workers are carefully selected, the problems of
discipline will be negligible."
-Johnson & Johnson Co.
Employee Relations Manual, 1932
The beginning of a powerful employer-employee
relationship begins with the hiring process. Your goal
must be to hire only the best! The value of placing
your efforts and resources into the hiring process cannot
be overstated. By definition, half of all job applicants
are below average. And guess what-somebody is hiring
them! What's more, many job applicants will misrepresent
to you their true status, background and experience.
This is true for both upper and lower entry employees.One
survey reported by Inc. magazine (www.inc.com) indicates
the following about job applicants:
15% of all job
applicants falsify academic qualifications.
10% falsely upgrade
their academic qualifications.
35% claim specific
achievements or experiences that are untrue.
70% indulge in puffery
(upgrading the importance of achievements).
12% have some kind
of criminal record, including serious automobile
A lot can go wrong when you hire the wrong employee,
and remember, by employee we mean everyone from janitor
WRONG EMPLOYEE WILL
a negative work environment
or discriminate against co-employees
customers or vendors
at the drop of a hat
your company to be sued by a third Party
company trade secrets or other Confidential
business opportunities for his/her own
for unemployment or workers Compensation
In contrast, a lot can go right when you hire the right
punctual and attentive
RIGHT EMPLOYEE WILL
a positive work environment
respectfully and responsibly
company trade secrets confidential
to add value and attempt
new business opportunities for the
within the company
in a safe and healthful manner, lowering your
Line: Hire the best. They are worth the time, effort
and expense. Hire the best-and keep them that way!
WHY WE HIRE THE WRONG EMPLOYEES
can't have an excellent company without first having
excellent people. You can't avoid legal fights if you
hire problem employees in the first place. When you
hire the wrong employee, you are only asking for trouble.
A poor hiring decision is the source of non-productivity
as well as employee lawsuits. Most poor hiring decisions
are made because of the failure to follow a sound hiring
process. Hiring practices alone have been the subject
of many books. However, despite all we know about the
hiring process and all that is contained in these materials,
we will still continue to hire the wrong people for
some very human nature related reasons. These reasons
include desperation, laziness, infatuation, baggage,
we may be desperate for an employee now, we fail to
follow a sound hiring process. For example, your secretary
quit yesterday, so you hired the first person that said
they knew how to type. No test, no sample projects,
just blind faith, motivated by a feeling of desperation.
Or, your company is growing so fast that you just bring
the bodies in and figure out how to manage them later.
When we hire out of desperation we very often find ourselves
getting into a relationship that made no sense from
the start. This happens in our personal lives as well
as work. Rather than hire out of desperation we suggest
that you use a contingent worker-whether they be from
a staffing or leasing agency, or an independent contractor.
second reason why we make poor hiring decisions is due
to laziness. It's not that we're lazy people-it's just
that we have so little time. Since hiring isn't given
the priority it deserves, we are focused on getting
it over with as soon as possible, so we can get back
to doing our work. If you are too crunched for time
or too lazy to go through a sound hiring process, then
let someone else do it for you. Use a recruiter, an
agency, or someone else within your company. The 15
percent you may have to pay to convert the employee
to a full-time status is well worth it.
next reason is that of infatuation. Studies show that
most interviewers make an emotional decision to hire
someone within the first ten minutes of an interview
and then spend the rest of the time justifying that
emotional decision. Many of us buy our cars the same
way. We make an emotional decision to buy a certain
car and then spend days reading consumer reports to
justify the decision. You can avoid infatuation by having
more than one person involved in the interviewing process.
You can also avoid infatuation by making sure that you
meet with the candidate on more than one occasion before
extending an offer.
next reason of that is baggage. We all have baggage
someplace. Our baggage may be that we don't think a
woman can make a good forklift operator. Our baggage
may be that we don't feel a male could make a good head
nurse or that a minority could make a good executive.
Whatever our baggage may be, it often gets in the way
of making a sound hiring decision. Let me give you a
perfect example. For years women complained that the
New York Philharmonic Orchestra had discriminatory hiring
practices. The women fought for and won the right to
"blind auditions," where the musicians sound
is qualified while they are behind a curtain. This eliminates
any stereotypes in the process. As a result, women were
hired at the twice the rate previously. What management
came to understand is that while the orchestra may not
look like what they thought it should look like-it sounds
a whole lot better!
last reason why human nature gets in the way of making
a sound hiring decision is because of recommendations.
Very simply we want to trust someone else's viewpoint
about a potential employee. As a result, we never test
that employee for skills, character, drug use, etc.
If we are desperate, lazy, infatuated, or let our baggage
or recommendations get in the way, we will never go
through a sound hiring process-which is the most critical
point in building powerful employment relationships.
you want only the best then you must past human nature
and insist that a hiring process be followed. What follows
are insights, strategies and tools you should consider
to make sure you hire only the best. They are the most
critical factors that must be mastered if you want to
have the best company possible.
