The Hiring Process: Successes and Failures

By Adam Robinson,
December 3, 2013

The following is a guest blog post by Johnny Greene, the president and CEO of ETS International, a 25-year limousine industry veteran. ETS International has been awarded Operator of the Year by LCT Magazine, Limo Digest, and the TLPA and has been ranked as the fastest growing limousine company two years in a row on Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 500|5000 list. 

There are a few occasions in the business world when the waters of success get a little choppy. When you realize that a current employee needs to be replaced or when you get a resignation letter from a great employee, the landscape of your business can experience a bit of a throttle. That’s because good managers know that the most valuable resource they have is their human resource and that the talent, dedication, and teamwork of the employees they hire will be the difference between a well-oiled machine and a barely turning gear. Most managers know that finding great candidates, ones who possess the skills, know-how, and the attitude to get the job done, is vital to moving forward with their business goals.

Hiring, assimilating, and ultimately firing an unsatisfactory employee are all expensive, exhausting, and detrimental to your business. Getting it right is absolutely necessary. So how do you equip yourself with the knowledge necessary to discern between a ‘hit’ and a ‘miss’ when it comes to hiring? Here are a few ways to increase your chances of hiring a winner.

Don’t Place So Much Emphasis on the Resume

The number of managers who can tell stories of at least one bad hire who looked perfect on paper are too many to name. It happens all the time: you put out an ad for a position and get flooded with tons of interested applicants. You bring in the person who submitted the most impressive resume, with the flashiest alma mater or the most jaw-dropping array of skills. You hire them instantly, perhaps in desperation to fill a much-needed position.

Fast forward a few months or a year and you find yourself with an employee who looked perfect on paper, but is creating friction within the office and refuses to work as part of team. Perhaps they simply cannot adjust to the demands of the actual job and you have no choice but to let them go and re-start the hiring process.

If you were to examine this situation with a magnifying glass, you might come to the conclusion that hiring quickly based on resume rarely produces the kind of employee you need.

Account for Personality

An aspect of hiring that many managers tend to overlook or downplay is the importance of personality and attitude. There are a variety of attitudes and personalities which simply do not fit in a teamwork-based business model. If you hire someone who has a history of altercations, issues and problems with their managers and co-workers, it’s likely that you have a candidate who simply cannot function productively in a collaborative work environment, at least not for long. No matter how impressive the resume, an employee who doesn’t work well with others or display a positive, productive attitude will cause a number of problems for your company and will ultimately cost you money.

This is why it’s important to pay attention to a potential employee’s history, ask pointed questions about how they deal with inner-office strife or conflict and communicate clearly about expectations when it comes to inner-office attitude and collaboration.

Introduce a Different Hiring Process

Finding the employees who have personalities and attitudes that are compatible with your work environment begins with the application process. Consider straying from the typical position description and instead, require potential candidates to pose a hypothetical solution to a problem in your business. Be descriptive and thorough, and ask that your candidates do the same. This will help you not only get a sense of their writing skills and communication style, but will also help weed out some of the candidates who might not be as passionate about the job as others.

Finding ways to evolve the hiring process when looking for new candidates can help procure ‘winning’ candidates in a number of ways; it can help you spot an incompatible personality type, determine the level of dedication and interest in your company and in the position for which you’re hiring, and streamline a process that is often drawn-out and expensive. The money you’ll save putting forth an effort to hire better employees will be well worth the energy it takes to re-envision your current hiring practices. 

How to Hire

About the Author

Adam co-founded Hireology with the mission to help growing companies make better hiring decisions through data and better technology. Adam is passionate about entrepreneurship, donating time to a number of organizations that support the entrepreneurial cause. Adam completed his undergraduate study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and received his MBA from DePaul University in Chicago, IL.

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