Hire Employees Who Will Stay Longer, Complain Less, and Produce
By Monica Wofford
ma’am. I have a great deal of experience using Microsoft Excel. In
fact, I created my resume using that program.”
interview was going well. She had the look, spoke well, and Bill
thought she would get along with the other team members. He missed
the part about Excel and hired her anyway. Her resume sure showed
even more experience in his industry than he really thought she
needed. Six months later with hours of training, coaching that went
on for days and a ream of documentation, he was letting her go.
like many managers, had conducted interviews for years and after an
all day session of “back to backs”, he had missed a few key points
of this employee’s interview. She had the background, had the way
with words that so many do in an interview, but did she have the
right attitude? She came up with an answer to all of his questions,
but how would she perform and how could he possibly know. Simple.
Well, sort of. All interview candidates seem to go to “interview
school’. They have the answers to “What are your weaknesses?” and
“Why did you leave your previous job?” down pat. You have to look
deeper and these techniques will help.
for Attitude Instead of Skill: Paul owned a PR company and had
been in the business for twenty years. He could teach almost anyone
how to call a radio station. What he had also learned is that when
hiring PR reps from other agencies, he had to spend hours
un-training all their old habits. If you are hiring a sales person,
hire a go-getter with a love of people and a high self esteem, not
necessarily someone who has sold for years. You can teach skills,
you cannot teach someone to overcome rejection and surly customers,
nearly as easily. It is the attitude that will outlast problems and
the attitude that will readily learn new skills.
Assign a Task in the Interview: Put your candidate on the spot.
Avoid the same old questions; ask them to do the job, right then,
right there. If your vacancy is an IT support person, role-play a
difficult end user calling with a seemingly impossible problem that
must be fixed yesterday. See what they say. If you are hiring for
sales, have them sell you your own product. See how many questions
they ask about it before just jumping into the six step sales
Attention to the Past… Differently: Your candidate has had ten
years working with our competitor. She has won every award for this
type of position possible. So, how much do you think she will
question your direction when you say to do something different than
what she has been rewarded for? How quickly do you think she will be
loyal to the very company she has competed against for years?
Perhaps that candidate who has worked in a completely different
industry but can demonstrate to you the right attitude toward hard
work, learning, and customers would actually take less training.
Story Time: Asking closed questions in an interview, limits
creativity and gives candidates a 50/50 chance of getting the right
answer. Do you only want a 50/50 chance that they’ll stay and be
productive? Try asking him or her to tell you a story. “Tell me
about a time when you and co-worker completed a project and received
recognition.” Then listen to the story for hints on how they prefer
praise, get along with others, share credit with co-workers, or bad
mouth their boss. Also, “listen” to their body language and for
creative story telling. Much is revealed when a person tells you a
story and almost always, the story will be true as most can’t make
up that kind of detail on the fly.
for Passion: This one must be done delicately. After you have
asked your standard questions and tested for skills that you need,
find out the passion of the person you are about to entrust with
this job. Whether you provide them with a profile or merely ask the
question, the results are immediately revealing. For example,
Melissa was hiring a sales person. She thought she had found
someone. All the questions had been answered with ease. The
candidate’s background suggested she had the attitude and making of
a great sales person. Yet, when Melissa casually said, “What is it
that absolutely lights your fire? What is it that you absolutely
LOVE to do?” The candidate looked her straight in the eye and said
“I absolutely love to type. I love to see if I can beat my own
typing speed record and enter more information than anyone else
can.” Now this candidate doesn’t do sales with Melissa, but she is
one of the best admin data clerks she has ever seen and both Melissa
and the candidate are extremely happy. Many don’t know who they
really are, but most do know what they like to do. Make sure it is
what you are hiring for.
is tricky and getting the right person in the right job can be a
downright complicated gamble. We make matters worse by using the
same old formula that even the candidates know and by looking at
experience that may or may not matter. Try to keep in mind that
finding the right person for the job is far more important than
finding a person to fill the job. Want more work, keep filling jobs
with those who think they know it all and tell you what you want to
hear, but know little of themselves. Want more productivity and a
long term team; spend more time learning about the person rather
than reading their resume.
Read other articles and learn more
[This article is available at no-cost, on a non-exclusive basis.
Contact PR/PR at 407-299-6128 for details and