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Making a Difficult Decision Pay Off

Category: Andy Marken's blog Published on Monday, 04 April 2011

Hiring the Right People for the Tangible, Intangible, Jobs

Hiring the right marketing, sales people is always difficult because success elsewhere may not translate into success for your company, for you. The difference between the right and wrong choice is more than the money it will cost to hire yet another new person.

The real cost can be a year’s worth of lost business opportunities, sales.

Although you can never be completely sure that person you hire will be right for the job, you can increase your probability of success by following a few simple rules.

The Job Description

Start by writing a detailed description of the job.  Make a list as detailed as necessary to ensure that everyone understands the position and what will be expected.

Now that you've defined the job to be done, make a mental and written description of the person you want.

Weigh the attributes that you are looking for.

What to Look for in a Person:

             1.  Ability to spot essentials              16.  Imagination                  

             2.  Adaptability                                 17.  Knowledge of market         

             3.  Aggressiveness                             18.  Knowledge of competition    

             4.  Ambition                                      19.  Maturity                     

             5.  Appearance                                  20.  Motivation                  

             6.  Community standing                   21.  Planning ability            

             7.  Cooperation                                 22.  Poise                        

             8.  Detailed product knowledge       23.  Quick learner               

             9.  Energy                                          24.  Quick thinker               

            10.  Enthusiasm                                  25.  Self-confidence              

            11.  Experience with intangibles        26.  Self-starter                

            12.  Flexible                                       27.  Speaking experience         

            13.  Good diction                               28.  Stability                    

            14.  Gregariousness                            29.  Technical experience        

            15.  Personality

The Hiring Process

You've been analytical so far, so don't blow it now.  Set up a new selection guide and use it for all of the people you interview.  It will become a yardstick to measure and evaluate each job candidate.

List the desired qualities in the order of priority that you feel is most desirable for success.  The list may include maturity, detailed product knowledge, tact, etc.

You will find that you have three or four lists of qualities ... qualities the successful candidate must have, qualities that are highly desirable, and other considerations.

With these lists you can give a weighted value to every person you interview, giving each attribute or quality a 1, 2, or 3 rating.

Don't use your evaluation sheets during the interview.  Following the interview, mark down your weighted evaluations. The result will be a hiring quotient for each individual.

A Joint Decision

Have the individual interview with one or more members of your organization even though you have to make the final decision.

By having the person talk with others, you can determine if:

            *  They rate the individual's attributes the same way you do

            *  They see any shortcomings you may have overlooked

            *  They pick attributes or traits which will round out or strengthen your total organization

Interviewing Tips

Put the person you are interviewing at ease.  Establish a rapport with him or her and spend a little time getting acquainted.

During the early stages of the interview, concentrate on the individual's personality.

Use your selection guide as a mental road map to make certain you have covered all of the bases.

Examine their past experience closely.  What has their income growth been ... their ability to turn situations around... their ability to recover from negative situations?

Use indirect questions, skip back and forth over areas, and don't follow any specific chronological order.

While you're not trying to trick the interviewee, you also don't want rote answers.  You want to be able to evaluate the individual as to his or her total personality and capabilities.

We recently ran across interview hints at Connectitnews that can give you a real insight into the individual’s business ethic and work personality:

1. "If you stayed with your current company, what would be your next move?" Not only can you get a sense of what the applicant expects – and how that jibes with the position you're need to fill.  It might also give you an insight into why he/she is looking for a change.

2. "What makes you stand out from others?" A tough question because most people are uncomfortable boosting themselves.  Tackling it shows a good amount of self-esteem and some courage, lack of self-esteem or seem as though he/she is the center of the universe.   

3. Tell me your greatest accomplishment." The answer can give you insights on how well the individual who remembers details and thinks well on his/her feet.

4. "Give me an example of a time when you took the time to share a co-worker's

achievement with others." This gives you an insight into his/her abilities as a team motivator.

5. "How many hours a week do you need to work to get your job done?" This is a good barometer of the individual’s work ethic.

6. "Do you take enough time to make a decision?" This is a good question for yourself and the applicant because it shows a business leader who's able to make sensible choices


The Final Decision

You may feel that the hiring situation is critical, but you don't want to be in a similar situation three to six months from now.

After you've been as thorough and as analytical as possible, it boils down to one item--the gut-level feeling—that something inside you that says this person is going to be right for your organization.

There's nothing that can be written that will quantify or qualify that deciding factor.

That's what makes the hiring process such a challenge.

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