DETERMINE YOUR REAL NEEDS
traditional notion of creating a slot in the Organization
Chart and filling it with a warm body is going by the
way side. Today, savvy employers first ask themselves
"What are my specific needs? What are the most
important job functions that need to be addressed? What
resources do we currently have that could address some
or all of these needs? How can we change our workflow
so that we are that much more efficient and can meet
these needs without having to hire an employee?
example, many companies complain they are "under
staffed." However, the analysis may be that they
are "over worked." It is not an issue of the
staff, but rather of the workflow. Some of this workflow
can be streamlined by eliminating non-profitable clients
or customers. In sales jargon this is known as the "C"
list. Many companies also make the mistake of perceiving
the existence of a long-term need when in fact, it is
a short term one and extremely subject to market conditions.
you have specifically defined your needs, the next question
is, "Who can best meet them?" Assuming you
need a person to do some work, would you be better served
by hiring an employee, using a temporary employment
agency, a leased employee, or an independent contractor?
Does the work have to be performed on the premises or
can it be done out of the home? For example, hiring
employees in extremely volatile marketing conditions
makes little sense. Better to hire temps instead.
companies prefer employees based on assumption that
they will be more loyal and committed to your company.
Unfortunately, that is no longer the case. Employees,
as with contingent workers, are committed and loyal
to their careers, their projects and work teams, but
not to their companies. Don't make decisions based on
a false set of assumptions.
You should have job descriptions in order to help define
what you want and explain it to candidates. Many of
today's management experts, including Tom Peters and
Peter Drucker, suggest you destroy job descriptions
because they create limits on innovation and the development
of a learning organization. We believe there is a comfortable
middle ground. You should be able to define what the
80/20 is of any employee's day. What three functions
will employees perform that generate 80 percent of their
value? These functions should be clearly set forth in
a job description or performance agreement. They also
should be the focus of interviewing and testing procedures.
See the Job Description Template
THE RIGHT EMPLOYEE FROM WITHIN YOUR COMPANY
from within but be aware of the pros and cons of doing
so. On the pro side, there is the potential for increasing
productivity and commitment with the hopes of a promotion.
There is also the possibility that a quality employee
would like to continue to work for your company, but
in a different capacity. On the con side, there is the
problem with inbreeding and stagnation. As a result,
we recommend at least one-third of all positions be
filled by outsiders. There is also the problem with
promoting people beyond their competencies, otherwise
known as the "Peter Principal." This occurs
very frequently with a promotion to a management position.
While an employee may be very good at a product or service
delivery, that does not mean they have good management
or people skills. It is important that when you promote
from within, you go through the same hiring process
as if you were interviewing an outsider.
the Notice of Job Opening
FOR THE BEST
For many businesses, the classified help-wanted ad in
the local newspaper or industry publication is the primary
source of recruitment. The purpose of a help-wanted
ad should be to attract the highest qualified candidate
at the lowest possible cost. The help-wanted ad should
be designed to attract the type of employee you want,
not to provide a complete job description, the potential
salary or the benefits you intend to offer. As with
any other form of marketing or advertising, the effectiveness
of your help-wanted ad is related to the cost per exposure
to obtain qualified job applicants. There is a simple
formula to help you to determine this factor: Cost of
advertisement divided by circulation of publication
multiplied by the percentage of qualified job applicants
that read the periodical equals the cost per exposure.
pretend you are advertising for an engineer. The paper
tells you the ad cost is $100 for four weekly runs.
Its circulation is 10,000. According to the paper, 10
percent of its readers look at the classifieds and 5
percent of the readers are engineers. This means you
are reaching 50 potentially interested candidates at
a cost of $2 each. If you receive 10 qualified responses,
your cost is $10 per qualified response.
you become more effective with your advertising, you
will be able to further define and evaluate this equation.
The methodologies you used to attract yesterday's employees
do not necessarily work for today's employees. You may
end up finding that it is cheaper to reach the same
audience, for less cost per exposure, by using different
media (e.g., local trade journal vs. newspaper classified).
Also calculate the long-term value of the position in
determining how much to spend on an ad.
hiring of an employee must be viewed in terms of hiring
an individual profit center. You won't hire the person
capable of giving the best value simply by telling people
what it is you are willing to do for them. You get what
you ask for. Today's employer should be looking for
employees who are concerned with adding value and quality,
flexible and innovative, dedicated to self-improvement,
willing to invest in your company's future, and who
have good health habits. Advertising for employees is
no different from advertising for new customers. You
must stress your company's unique value proposition
and let prospective employees know their compensation
will be directly related to the amount of added value
they provide to your company.
