimal role for their personality, but for most businesses this is not an option.

            The first step to having successful employee integration what their company needs, and set reasonable expectations for that employee.  Too often people hire an employee with the intention of them filling one role, but within a very short period of time the person is filling multiple roles which are often disconnected.  For instance an administrative assistant should not also be performing bookkeeping work.  For small business owners it is very easy to lose sight of the forest through the trees and pile tasks on an employee beyond those tasks they were hired to perform.

            Adding tasks beyond the scope of the original intent of the hire causes immediate conflict for the employee who may have a certain skill set and are now being pushed beyond their comfort zone.  Some people enjoy being beyond their comfort zone, but often times business owners fail to realize not everyone is an entrepreneur.  Many people enjoy coming to work, performing their assignments, and going home at the end of the day feeling good about their accomplishments.  These employees want to leave work at the office, and do not want to feel stressed when they get home to their other life.  Pushing employees to perform tasks they are not familiar with or adding too many tasks can cause undue stress which can carry over to their life outside of work causing stress at home which in turn carries back to the office.  These employees’ work product will begin to suffer, and the overall employment experience will begin to diminish until the employee quits or is fired.

            Either result in the scenario above is a waste of time, energy and resources for a business which is growing.  Every hire will not be perfect, and people will always make mistakes.  The job of the business owner is to try and limit the mistakes of the hiring process and the mistakes made by the employee.  The best way to reduce the mistakes of hiring employees is to first create a job, job description, a list of roles or tasks for the position, and finally the amount of money available in the budget to pay the employee.  Now take the description and match it to the best title commonly used by potential jobseekers.  Often times what one person considers an administrative position another considers office management.  Make sure as the employer to be speaking the current job hunting vernacular before going to the marketplace for an employee.

            After the job is properly identified create an ad for the job and post it in the locations where the target applicant is most likely to frequent.  Just as one would not post an executive ad on a local school pin board, do not post an administrative position on a site for managers or executives.  After the job ad is posted the next task is to meet with and interview employees.  Interviews should only be scheduled with applicants whose qualifications are reasonable for the position.  Do not waste time with people who appear under or over qualified because the odds are over or under qualification will lead to strife in the employment.  During the interview process take the time to meet with and get to know the applicants.  Unfortunately, there is no magic formula for recognizing talent.  Instead of focusing on picking the perfect employee, try to pick the person who is qualified, seems most in line with the spirit of the company and who appears to be someone other employees will work with and respect.

            Again there is no formula for hiring and firing employees.  This is another process which a business owner must work to perfect as their company grows.  Create checklists for different positions and each time there is turnover revisit the list, look at what worked and what did not work.  Improve the list and eventually the hiring checklist should produce quality employees the majority of the time.  There will always be mistakes and the only thing a business owner can do is learn from those mistakes and improve in the future.

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