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Posted on Jan 03, 2011

10 Tips for Hiring Smart

Attracting and keeping good employees can be difficult and expensive. Replacing just one employee costs at least $14,000 according to Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates. Here are some tips to help you manage your franchise operations to build a great staff while saving time and money.

  1. Hire in haste, repent in leisure. You can speed up the hiring process, but you shouldn’t impose an inflexible deadline. In the long run, it’s always better to hold out for the right person.
  2. Take advantage of free job placement services. Find well-trained and reliable workers through colleges and trade schools, the Urban League, the VA, Youth Corps, and your local Private Industry Council.
  3. Recruit from within. Your best employees know what you need better than any outside recruiter. Consider setting up a bonus program to encourage employee referrals.
  4. Define the job. Surprisingly, this is the most neglected aspect of hiring. For each job task, make a specific list of the knowledge, skills, abilities and attitudes required to perform the job correctly. With a list telling you exactly what to look for, the hiring process will be a lot faster and more effective.
  5. Narrow the field. Screen applicants by sticking to your list of qualifications when reviewing resumes. If you’re strict, about 90% of applications can be tossed. Conduct brief phone interviews with 8 or 10 top candidates to reduce the pool further. Invest time in longer in-person interviews with only the best 2 or 3 finalists.
  6. Structure the interview. It’s easier to compare candidates when you ask all of them the same questions. By writing your questions in advance, you’ll be able to focus on their answers.
  7. Avoid the "jack of all trades" approach. It can be tempting to hire someone who can seemingly “do it all” But in reality, most people simply don't have the skills or expertise to do a variety of jobs well.
  8. Pay attention to attitude. You can teach skills, but you can’t teach attitude changes. Never hire someone with good potential when there are signs of questionable habits.
  9. Test drive. Don't be satisfied with references. The most glowing references are often given for people whom others are eager to dump. Try to include daylong simulations or trial periods in your hiring process.
  10. Stock the bullpen. Keep an eye out for prospects before the need arises. Keep a pool of potential employees so you’ll never have to break rule #1.

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