The Norman Transcript


June 15, 2008

I just can’t get good people

Do you find yourself saying this?

The U.S. Department of Labor reports that two out of three new hires prove to be a mistake within the first year — at a cost of thousands of dollars for each departing employee. Hiring mistakes negatively impact productivity and erode your company’s profits. In Jim Collins’ study and book “Good to Great” he states: “The good-to-great leaders understood three simple truths. If you begin with ‘who’, rather than ‘what’, you can more easily adapt to a changing world.

“If you have the right people on the bus, the problem of how to motivate and manage people largely goes away.

“If you have the wrong people, it doesn’t matter whether you discover the right direction; you still won’t have a great company.”

What would your business look like if your hiring system delivered the right person 75 percent of the time? Here are some tips to stack the odds in your favor.

Create thorough job descriptions

Most business owners use job descriptions to ensure the candidate understands the positional duties and responsibilities; but here’s where many fall short. A good job description also should include a list of the skills and competencies required to perform the tasks and duties expected. Other information that also should be included: certifications, education and experience required or preferred.

• Work environment and any special physical requirements, such as ability to lift 70 lbs, stand 8 hours per day, etc.

• How we measure success; the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you will use to evaluate performance for this position.

• Well-written job descriptions for all team members help keep you focused on what you want, facilitate quick hiring when the need arises and communicate your expectations to candidates and current employees.

Market for

employees, just

like customers

Recruiting, like marketing, is most effective when it is targeted, planned and executed with consistency. Start with the basic question, “What makes your company a great choice for potential employees?” Having a written Culture Statement that is alive and well will help you to answer this question. Cross checking your Culture Statement with your employees’ experience should be a regular practice. Now is a good time to ask your current team — they’ll tell you.

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