Hiring Applicants: 5 Deadly Sins of Even Savvy Managers



In this competitive and litigious marketplace, small details in human resources can make or break a company.

Even though an organization’s performance matters, many managers unfortunately take shortcuts in the hiring process.

The reasons range from being too busy for due diligence in screening resumes to inability to take sober looks at applicants in the interview process.

This can drastically affect businesses’ cultures such as leading to lack of teamwork, inattention to details or poor customer service. Ultimately, profits are adversely affected.

All positions in the organizational chart, including receptionists, are important.

For instance, if a furniture retailer hires the first person to walk in the door to work in the warehouse, the wrong employee will hurt customer service and sales – either in the slow delivery of products or the delivery of wrong products.

Managers need to avoid five deadly sins:

Inadequate checking of references

True, in our litigious environment, businesspeople are increasingly reluctant to answer questions and to give accurate information.

But a skilled boss knows how to call the applicants’ former bosses and references about specific matters to ask open-ended questions, not close-ended questions. In this way, they get better answers.

Moreover, the questions should correspond to an HR tool: A reference-verification form.

The form asks the applicants questions such as how they believe their former companies will evaluate them in precise matters.

In this way, the bosses can compare the applicants’ answers to the answers of the former employers.

Complacency about honesty

Many bosses are too complacent about honesty and attitudes. The right applicants are people who want to do a job well. Don’t settle for just anybody who can do the job.

Astute bosses won’t focus on trying to catch applicants in lies. They have a process to help them determine that will prompt applicants to tell the truth.

Assuming applicants who interview the best will perform the best

Not true. Consider this fact: Applicants, who are mesmerizing in their interview answers, typically have the most experience in answering questions.

They’ve had lots of coaching and practice in smiling and answering obvious questions.

Case study:

As a business-performance consultant with a home office, I’ve had to be very careful in hiring personal assistants. I asked people I trusted for referrals. Once, I asked for a referral from the owner of my dry cleaners, who had been doing an outstanding job on my apparel.

She recommended a retired Air Force mechanic to me. But on the surface, there were some reasons for me not to hire the person. She appeared to be very shy with no bookkeeping experience.

But I saw something special in her. She was due diligent in showing up for the interview, asked good questions and asked her husband to interview me as the employer. Upon getting his blessing, she accepted the job.

Not only did she prove to be honest, accurate and extraordinarily dedicated in managing my receivables and payables, she did a stellar job in other unrelated tasks for three years.

She literally saved me a lot of time and money by performing at a high level. Years later, I’m told she launched her own business based on her experience in working at my firm. That’s a very proud memory for me.

The moral: Always keep an open mind to consider all factors.

Failure to place a high value on each position

If you hold your applicants to highest-realistic standards, you’ll benefit from their performances.

On the other hand, if you don’t place a high value on positions – at all levels – the employees will get the impression they don’t matter.

You should want people who want to perform well at the best company.

Overconfidence in hiring

If your instinct about an applicant is positive, look for every possible reason to disqualify the person. Don’t ever make a snap judgment in hiring. Make absolutely certain the person is right for the job.

On the other hand, if your instinct is not to hire an applicant, don’t. Always keep in mind this adage, “When in doubt, don’t.”

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related resources:

Hiring An Impact Person Starts with Screening Resumes — 5 Tips — If you want to hire an impact person, your hiring process is really important. The place to start is using best practices in screening resumes.

Risk Management in Hiring: Pre-Employment Screening Tips — Here are two questions about hiring: 1) what’s the biggest mistake companies make in hiring employees; and 2) what’s the biggest legal obstacle employers face in hiring? Here’s what to do about background screening.

Hiring a Personal Assistant? Hire for 8 Qualities — The right choice of a personal assistant can make a huge difference in your operation. Basically, you need someone who can manage you – represent you well in a variety of tasks – an assistant who can make you look good.

Increase Profits by Hiring Talent with the Best Trait — You’ll increase your odds for profits with high-performing employees with the right culture — if you hire for the right personality trait – enthusiastic people. That’s right. Look for people who have the makeup to being committed and who will care for the welfare of your company. You’ll increase your chances for the strongest results.

