Hiring Mistakes We Make Too Often

I hear people saying that it has become increasingly difficult to find good employees. With a large amount of candidates available, why is this? Are you looking in the wrong places? Are you hiring people that are overqualified but you hire them anyway? Forbes calls these employees “skills mismatch.” Overly qualified workers can become bitter with the low pay and lower skills work and are more likely to leave for greener pastures.

Hiring mistakes can cost you more time and more money than you can afford! When you are hiring an employee, slow down. Do not rush the process. Often we try for the perfect employee. The perfect employee does not exist.

First, it is important to write an accurate job description. Clearly define what you require for the position. Keep the description simple. Matthew Kaufman, head of attorney services at Rocket Lawyer states “Employers should all have an employee handbook and a hiring policy in place. This helps identify issues to avoid and serves as a legal shield to potential liability in the future.” Many small business owners do not have an employee handbook. This is an invaluable tool that you need for your business, not just hiring procedures.

Recently, my boss posted a job on one of the online job sites. He received over 100 applications/resumes. It is easy today to apply for a job online. Some of the applicants were from the east coast, applying for a part time position. Really? It may seem overwhelming but wade through the resumes. Conduct phone interviews for the most promising candidates. A phone interview can help you determine whom you want to interview in person. Keep in mind that some of the best candidate referrals come from friends, colleagues or industry peers. However, it may be tempting to hire family and friends but this does not always make for a great employee.

Many successful business owners use first impressions to make business decisions. Ted Karkus, CEO of Cold-EEZE notes, “that employers frequently view candidates in terms of whether or not they like them as opposed to matching their strengths with the responsibilities of the position. While you can’t know for sure how a new employee will perform once hired, you can mitigate the risk of a bad hire by not factoring first impressions into your decision.” Many candidates know the art of interviewing. They can come across as confident and well informed but these traits have little to do with the actual job requirements. If you have managers, they should meet the prospective hire. Also, if possible, the prospective hire should meet the employees they will be working with. If there is a red flag, it may show itself during this exchange.

Lastly, the minimum wage increase has had, and will have, an affect on your bottom line. When hiring, you need to find out the going rate for the position you are hiring for and at least match it. Why would someone want to accept a position in your company for less than the going rate?

Sometimes, you make a wrong decision. When you see an employee is not upholding your standards and you have exhausted all efforts to help them, it is time to let them go. Document the problems and the steps taken to improve. Give them a termination letter. Hopefully, this does not happen very often. If you perform your due diligence at the beginning, you can avoid these unhappy endings.

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 jmshb@socal.rr.com.

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