Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Hiring good employees

     Free daily tips, information, advice, and ideas,
     with examples from real small businesses and my experience.

     Finding good employees can be a real problem. Most of the good people already have jobs. You can hire good people away from another employer, but it will cost you.

     To find a good employee for your business, begin by defining what that new person will contribute. New employees must fit into your overall business plan. Ask yourself a couple of questions. Where do you want to go? How can a new employee help get you there?

     Many people who apply for a job don't have basic skills. They don't know how to get to work on time. They don't know how to read and write. They don't know how to answer a telephone. They don't know how to apply themselves to a problem, solve it, and move on to the next one.

     In my own experience, I have placed ads in the Help Wanted section of the newspaper. And then I dreaded the responses. Most of the people who responded didn't know how to clean a toilet. I felt sorry for them, but I sent them on their way.

     Good employees have sparkle in their eyes. They have learned self-discipline. They want to learn new things. They want to be a part of your business. They want to contribute to the success of something bigger than themselves. They want to feel good about what they do.

     Through trial and error, I learned to look beyond the experience the applicant had. I learned that I could teach them the specific tasks I wanted them to do. I learned to look beyond the resume--if fact, if they entered my office and handed me their resume, I simply laid it on the desk and began a conversation.

     My first question was, have you been in the military? If the person had served in the military, I knew that he/she had learned self-discipline and could tackle any task I might have. The applicant had already learned to work in a team effort. The applicant had already learned to respect others. If the person did not have the specific experience that would be useful, no matter. I could teach them everything they needed to know--providing they had the basics.

     Our public schools today are little more than baby-sitting operations. Students are not taught to engage life. Anything goes--there is little if any discipline. Educators are experimenting with the lives of our young people, coddling them, and not preparing them for real life situations they will certainly face later on.

     So, when you look for your next employee, forget the resume. Resumes can be manufactured. Look for fire in the belly and self-discipline. Look for people who can contribute to the team. Look for someone who can eventually replace you.

     At this point, there are more than 150 write-ups in this blog. They cover my lifetime experiences in starting up, operating, managing, growing and expanding businesses of my own. I don't sell anything. I'm just passing on what I've learned in my 78 years.  

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