Hiring? 4 Pointers on Negotiating Wages with Applicants — Some employers have had difficulty in successfully extending job offers to applicants, especially Millennial professionals. Here’s what to do.

“If hard work is the key to success, most people would rather pick the lock.” 
-Claude McDonald

 

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.


Hiring An Impact Person Starts with Screening Resumes — 5 Tips



If you want to hire an impact person, 
your hiring process is really important. The place to start is using best practices in screening resumes.

The wrong hires result in costly turnover — a waste of money and time. Before you start interviewing, the place to start is your screening of resumes. Don’t take shortcuts.

Rather than get overwhelmed by the avalanche of resumes, take baby steps. Budget adequate time to scan resumes to screen for the people you’d like to interview.

ID-10056727 Stuart MilesFive basics to consider in your resume screening:

1. The track record and potential to meet your needs.

Look for ways they helped their previous employers succeed as organizations. Their pasts are indicative of the future.

Screen for resumes of people who show a pattern of success, and visualize if they can help your culture and organization.

A word about stability: In this economy, there might be extenuating circumstances if the applicants seem to have had too many jobs.

So if everything else looks good, it might a good investment of your time to put them in the “to-be interviewed” pile.

2. Passion in managing details.

A focused, well-written cover letter and personalized resume for your company are good indicators of applicants’ attention to details. Poor grammar, typos and misspelled words will also be the result of their work in your behalf if you hire them.

You also want indications that the applicants expertly managed details in their prior responsibilities.

3. Level of education.

Perhaps your opening doesn’t require a degree or post-graduate study. But if it does, make sure the applicants made the right choices in education.

Consider the quality of the university. Even if accredited, for-profit universities don’t provide the quality that nonprofits do. Nor do online schools where’s there’s no give-and-take with quality professors.

If it’s a critical position, make sure the persons’ studies are relevant. Also, an omen is the level of extracurricular activities.

Another good sign is whether the persons worked in school instead of solely relying on student loans.

4. Consider where the applicants’ live.

If it’s urgent that you hire someone as soon as possible, a person who is planning to commute a long distance to work is less desirable than some who lives locally.

Further, relocation is taxing emotionally, physically and financially to search for a home, research schools if there are children, and the work preparing for the moving day.

5. Scan their LinkedIn accounts.

For resumes you like, compare the applicants’ submission materials with their statements on LinkedIn for more clues. It wouldn’t hurt to Google the persons’ names, either.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related tips:

9 Image-Building Steps that Will Attract the Best Workers — Quick fixes to attract the best workers.

Need to Hire a Professional? Advertising Tips to Attract the Best Talent — Whether your business has grown so you need to hire a key professional or you’re replacing a person, there are certain advertising-recruitment tips to use. To avoid wasting your time, you must plan.

Hiring for a Small Operation? Conduct Behavioral Interviews — In this economic environment, whether you run a small operation in a big company or you own a small business, you’re wearing many hats. So you need employees who can successfully wear multiple hats, too. What does that entail? It entails several things. 

Checklist – Top 18 Attributes of the Best Salespeople — What’s needed to be effective in sales? Merely having a gregarious personality will no longer cut it in the 21st century. As a manager, if you want to improve your company’s sales performance, become a winning sales organization and review your recruitment techniques in hiring salespeople. 

“Get the right people on the bus and the wrong people off the bus”

-Jim Collins 


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Facebook Privacy: Advice for Job Seekers and Employers


The practice by some companies to require job seekers to reveal their Facebook passwords so they can spy on the applicants’ private information prompts a couple of Biz Coach reactions — for both job applicants and employers. 

For job seekers: 

Any company that would require disclosure of your Facebook password is an undesirable employer. At the very least, it’s really tacky for an interviewer to request such information. It also leads to divulging of your family’s and friends’ private information. Who needs a voyeur or an identity thief for a boss? 

Facebook’s chief privacy officer, Erin Egan, issued a warning to such companies: “We’ll take action to protect the privacy and security of our users, whether by engaging policymakers, or where appropriate, by initiating legal action…”

This issue serves as a catalyst to warn job seekers to be smart about what they insert in their social media. No employer wants to be embarrassed.

