Ty Kiisel: Current hiring practices aren't working — here are 6 tips to get the right people

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 11 2012 11:30 a.m. MST

Although I had never thought of this, I intend to do this in the future. Libin argues that you can fake it in person, but your real personality is revealed pretty quickly when asked to write a few paragraphs. This is great advice.

Make sure they talk sense

The ability to communicate and collaborate is so important, this should be a no-brainer. Regardless of the technical prowess a potential candidate might have, if they can’t communicate with you or their colleagues, they aren’t going to be the right fit. It reminds me of my high school trigonometry teacher, he was brilliant — he just wasn’t very good at sharing his brilliance with me. I soon abandoned math never to return (thank heavens for calculators).

Be generous with benefits that help the team get stuff done

Assume your people want to do a good job and give them the tools they’ll need to do it. This might sometimes mean buying lunch, being flexible with work schedules or any number of other things. You know your people and what they need to get the job done.

Don’t hire anyone you’re not willing to also fire

This is a tough one. Nobody likes to be the guy to drop the bomb and tell somebody they’re fired — particularly if you’ve hired a close friend as suggested in No. 1. But sometimes one bad player can quickly ruin morale, end collaboration, destroy productivity and even cripple an organization. Most people don’t show up to work with a "Today I wanna suck" attitude, but if they aren’t willing or are unable to learn the skills they need to make a good fit, it’s better to act swiftly. Much like ripping off a Band-Aid, you know it’s gonna hurt for a little while. But it’s much better than suffering through a bad hire that’s going to have long-term negative consequences.

My grandmother used to say, “Well begun is half done.” I think that’s true of hiring people too. Hire the right people and you’re half done. Hire the wrong people and you’re in trouble. What are you doing to ensure that you hire the right people — and then keep them?

As a Main Street business evangelist and marketing veteran with more than 25 years in the trenches, Ty Kiisel writes about leading people and small-business issues for Lendio (www.lendio.com).

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