A Hire Purpose!

Michael J. Pires
February 20, 2009 — 2,406 views  
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Human resources, once considered only to be important to big businesses, has been playing an increasingly critical role in the success of today's small business. Savvy business owners and executives realize that the most critical element of their success is their people. The question becomes how to attract and keep the best ones working for you.

Over the last twelve years, I've helped organizations of all sizes deal with their HR and employee management issues. Those I found to be leaders in attracting and retaining the best employees have all had a reliable and consistent recruitment and hiring process.

Two key elements I found consistent in each of the successful programs I've encountered are:

1. Clarify your mission. Every business I know to be successful at attracting and retaining reliable, productive employees clearly defines the behaviors, skills and attributes most essential to the roles they are filling. This clarity in their recruitment efforts ensures high quality, long term hires and outstanding support for their business.

How you can do this too:

a. Conduct an analysis of your current management and executive staff. A DISC or similar behavioral assessment instrument can quickly and easily be completed over the Internet and can provide valuable insight into the styles and personalities that will fit best in your environment.

b. Write clear job descriptions that outline the chief responsibilities, requirements and expectations of each role within your company. You can find numerous samples, tools, and guides on the Internet to help in your efforts.

c. Fish where the fish are. Explore new avenues for sourcing candidates. There are dozens of free Internet job boards and career sites you can tap into; don't just feel you are confined to the local classifieds or a "now hiring" sign in your store window. Whatever you do, once you find a source that solicits the right candidates, keep casting your line.

2. Check your work. It amazes me how many companies I encounter that work so hard to identify a new hire only to skip the most critical step - checking their work. Every successful business I've worked with is adept at uncovering the information they need to ensure that the selection they make has the best possible chance for success, every time.

How you can do this too:

a. Find a background screening service that can cost effectively provide data you need to verify each candidate's credentials, it is critical to do this sooner, rather than later. There are web-based screening services that cost as little as $20 - $30 per investigation - a small price to pay to protect your business.

b. Conduct pre-hire assessments and match the results against the assessments conducted on current management and executive staff. Personality and behavioral assessments are utilized by every Fortune 500 business and there is a reason why - they work! But you don't have to break your bank, a full assessment can be completed for as little as $50 - $100. That's a minor investment to make in the hiring process for key roles such as; Store, District, Regional and General Management.

c. Check references. It may sound simple, but most of the businesses I come across do not check references on prospective hires. Sometimes it's because they think they will not get any information and other times they are just too lazy. Get your hands on a good reference check questionnaire and contact all listed references, you'll be amazed at what you'll uncover by asking the right questions.

Human resources administration doesn't need to be difficult or costly. There are plenty of resources available to help; it is up to you to make the commitment to implementing some basic practices in your business. The results will speak for themselves.

About the Author

Michael Pires is the President of HR411.com, an award-winning online human resources support and information portal providing on-demand access to downloadable forms, online background checking tools, plain-English State and Federal employment laws, Employee Handbooks and much more. Visit www.HR411.com today.

Michael J. Pires