Unfortunately, many people looking for work open the door for employers to spy on their Facebook pages. An HR management study shows 30 percent of job seekers use social media to get more information about open positions or employers; of these, more than 70 percent use Facebook, 43 percent each use Google+ or LinkedIn.

In addition, to be fair, you shouldn’t be accessing social media at work unless authorized — usually, it’s OK only if you’re promoting your employer’s products and services (here’s why).

For employers:

Admittedly, recruiters and bosses have been looking at applicants’ social media for some time now. Reading openly published comments are different than private comments, which are tantamount to reading someone’s personal diary or bank statement.

But for an employer to ask for passwords is a violation of federal law: The Stored Communication Act or the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. It’s important to avoid EEOC discrimination suits and here’s more why companies are falling into the management lawsuit trap.

“In recent months, we’ve seen a distressing increase in reports of employers or others seeking to gain inappropriate access to people’s Facebook profiles or private information,” wrote Ms. Egan. “This practice undermines the privacy expectations and the security of both the user and the user’s friends. It also potentially exposes the employer who seeks this access to unanticipated legal liability.”

Sharing or asking for a Facebook password violates Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

“If you are a Facebook user, you should never have to share your password, let anyone access your account, or do anything that might jeopardize the security of your account or violate the privacy of your friends,” she wrote. We have worked really hard at Facebook to give you the tools to control who sees your information.”

She explains the legal land mines very well.

“For example, if an employer sees on Facebook that someone is a member of a protected group (e.g. over a certain age, etc.) that employer may open themselves up to claims of discrimination if they don’t hire that person,” wrote Ms. Egan.

And in this litigious environment, it wouldn’t take long for a single applicant or a group of applicants to sue, not to mention getting the attention of the American Civil Liberties Union.

You’re much safer just looking at the person’s LinkedIn account, and it’s more important for you to have a heart as an employer.

Finally, employers should be careful about their social media policies. The federal government ruled against Costco on its social media policy.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related tips:

Job seekers:

Stand Out: Get a Job Interview with a Great Resume — More and more job seekers complain they don’t get acknowledgment when they apply for positions with prospective employers. It’s disappointing, especially if you’ve done your best to stand out in a crowd when jobs are scarce. Worse for you, a significant number of employers use an online tracking system to accept applications and screen out applicants.

Your Career Success is Determined by your Spouse’s Personality — Study — Your spouse’s attitude has an indirect, powerful impact on whether you succeed in your career. That’s the conclusion from an important study by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis. “Our study shows that it is not only your own personality that influences the experiences that lead to greater occupational success, but that your spouse’s personality matters too,” said Joshua Jackson, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology in Arts & Sciences and lead author of the study.

Top 11 Tips for a Great Elevator Pitch — In job interviews, you need to prepare for any opportunities. Don’t be caught off guard. Create an introduction describing the value you provide, be concise, customize it for your target audience, and really know it – so you can deliver a flawless elevator pitch.

Employers:

HR Management: Think Like a Sales Pro to Recruit the Best Talent — One-size-fits-all approach to recruiting employees is not a strategy. You and your peers in human resources might be enamored with technology, but job candidates want more focus on the personal touch. That necessitates thinking like a sales professional.

Hiring Impact An Impact Person Starts with Screening Resumes — 5 Tips — If you want to hire an impact person, your hiring process is really important. The place to start is using best practices in screening resumes. The wrong hires result in costly turnover — a waste of money and time. Before you start interviewing, the place to start is your screening of resumes. Don’t take shortcuts.

6 Tips to Turn Your HR Department into a Profit Center — At least 50 percent of a company’s profits are contingent on employee problems. If you have challenges in one department, odds are you have HR issues in other departments. In fact, human capital is the No. 1 reason why CEOs lose sleep. Many businesses often need an objective source of information and expertise from critical thinkers. It’s true you can turn your human resources department into a profit center.

“The employer generally gets the employees he deserves.”


-J. Paul Getty

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.