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Hiring right, the first time around

We all know that hiring the wrong person for your business could pose a disaster.

Whether you are opening a new business and need to assemble a competent staff to help launch your dream, or if you lead an existing company that might be looking to expand or reorganize its personnel, having the right skills to interview potential employees is a pivotal component of success.

According to the National Federation of Independent Business, the following guidelines are recommended when conducting an interview:

• Be quiet.

In an interview, the potential hire should do 80 percent of the talking. If he/she is struggling with answers, prod him/her along to give him/her more time to come up with examples. If it takes him/her too long to answer, it may give a good indication of his/her level of experience for the position.

• Meet more than once.

The best way to establish a working relationship with someone is to meet with him/her a second or third time. Have other staff meet with him/her as well, and always think about how your customers would blend with him/her.

• Find prospects with initiative.

Always ask an interviewee about a time when he/she proposed a new idea to his/her last boss. New ideas in business can be very useful.

• Test their talents.

Instead of asking what computer skills or programs the interviewee knows, put him/her to the test.

If you get flooded with tons of resumes, there are ways to sift through for the best candidates to interview:

• Have an assistant manager find the resumes that best match the job requirements, such as the level of education and years of experience in the industry.

• The remaining applicants should be put through a pre-employment test before scheduling for an interview, which helps to assess the potential hire’s traits, including for teamwork, problem solving, work ethic and honesty.

• The applicants who score well on the test are those who should be scheduled for an interview.

When the interview process nears the end, and you feel that the potential hire fits well with your company’s mission and culture, and their skills and experience are in line with the job requirements, then – hopefully – you will have a winner.

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