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Hire Carefully, Even When Unemployment Is Low

March 14, 2000
Related Topics: Workforce Planning, Featured Article
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The key to having a motivated and loyal workforce is to hire carefully. Even with unemployment at its lowest level in decades, failing to use care in the hiring process can be a costly mistake.

While an employee's core skills are important, it is even more important to hire employees who see the world the way you do. A good, motivated, enthusiastic employee who shares your vision beats a brilliant malcontent any day. If your company's vision is to be fulfilled, the company's employees must live and breathe it, not just talk about it once in a while.

Employees who fail to embrace your vision can't possible help you to achieve it.

  1. Check job candidates' vision. So how do you identify job candidates who are predisposed toward your values and vision, and screen out those who are not? During the hiring process, ask applicants what their personal vision is, and find out whether their personal vision matches up well with your corporate vision.
  2. Look at your top performers. If your vision is a bit blurry and you're not sure what characteristics you're looking for in your employees, begin by looking at the top performers in your company. Try to identify what makes them as effective as they are, then recruit people with similar characteristics.
  3. Go beyond references. Check references, but don't just stick with the references you are given. Ask the references for names of additional people to contact, such as co-workers or customers, so that you receive feedback from someone other than the people your job applicant told you to contact.
  4. Initiate a 90-day trial period. Once you make new hires, let your new employees know that they will be under review throughout their first 90 days. Carry out a complete review and, if an employee is inappropriate, let the employee go. Don't hesitate to make a change. Employees who fail to fit in with your vision are unlikely to adapt and you will never be happy with their performance. Likewise, the employee will be much better off working elsewhere.

If you take the hiring process seriously, you will be less likely to have to use the firing process.

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