Finding The Right Employee For Your Business

As business owners,we strive to hire the right people to compliment our business. We would like to have someone who smiles and is well groomed. We definitely want someone who shows up for work and is on time. Someone who will treat our customers the way we want them treated and who respects his/her fellow workers. It is difficult to determine what attributes the potential employee has when you are depending on one interview. Below you will find some tips that will help you be able to pick the cream of the crop.

I think we all know the questions we CANNOT ask but sometimes there are ways of asking without stepping over these boundaries. HR.COM cites some examples of ways you can ask without getting in trouble.

You can’t ask: How old are you? You can ask: Are you over the age of 18?

You can’t ask: Do you smoke or drink? Do you take drugs? You can ask: Have you been disciplined for violating company policies forbidding the use of alcohol, tobacco products or illegal drugs?

You can’t ask: Are you pregnant or if you get pregnant, will you continue to work? You can ask: What are your long term career goals? You can also ask where she sees herself 5-10 years down the road. This will give you an idea of how long they plan to stay with your company.

You can’t ask: How many sick days did you take last year? You can ask: How many days of work did you miss last year?

You can’t ask: Do you have any disabilities? You can ask: Are you able to perform the duties for this job? Remember to always have a job description of the position they are applying for and have them read it before the job interview.

You can’t ask: Do you have any felonies or misdemeanors on your record? You can tell him/her that you have to run a credit check and background check for every new hire (even if you don’t)

These are a few ideas of how to ask questions and gaining knowledge but keeping within the letter of the law. Another tip is to ask open ended questions.

Ask for five things the person liked least about his or her last job. “Asking one thing is pretty common. Asking for five pressure the person to reveal signs of toxicity,” states San Saxton, Salter Spiral Stair. Or turn this around and ask about their favorite moments at work. You can gleam what motivates them and determine if you can provide this in your company structure.

Lastly, you cannot ignore references. This is usually the last step in the process of hiring. Here, again, it is best to ask open ended questions in the hopes of obtaining additional information you might not otherwise have.

Did he/she work there and why did he/she leave? Sean Milius. President of MR!Network, says, “It is very important that their story matches that of the candidate. If the candidate says it was a mutual parting but the reference says they were let go or laid off, there will be a problem. The candidate should always be truthful when asked why they left.”

Here are some other “open ended” questions you can ask the reference: What would you say is his/her strongest attributes? How would you describe his/her interpersonal skills? What would you say motivated him/her the most? Would you rehire or recommend this person for rehire? Very often, the reference may not want to share information with you. Sometimes what is not said is as important as what is said. Watch for hesitations and skirting the questions. This can also tell you what you want to know.

Using these techniques will help you determine if the next candidate you interview is the right person for the job. You owe it to your customers to pick the best employee available.

About Jackie Smith

Jackie Smith has been in the dry-cleaning industry for over 40 years. Her experience spans from owning a drycleaning business to working for Henderson Insurance Agency who specializes in the fabricare industry. She currently serves on the CCA Board as well as the board for So Cal Cleaners Association. She can be reached at

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