Hire the Right Candidate, Not Just One Who Interviews Well

February 5th, 2016

The selection process might seem simple on the surface: A great resume plus a strong interview equals the perfect candidate. Right? Wrong. Like many seemingly simple equations in the management realm, the selection process can be tricky and multi-layered, and what you see during an interview may represent only what the candidate wants you to see. Dig a little deeper and you’ll identify the candidates who are truly set up for success, not just the ones that make a flashy impression. Keep these tips in mind.

Every candidate wants to impress you.

Even if your interviewee isn’t really sure about this job, she’ll want to keep her options open, and she can only do this if you’re suitably impressed with her profile and personality. Almost every candidate wants your approval, no matter what they ultimately do with it. Be aware that eagerness, interest, forward leaning postures, and bright smiles will still result in a mismatch if the candidate has to accept a lower salary or a longer commute than she’s used to.

Question potential exaggerations.

As long as you don’t aggressively interrogate your candidate, you’re within your rights to ask for more detail about his or her accomplishments. If these accomplishments seem unusually impressive, don’t hesitate to look closer. Ask open ended behavioral questions that encourage the candidate to tell a story. For example: “I see that in your last company, you were promoted from assistant to District Manager within six months. Tell me about the challenges you faced during this rapid set of promotions.”

Don’t skip the reference check.

Your candidate may seem like a superstar on paper, and he may have dazzled you during the interview process. But even if your socks have been well and truly knocked off, don’t cut the screening process short. Call the candidate’s references (all of them) and listen carefully to their testimonies. If they sound neutral or disinterested, you may be dealing with a candidate who’s all glitter and no substance.

For more on how to separate the steak from the sizzle and identify the candidates who are genuinely prepared to help your company succeed, reach out to the Charlotte staffing experts at PSU.

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Investing in your Employees: Continuing Training

December 4th, 2015

When you collect resumes and begin sifting through a pool of candidates to staff an open position, you’re probably looking for a perfect match. Most employers search for a candidate with all the necessary training, experience, and credentials they need in order to step immediately into the job, take the wheel, and thrive. Employers often assume that it’s the candidate’s responsibility to procure these credentials, and they don’t concern themselves with when and how this gets done.

But if you’re following this model, think twice. There are plenty of reasons to take responsibility for training your own candidates, and plenty of ways this move can pay off for you in the long run.

Hiring untrained employees.

Face the facts: at the entry level, most candidates learn the ropes of the job while on the job. If you take full responsibility for training your candidates and bringing them up to speed, you’ll be able to cut payroll costs by bringing on slightly underqualified employees. And as a bonus, you’ll be helping these newbies adapt to your own operations and procedures; they won’t have to unlearn the habits they’ve picked up elsewhere.

Offer ongoing training.

After bringing on untrained team members and getting them up to speed, continue to invest in their education and growth. Offer tuition reimbursement, mentoring, in-house training, or offsite training and courses through local universities and trade schools. If you raise your base salaries by about five percent per year, you’re still saving money on these employees years down the road—and they’re profiting too. Their skills, expertise, AND salaries are all increasing at a steady rate, thanks to your investment and tutelage.

Demonstrate self-reliance.

Too often, employers glance over a college educated candidate pool and sigh with despair, or worse, cry out in petulant frustration because “today’s graduates don’t have the skills” that they need. These employers expect these skills and capabilities to simply appear in the candidate population as if by magic through the actions of universities and the public school system. Avoid this sense of entitlement and take responsibility for your own success. Hire smart, ambitious candidates with high potential, and then teach them what they need to know in order to thrive in your industry. Your investments will pay off as your employees grow and learn. Ideally, a sense of gratitude and commitment will keep them on board as the years go by and their value increases.

For more on how to identify and hire the high potential candidates you need, and then retain them as they grow, reach out to the expert staffing team at Personnel Services Unlimited.

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Social Media Tips for Small Businesses

October 23rd, 2015

Your small business is finally up and running, and it’s a proud day! You’ve been working toward this goal for a long time, and you finally have your infrastructure, financing, tax plan, and business model in place. You’re learning how to manage your budget, and you’re doing everything you can to keep your new clients happy and your micro-team of employees busy and content. But if you’re like most small business owners, your thoughts are already turning toward sustainable growth. You have a trickle of customers that can keep you moving, but how can you expand your reach and gain more traffic? How can you tell the world about your product or service and start bringing the crowds to your door? You can start by leveraging the power of social media. Here’s how.

Take care of the basics.

Before you make another move, set up the basic foundations of your social media footprint. These first steps will cost almost nothing and won’t take more than a few hours. Establish a page for your business on Facebook. Start a website by purchasing a domain name and getting design and management help from any number of site hosts and providers.

Make it easy for your customers to find you.

The most important page on your nascent website isn’t your home page; it’s your contact page. Make sure anyone with any interest in your business knows exactly how to find you by email, by phone, or on a map.

Build outward from the core.

Once the basics are covered and curious clients can reach you within a few clicks, you’ll be on your way. The next step will involve targeting a passive, rather than active audience. At this point, your marketing game will need a boost, and it may be time to reach out for serious help. Turn to a professional social media marketing firm and learn more about the simple moves and applications that can help you track the flow of traffic to your site, raise your position in a list of search results, and get your ads in front of the people who are most likely to show interest in your product.

Cultivate relationships.

While you try to expand your footprint and build name recognition, protect your relationships with the customers you already have. Develop a friendly and responsive online “voice”, a blog with content that’s always relevant and fresh, a customer-focused return/complaint procedure, and an easy, appealing way for current customers to learn more about your product offerings.

For more on how to attract a growing audience of loyal followers, site visitors, blog readers, and—most important—paying customers, turn to the small business management experts at Personnel Services Unlimited.

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