By Generation Next Governor at Large Brandon Crockett
Parts manager, Messer Truck Equipment
Published in the February 2016 issue of Generation Next Edition.
Co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Apple Inc., Steve Jobs, considered hiring A+ staff as the most important job a company can have. He and his top executives never compromised on the talents and qualifications of their employees. An organization's most prized asset it its people; employees make the company. Some companies are great, others struggle to survive.; many times the difference is the investment made in people and their placement.
Finding the A+ staff member starts with developing a solid description of the position and fully understanding its requirements.
- What does a normal work day look like for this position?
- What tools and resources will be needed to perform at a high level?
Accurate and effective job descriptions need to be available for every position within a company. Descriptions should reflect careful thought to the roles the individual will fill, the skill sets they will require, and the personality attributes needed to complete their tasks - along with any relevant experience to differentiate one candidate from another.
One can only gather so much information from a resume and a phone interview, so you will need an assessment tool to help sift through the core behavioral traits and cognitive reasoning speed of your applicants. Such an assessment tool could be a test providing insights into whether an individual is conscientious or lackadaisical, introverted or extroverted, agreeable or uncompromising, open to new ideas or close-minded, emotionally stable or anxious and insecure.
A good practice to ensure you make the A+ hires is to have a good understanding of your company's culture, vision and working environment. This should help you build a team in line with your vision. If you want to determine beyond a reasonable doubt whether someone is going to be a great hire, give them an audition project. Not a generic or abstract problem -give them a problem you need fixed today, a real-world problem you would give your team to solve.
The A+ hires may surprise you pleasantly. Don't hire based on experience only - some of the best hires are going to have valuable potential. While the individual should possess the basic skills, also look for high energy problem solvers that are going to work hard even if they don't have all the experience. Sometimes these individuals are more apt to work harder as they learn over a veteran who is set in their ways.
If you make a bad hire, I advise employers to end the employment as soon as possible before investing more time and money trying to fix the wrong employee. As a business owner or executive, you have enough on your plate - you don't need to add a challenging employee to your already full list of tasks.