CONSIDER USING THESE WORDS AND PHRASES IN YOUR ADVERTISING
(Remember, the fewer words, the cheaper the ad.)
the Company (only if its true!)
products or services"
are searching for the best possible [position title]"
- Your unique
- Your company
mission or vision
the position, title, essential skills and education
- Give additional
specifics via e-mail, fax, or phone
opportunity for the right person"
- Where it's
- If travel
- Team environment
benefits of the job
About the Applicant
ambition, motivation, attitude"
to add value"
Don't Use These Words or Phrases
that's in every other ad
- Cute or
- Any words
related to race, age, sex, physical type, etc. unless
directly related to a bona fide job requirement
(i.e., swimsuit models)
- Don't stress
salary or benefits in your ads unless they exceed
Are you looking for a challenge?
Are you up to working in a fast-paced, innovative,
diverse environment? ABC Company, an expanding
company is seeking self-motivated individuals
to join our team.
We are seeking highly qualified
applicants for a position as Customer Service
Representative. Minimum requirements are
2 years college, excellent oral and written communication
skills, ability to handle diverse assignments
with minimum of supervision, familiarity with
Microsoft Office Suite, and 2 years experience
in customer service.
Company is a growing service firm utilizing progressive
marketing and management strategies. If you are
looking for a job where EXCELLENCE is the goal
and you are rewarded based on the VALUE you add,
call our fax on demand service at (01) 555-123
or visit our website at www.anywhere.com/jobs
for more information.
SOME ADDITIONAL THINGS TO THINK ABOUT AND DO WHEN ADVERTISING
- Try advertising
in different media. Consider industry journals,
graduate schools, adult education programs, newsletters,
and job lines.
- Change your
ad content weekly to see which ad draws the best
response. (Benchmark and test your results.)
- Use an ad
headline. Get outrageous!
- Change your
- Ask what
current employees like about their jobs and put
their endorsements in the ad, direct mail or fax
- Have some
or all your employees sign your ad
- Review the
classified ads and circle what you like best about
the different ads. Save these ads and phrases. Incorporate
them into your ads
the source of all applicant leads. Which efforts
are providing the best results?
- Unless you
fear the loss of an existing employee, don't use
"blind ads." Take pride in your company
- Try running
long copy ads using weekday rates
- Use bullet
- Tell applicants
they can obtain more information from the company
by calling a voice-mail message, e-mail message,
fax-on-demand service, or by sending a stamped,
self-addressed envelope to the company
- If you don't
want in-person responses to your ad, rent a post
office box and have responses sent there or to a
fax number only
- Make sure
you know where your most fertile applicant pool
exists. Consider using demographic studies.
- Send a direct
mail piece to the mailing list of an industry-related
- Let your
customer, vendors and other stakeholders know about
the job opening.
- Study the
effectiveness of your ad based on lead generation
and qualified response rates.
- Ask what
it's worth to the company to attract the best possible
applicant. Then match your advertising budget to
the perceived benefit.
the rate cards and circulation figures of the different
publications for cost per exposure of the ads and
demographics of the readership.
- Compare the effectiveness of different
advertising methods. For example, what is the total
one-month cost for a two-column ad in the local
paper? What can you get for an equivalent cost if
you use a two-line ad with a voice-mail and/or fax-on-demand
system? Which one gets better results?
- Be careful
to place the ad under the proper job heading when
using classifieds. Are you seeking an "administrative
assistant" or a "secretary"?
The following is a sample
ad using some of these techniques:
you finish reading this report, take a look at today's
classified section of your newspaper. Who has a great
ad? How can you improve on it? How are you going to
advertise for the best?
EXPAND YOUR HIRING SOURCES
there is certainly a great deal of benefit in using
classified ads, there are many other ways to hire an
employee. Also consider industry journals, graduate
schools, adult education programs, newsletters, job
lines, and Internet based services. The later is the
fastest growing medium for seeking out new employees.
Many companies do a successful job of using highly skilled
college and graduate students through their schools
work-studies programs. There are also internships available
at little or no cost.
number of companies have successfully used their own
employees as a source of job prospects. Offer a bonus
to an employee who refers a qualified job applicant
as well as an additional bonus if they are hired and
remained in the companies' employ for six months or
These are the most important strategies you can use
to find and hire the best. The biggest problems we see
employers make when it comes to hiring are 1) the failure
to properly define the "need"; and 2) the
failure to take the time to follow a process, including
the interview of numerous candidates, co-employee interviews,
a rating process, background and reference checks. You
must be vigilant in fighting the very human tendencies
that result in poor hiring decisions discussed earlier
in this report.
One last note before we
conclude: We always encourage our clients to take a
snap shot of their current condition before they start
the improvement process. This serves not only as a source
of insight, but also as a benchmark for progress. What
are you doing right today? What do you have to do better
tomorrow? Where are you vulnerable? If you look at your
turnover, poor performing employees, and employee lawsuits,
you will see that many of them trace back to poor hiring
INTERVIEW PROCESS ref-EC410
LIST - EMPLOYEE CONTRACTS ref-EC401
LISTS - WRITTING JOB DESCRIPTION ref- EC402
LIST FOR HIRING THE BEST ref- EC403
LIST FOR HOME BASED WORKER ref- EC404
OF CONDUCT ref- EC405
FORM ref- EC406