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Hiring the right people

September 19, 2010
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One of the five functions of managing a company is staffing.

Many times, staffing is an afterthought in the management process.

Nonetheless, a quality labor force is paramount to a successful company.

Companies often find themselves beset by labor strife, unqualified workers, poor handling of customer service issues, or simply the wrong people.

Who’s to blame?
Begin the process of problem-solving by looking in the mirror.

If you have the wrong people in your company or on your staff, the problem starts in the recruiting and interviewing process.

If the wrong candidate gets by the control systems, you will have problems later.

Very few employees fill the potential of their interview.

People are designed to look good on the resume and in the interview process, because they wrote the resume.

Good interview techniques are the best defense to keeping your company free of problem employees.

We have to be able to read between the lines of the resume and employee application.

Just as a real estate ad for a home listing that says “carpet allowance” means the carpet is in horrible condition, we need to understand that people use their resumes as “advertisements” for employment.

The words they use speak volumes about their character.

During the interview, ask pointed questions about each area of the resume.

Most poor interviewers take application and resume information at face value.

We can train just about anyone to complete the jobs we have, but we need people with great attitudes and understanding in order to be successful in our programs.

What to look for
Find ways to assess soft skills in the interview or give tests that will help you qualify those skills, such as leadership, team building, and customer service.

Identify a list of attributes that you feel are necessary for the position you are looking to fill.

If you are not sure what those are, look at the attributes of successful employees you have on staff, and when interviewing, look for the same traits.

Use questions formatted to ascertain responses to make sure you find qualified candidates.

Those potential employees will fit well into the job or team relationships you already have established for success in your company.

Ask about their definition of honesty, integrity or punctuality.

Read the application and search for employment gaps or reasons for leaving past jobs.

Highlight references and make sure all references listed can be contacted.

Look at employment dates and trends like “job shopping,” leaving jobs quickly or working many jobs in a short period of time.

This trend can be understood as someone that may not get along with other workers or someone who has no goals or plans for their career path and keeps moving and searching for something better.

Since that is not always the case, if you see this trend, ask why.

Develop a list of questions for all trends you identify in the application process.

This gives you a path in the interview; always have a plan for each interview.

A written script with a list of approved questions works better than a free-style, unscripted session.

Many scam artists can interview very well or use sales techniques designed to throw interviewers off guard and make them appear more “likeable.”

Use the interview process to weed out the wrong candidates, not to sell potential employees how great your company may be.

Many times in an interview like that, the process turns on us and now the candidate is the one making the choice.

Talk about the difficulty of the position, the real hours, the requirements and expectations of the company — don’t soft-sell the downside.

If we understand that the recruitment and interview process are designed to bring like-minded people together to reach a common goal of clean buildings, we have a much better chance to get the right people in the game.

Dane Gregory is the president and CEO of 3-D Corporation, which owns Dr. Clean Consultants, a company that provides technical and management training to companies worldwide. For more information, visit

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